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Sunday, Nov 23, 2014
Food & Dining

Bid to break Guinness food truck record nears goal

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TAMPA - Now it's getting serious.

Sixty-two vendors intend to join the attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the largest food truck rally Aug. 31 at the Florida State Fairgrounds, organizers say.

Planners need only a few more trucks to break the current record of 64, set in April in Miami at the Magic City Casino. The goal, however, is to reach 100.

Jeremy Gomez, who operates Generation Food Truck in Tampa, has formed Skypunch Entertainment with Michael Lynch of the mobile site Truckspotting.com and Tampa blogger Carlos Hernandez of the food review site CarlosEats.com to pull off the event.

Each week new sponsors are coming onboard, Gomez says. In addition to the fairgrounds, which is supplying as much room as needed and selling beer during the event, the rally is signing bands and deejays and getting attention from corporate donors as well.

Trucks from Louisiana, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee filed applications to serve, in addition to those from across Florida.

The rally will run from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission will be $6 for parking, with each truck charging individually for food.

Another sign that the event is gaining momentum: It's getting backlash from competing organizers in other cities.

Gomez, who also cooks for the Not Your Ordinary Food Truck, says Miami promoters are telling vendors there they won't use them again in an effort to keep them from participating in Tampa's event. They want the record to stay in Miami-Dade County.

"I told the guys down there, 'We're going to break the record whether you show up or not. Wouldn't you guys rather stay and be part of it?'"

He said he has offered as payback to send Tampa trucks to help re-break the record after the Tampa rally.

"It would be good for Florida," he said.

Truck owners, many of whom were anticipating taking a loss to participate because of the number of options for diners, are now expecting a much larger crowd.

"They were thinking 3,000 or 4,000 people might show up," Gomez says. "Now everybody is in the 10,000-plus range."

jhouck@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7324

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