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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Food truck rallies are back in Downtown Huntsville and bigger than ever for their 8th season, with not only food trucks but trailers too.

On the first Fridays of every month between now and October, food trailers will be setting up. On the third Friday, food trucks will set up.

“This allows us to grow the experience and really support the food truck and food trailer operators who are local small business entrepreneurs just like a lot of our brick and mortar businesses,” Downtown Huntsville, Inc. President and CEO Chad Emerson said.

This will be the third year Vegan spot Hippea Camper is taking part. Founder Garrett Hardee said it’s a great way for businesses to get exposure, especially after a financially tough year for the service industry.

“It should be a big year for the rallies and for events, in general, to get back going. I think people are excited to attend outdoor things and get back around people,” Hardee said.

Hardee said their first year at the rallies was a learning experience, then last year with social distancing precautions, far fewer people were visiting the rallies.

2 Chicks on a Roll is a food trailer based in Hazel Green. This will be their first year at the rallies. They opened their food trailer in 2019. Then, the pandemic hit and canceled many of their events and forced many employees to work from home, meaning parking at businesses and feeding the lunch crowd was no longer an option.

“We were like ‘what are we going to do? We’ve just started this new business. We just bought this trailer,'” 2 Chicks co-owner Robbie Norman said. “We had just gotten accepted into NASA and we were only going for a couple of weeks and then COVID, everything shut down,” co-owner Debra Nadwodny added.

2 Chicks opened a cafe in February, but are relying on the food trailer to bring in revenue to support that venture until it becomes more well-known.

The Hippea Camper makes signature menu items to add on menus at local brick and mortar restaurants like Beezr and Honest Coffee to bring in extra revenue as well.

In addition to these new ventures, the two businesses have also begun taking their trailers to residential neighborhoods to bring in foot traffic until everything is back to normal. Now, they’re excited to be starting back their ventures in large crowds as we move closer to normalcy.

“We are really hoping that the food truck rally is really going to be good for us to help us get caught back up and get back on track,” Norman said.

“All food trucks are pretty much local businesses so we’d love to see you outside again and see your smile this year. That’d be awesome,” Hardee said.