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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Before the food trucks can roll into
town for a cook-off in downtown Wilmington, some local businesses already want
the event to relocate.
The owners of four food trucks have already confirmed for Truck-a-Roo,
according to Wilmington Downtown Inc. President John Hinnant. He said the
organization specifically chose the first Saturday in November in hopes of
drawing a crowd during a quiet, fall day.
"We know it's going to be slow downtown, so we want to
attract people downtown," he said.
Regardless of how many people visit before, during, or after
the four-hour event, members of the Downtown Business Alliance do not agree
with promoting what could be perceived as competition for the existing
restaurants in town. President Jim Bitto suggested Greenfield Park instead of
the planned location of Water Street, where WDI's Downtown Sundown concert
series sets up shop each summer.
"By doing this, you're probably not going to earn a lot of points
with the downtown merchants," said Bitto.
Hinnant said a local food festival is exactly what business
owners want, according to a recent survey. He compared the one-day event to
other downtown activities like Rims on the River or ARTblast, which included a
street fair full of vendors. He does not consider Truck-a-Roo to be
"We think that it's going to promote and attract people
downtown to support downtown," Hinnant said.
The city of Wilmington has guidelines for operating food
trucks downtown, which outline where they can setup and how long they can stay
there. WDI's plan for a cook-off event does not include any effort to change
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.