By Amanda Anderson
BREVARD -- Mark your calendar for May 18, and bring your appetite to "Food Truck Wars."
This family-friendly event takes place on Saturday from 2-8 p.m. at the Palm Bay BCC Fairgrounds.
With more than 40 gourmet food trucks from across Florida, even the pickiest of eaters will find a delectable dish to satisfy their taste buds!
"Food trucks are a hot trend all across the country, and it's great to be able to hold an event like this in Palm Bay," said Heidi Lapin, director of parks and recreation for the city of Palm Bay. "We hope to make this a signature event for our city."
The food trucks will compete for five prestigious awards from celebrity judges. Categories include the spirit award, top sales, delectable deserts, casual cuisine and -- top prize -- the people's choice award.
Judging "Food Truck Wars" will be Jim Whaples, retired president of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association; Kareen Linton and Karen Robinson from Le Cordon Bleu; Palm Bay Mayor William Capote; and Luann Manderville from Florida Today Magazine.
"People love to eat, and this is something new, fun and different," Mrs. Lapin said. "It's also a great way to bring the community and families together."
"Food Truck Wars" will offer different types of cuisine, from Thai and Mexican to lobster and gelato.
"These food trucks are not the old-roach-type trucks, where you get a cup of burnt coffee," Mrs. Lapin added. "These are pimped-out! They have flat-screen TVs in some, and the kitchens in the trucks are amazing."
Liz Riveria Otts with Food Truck Crazy, Inc. described the food trucks as being gourmet, rolling restaurants with good food that is cooked to order.
"Costs run from $3 to $18, with many entrees averaging between $6 and $8," Mrs. Lapin said. "Food Truck Wars combines a festival atmosphere with lots of delicious food choices to create a lively, casual dining experience for consumers."
A wide range of entertainment will be on deck at "Food Truck Wars." A Kids Zone will be available, and music will be provided by Palm Bay's own "Looking Back," with "Buckethead" from Real Radio 104.1, serving as emcee.
"We are able to offer the public a safe environment, where they can come out and enjoy the beautiful, Florida weather, hear some great, live music on our stage, get the kids away from the electronics for a little while and have them run around in the Kids Zone," Mrs. Lapin said. "And, of course, eat all sorts of good food! 'Food Truck Wars' is a great way to sample a variety of foods!"
"Food Truck Wars" will be Saturday, May 18 from 2-8 p.m. at the Palm Bay BCC Fairgrounds. The BCC Fairgrounds are located at 250 Community College Parkway. Parking is free.
For more information, visit www.playpalmbay.org, www.foodtruckwars.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.