Food Truck Flavors 9

The Annual UCBMA Food Truck Rally Returns

As the summer air swirls around The Square at Union Centre, on one particular day, you’ll be able to catch a new delicious smell with every change of the wind. That’s right: it’s Food Truck Rally time again.

On Friday, August 9, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., almost 40 food trucks will gather at The Square at Union Centre for this year’s Union Centre Food Truck Rally. The Food Truck Rally brings the community together to sample a variety of excellent eats while enjoying local entertainment. The Rally is organized by the Union Centre Boulevard Merchant Association (UCBMA), a gathering of local business leaders who work to create positive networking opportunities while also supporting a wide variety of charitable organizations that aid the people of West Chester.

Every year, our event grows stronger, we are excited and proud of the impact we have on the community as an organization,” says Rebecca Wilber, president of UCBMA.

This year’s beneficiary is Companions on a Journey Grief Support, a local organization that provides support to individuals who have experienced a loss of a loved one.

“This is our biggest annual opportunity to give back to our community.  Not only do people get to come out and enjoy a fun event, but they also get to support a worthy organization in our community,” says Kerry Hendel, vice president of UCBMA.  “Companions on a Journey not only helps adults deal with loss, but they also make a positive impact by teaming up with the Lakota schools and many others within the Cincinnati area.”

Sponsor the rally

Every year, the rally draws between 10,000 and 12,000 people. Sponsors of the event get noticed by visitors from near and far. The Food Truck Rally offers local businesses the opportunity to get involved with summer fun and raise money for an excellent cause. To become a sponsor, sign up online.

Volunteer to help

The spirit of volunteerism is alive and well at the Food Truck Rally. Give back by serving beverages or helping with set-up and clean-up. You can sign up to volunteer online.

“We greatly value our hundreds of volunteers; they help make this event all it can be,” says Rebecca.

Get to know the beneficiary

Companions on a Journey Grief Support offers group programs where trained volunteers who have similar experiences share hope and help individuals and families process their grief. They offer more than 270 groups in more than 30 nearby public and private schools to help school children process loss.

Stick around for the end

After the last glass of wine and dish of delectable dessert has been served, there is still one more sweet way to celebrate the summer: stay for the fireworks after dark.

“Don’t leave too early, because we have the only free fireworks show in West Chester,” says Kerry.  “It’s the perfect end to a bustling and fun day!”

Food Truck Variety

This year, almost 40 food trucks will be present at the festival. There will be plenty of American favorites, from sandwiches to hot dogs, barbecue to steak, and even fan favorites like mac and cheese or wings. As for international cuisine, keep your eyes (and taste buds) peeled for Korean BBQ, Mexican tacos, gyros, pasta, pizza and even Jamaican food. When you have finished your entrée, satisfy your sweet tooth with the dessert trucks.

“We welcome new additions as well as past favorites to offer variety to the many rally attendees,” says Rebecca. “We’ll also have beer and wine available for purchase.”

Local Musical Entertainment

The Food Truck Rally will feature musical solos/duos in the afternoon to provide tunes for attendees to enjoy, and in the evening, two local acts will grace the big stage. First, there will be the musically gifted indie rock group, Flying Underground.

“They play a lot of originals as well as cover tunes. From a musical standpoint, I’m excited to present them this year,” says Tom Kaper, who is coordinating entertainment for the Food Truck Rally.

The headliner will be the popular rock-n-roll and soul band Second Wind, also local to Cincinnati.

“A nice touch is that at least half the band is from the West Chester area,” says Tom. “They will play a lot of very recognizable music that everyone will enjoy, and they are a 10-piece band.  We’ve never had an offering like this before.”

New Additions This Year

While many fan-favorite trucks are returning, there is also a collection of food trucks gracing the Food Truck Rally for the first time this year.

“El Rancho Nuevo has a truck, and MamaBear’s Mac is new,” Kerry says, giving the rundown of what to expect. “The Italian Truck will have great options, and La Orangette is new, with gourmet lemonade. For dessert, the Cheesecakery will add a little bit of variety.”

The strategy with the food truck selections is to aim for great popularity and options. “Being a vegetarian, I try to accommodate dietary needs that other people may not think about,” Kerry explains. “We look at all aspects of what people want from the tastes. We don’t book too many trucks that serve the same type of items because we want every truck to be successful.”

Union Centre Food Truck Rally

August 9, 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

9285 Centre Pointe Dr, West Chester

513.383.2665

UCBMA.com