Outdoor dining season is here! Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. (DGRI) hosts the largest food truck rally the city has ever seen, Roll’n Out Food Truck Fest. In partnership with the Grand Rapids Food Truck Association (GRFTA) and the Downtown Market, DGRI choreographed a culinary-themed event celebrating the City’s pilot ordinance. The food truck rally showcases 20+ local food trucks on Sunday, May 21 from 11AM-7PM at Heartside Park.
Events like this are made possible by the pilot ordinance. Prior to the new ordinance, the number of trucks permitted at the Grand Rapids Art Museum was limited to two at a time. Brennan Summers, President of GRFTA, remembers that it was a small but necessary step to get the process moving.
“The new ordinance has allowed us to capitalize on opportunities that were previously just out of reach for food truck owners,” says Summers.
“As an association, we’re continually trying to figure out ways to make food trucks more viable,” says GRFTA Vice President Lauren D’Angelo.
In 2016, Mayor Rosalynn Bliss worked in accordance with DGRI’s GR Forward plan, which was designed to support small businesses owners and entrepreneurs feel empowered to do business throughout Grand Rapids. That summer, the ordinance was in front of the City Commissioners and by the end of August, it passed. The two-year pilot program now allows food trucks to operate in 13 public zones, but still require parking fees.
The City’s pilot ordinance expands opportunities for local businesses across Grand Rapids. Roll’n Out features food trucks lining Ionia Ave. while cuisine-themed films play in Heartside Park. But wait, the fun doesn’t end there! An Artisan Village at the Downtown Market features 20+ local artists providing opportunities for interactive art and art for purchase.
Roll’n Out Food Truck Fest is a free event for the whole family. For a complete list of activities, vendors, and to let them know you’re coming, visit the DGRI Facebook page.
Roll’n Out Food Truck Fest
nSunday, May 21 from 11am to 7pm
n301 Ionia SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503