Not everybody loves those food-truck rallies. Residents in Little Italy received a sarcasm-laced flier in their mailboxes, from parties unknown, protesting the Friday night event in their neighborhood. The letter is written as if from (fictional) greedy and thoughtless promoters of the event. "Please support us, instead of your local residents." the letter concludes, "Sincerely, non-property owners/non-renters, non-residents."
Since the first Baltimore food-truck rally was held in Harbor East in July 2011, the Friday night events have moved to a more-or-less weekly schedule, rotating among three main venues -- Keswick Avenue and 36th Street in Hampden, McHenry Row in Locust Point and the parking lot of the Stratford University campus in Little Italy, where the first of three September Gatherings is scheduled for Friday night.
Stratford's address does fall into Little Italy's official boundaries, although it's several blocks away from High Street, where most of the neighborhood's restaurants are located.
That's not far enough for whoever generated the letter.
LITTLE ITALY - FYI
OPEN BAR, LIVE MUSIC
FOOD AND ALCHOHOL/BEER GARDEN
DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT IT TILL NOW?
"The event will profit the promoters and Up to 18 food concessions. Parking will be on the Streets of Little Italy and the Little Italy Parking Garage. One thousand people are expected to attend this fun Street festival. Live Music will end at 11 pm. We will make a donation to Stratford University only, for the use of the VALET Parking Lot. Too bad that valet and Little Italy customers will have to park elsewhere. We wish to thank the residents of Little Italy, without whose support, this event would not be possible. Because of the great success of our last couple of events in Little Itlay we plan to do more events at your expense in the near future."
Damian Bohager, who organizes the Gatherings on behalf of the Maryland Mobile Food Vendors Association, said that he's aware of little opposition to the food truck rallies, other than concern about music interfering with the Little Italy film festival. "The only thing I've heard from restaurant owners in the nieghborhohod is that they'd like more of a heads-up about the event," Bohager said. "They get slammed with customers when it's over."
Bohager points out some inaccuracies on the flier. The event, he said, is scheduled to stop at 11 p.m., not 10 p.m. There is not an open bar, Bohager said, although guests can purchase a $15 wrist-band for beer and wine. A donation is being made not Stratford University, Bohager said, but to American Heart Association.
Live music has been part of the event in the past, he said, but he's switching to a disc jockey. "We had little kids up front dancing to the music," Bohager said, "and then some people started a line dance. It was so much fun, I had to try it again."
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