2nd Annual Central VA Food Truck Rodeo brings RVA food, crafts, and brews to Chesterfield Town Centre Sunday

by | Apr 24, 2015 | POLITICS

This Sunday will see the 2nd Annual Central Virginia Food Truck Rodeo come to the parking lot of Chesterfield Towne Centre.

This Sunday will see the 2nd Annual Central Virginia Food Truck Rodeo come to the parking lot of Chesterfield Towne Centre. The event will feature not only food trucks, but also beer, live music, and craft vendors.

The event follows last September’s inaugural rodeo. Organizer Patrick Harris, the owner of Boka Tako Truck said the goal is for this instance to be the spring version of a biannual or triannual event. Harris co-founded the event with Laurin Willis of James River Entertainment.

Last year’s event was a crowded affair, with some trucks under preparing and running out of food. The organizers have planned for at least 12,000 people this time around, the estimated attendance of last year’s event.

“I’m excited about this one, I think it’s going to be even bigger than the first one,” Harris said. “And the first one was huge.”

This year’s event aims to be bigger in every way. Boka brought three trucks to last year’s event, this year they are bringing five. Last year’s event had about 30 trucks- this year there are about 45.

“Its going to be a little bit different, because the food truck owners know that they better be prepared,” Harris said. “One of the issues last year some people experienced was long lines. When you have 30 trucks and 12,000 people you can only serve people so fast.”

The growth of the rodeo is part of Harris’ ultimate goal to expand the market for food trucks in the Metro Richmond area.

“For two years I dedicated my life to trying to build a market for the food truck environment,” Harris said. “I have always strived to create food truck demand.”

Harris found that demand with the successes of the Richmond Food Truck Association and Food Truck Courts. The next step, Harris said, was easy: something bigger. That was the genesis of the rodeo.

“It’s something that’s even bigger, even better,” Harris said. “We have the music, the beer, its a collaborative project. It’ll just put us on the map.”

The Downtown Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo served as inspiration for the event. Harris listed Miami, Los Angeles, and Washington DC as other cities who have created or are creating similar events.

He used the Raleigh Rodeo as a template, speaking with organizers on what worked and what didn’t. The idea was to keep Richmond on the cutting edge.

“My mentality with Boka and the food truck environment in Richmond has always been push to keep up with what’s happening,” Harris said. “Not fall 10 years behind.”

The rodeo’s organizers hope to change and adapt the event as more participants and vendors join in. Harris said that he hopes that the event continues to grow organically, and he believes that Richmond is an ideal location for the rodeo to thrive.

“It’s a huge outdoor festival where people get together enjoy good food, drink and entertainment,” Harris said. “And a town like Richmond that is just famous for its festival and seasonal outdoor activity scene, its perfect.”

Admission to the rodeo is free, food and drink are available at individual prices set by vendors. The event runs from noon to 7pm in the Chesterfield Towne Center parking lot on the Sears Auto Center side.

More details can be found online here.

Brad Kutner

Brad Kutner

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