Somethings just hit. They become the “in thing to do.” Some places are tailor made for them to reach a whole new level. So it goes with the Orlando Food Truck Bazaar, one of the coolest, hippest and most enjoyable things to do around Central Florida (and many cities where they are catching on) and when you couple this exciting event with lakeside community, Mount Dora, you’ve got a tailor made evening of fun for the whole family.
I for one have been lobbying for the O-town Food Truck for a year now, not only wanting to enjoy myself, but because I’ve truly believed that Mount Dora was an idyllic spot for this currently trending event. Mark Baratelli is a friend and fellow travel writer, sharing his love and knowledge of Orlando on TheDailyCity.com. Having known Mark for about two years, I was well aware of the trucks. Having known their increasing popularity and potential last summer, I’d hoped MD would jump on board.
It took time and ironically, it came from another area of town, the Mount Dora Chamber of Commerce, than where I’d been working on it, but I was thrilled nonetheless when I heard it was coming!
Working with Chamber Director, Cathy Hoechst, by providing her marketing and promotion, I was excited to be even remotely connected.
The night of the first of four currently planned events, I admit being scared as I left home and headed into town. Yet soon my worries that no one would show were falling aside as I saw the lines of traffic in Mount Dora. By two blocks away, I smelled the Food Truck Bazaar.
Then as I rounded the corner into the parking lot, there is was, in all its culinary glory, people everywhere, lining up and enjoying.
I’m not sure who was smiling more than night, Cathy or myself, but we were both thrilled at the turnout, excited that the trucks were doing so well, and beyond the sun and moon over the success.
Mark looked as happy. So he should: it was a great night.
As I spoke with friends, asked strangers, talked with town business owners and even “listened in” (ok, eavesdropped) on patrons, I found all good feelings. People were happy to let me take their photos and everywhere you looked, literally, people were eating, laughing, talking, and waiting in line.
First Night, More to Come
The first night of the four Bazaars is in the history books. With about a dozen trucks onsite, there were lines waiting to be served. I’d heard from 30 to 60 minutes on average, but no one really seemed upset. Indeed, I never saw anyone leave lines, and most that I watched enjoyed their tasty food then returned for more.
On the heels of such success, Mark is planning to bring a few more trucks to the next event in August, and if that continues to draw lines, perhaps more for the final two.
The organizers are meeting to discuss ways to extend and add to the event’s draw, planning their own ways to increase the comforts and add to the ways people can enjoy themselves.
Throughout the night it was obvious that the Food Truck Bazaar is a great family event. Multi-generational night out, an evening with the little ones, or a way for aging families to enjoy time together, family was by far a theme all around.
So too were seniors having a great night with friends, friends checking it out as a group, and business owners who were excited to see so many opportunities to show of this amazing little lakeside town.
There are currently three more events planned, each on the last Thursday of the month for August, September, and October. Based on these being successful or not, the organizers will consider one more of some type of event in 2012 with an eye to what they’ll do in 2013. Stay tuned…
Mount Dora offers a special and unique setting for the Food Truck Bazaar. The lakeside town is using a parking lot area at Alexander Street at 4th Street. There are current talks about expanding into the streets and the park. These areas were being informally used at the first event and showed they were well worth being added. So too could there be more tables and chairs provided, along with those who bring their own.
A range of ideas are being discussed, so check out the next event to see how they have improved, including additional trucks.
Dogs were having a great time as well, so organizers are looking at how to provide for them as well.
Temperatures are not controllable, but as things cool off in the evenings, this promises to become even better over the months.
Town itself was slightly divided, with most business owners seeing this as the wonderful opportunity that it was, opening their doors (while keeping them closed for the AC) including Merrill’s Market offering discounts to people who brought their food down and bought beverages and ate there, discounts at Operation Deep Freeze Frozen Custard, Maggie’s Attic and Pisces Rising offered music and adult beverages, and Cupcake Delights opened late for their “Happy Hour” discounts, selling out! So for all those businesses who stayed open, a wonderful night of welcoming visitors and showing off what a great town this is.
There are other plans I can’t talk about – they are still being determined – but needless to say, I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.
And in the mean time… enjoy these photos of a great night, be inspired to attend, and be it in Mount Dora (Which you should try) or any of the other locations, the Orlando Food Truck Bazaar is a fun, tasty, and special way to enjoy time with those you love!
Local Mount Dora businesses, such as Maggie’s Attic, used the
Food Truck Bazaar as an opportunity to introduce new people to their offerings.
From discounts to music to welcoming people who wanted to eat in AC
on this very hot and humid night, Mount Dora put out the welcome mat in style.
Food Truck Bazaar “Pros” bring their own tables, chairs and blankets,
scoping out places to make the most of their evening.
Mount Dora provided tables and chairs, with additional
ones being planned for future events. But bringing your own, arriving
early, and finding a fun place to sit can be a great way to enjoy.
For more on the Orlando Food Truck Bazaar, visit their website.
For more on Mount Dora, the Food Truck Bazaar in Mount Dora, and Florida travel, visit us here at
Rori Travels Florida and Enjoy Florida’s Coast,
As well as on Facebook and Twitter.