Alexandria welcomes hundreds for first 'Food Truck Rodeo'

(WJLA) - At high noon on Friday, wagons circled this parking lot off Seminary Road in Alexandria for a road billed as the area’s first “Food Truck Rodeo.”

Hundreds showed up and lined up, ready to eat up.

"Because you don't want to eat the same thing evey single day," says customer Tarah Shah.

After setting up shop across D.C. and Arlington, food truck vendors recently fought back opponents of the mobile restaurant trend here in Alexandria. Based on the turnout at this event, they say that the proof is in the pudding.

"I think we should have done it a long time ago -- look at the crowd," says food truck manager Nikkie Greene.

The event is being held on private property, but starting July 1, food trucks will be allowed to set up at Alexandria schools, parks, and special events with city approval.

"As long as they're invited on the property, they can't just show up uninvited onto the property under the present legislation...And once people realize they have nothing to fear, it's going to be fine," says West End Business Associate VP, Lynn Bostain.

For now, sales on city streets are banned. But the West End Business Association is still pushing for fewer restrictions – especially in areas like this, which they call a “food desert.”

"The BRAC building is across the street where there's 6,000 employees, and there's a huge residential complex here as well," says Peter Baldwin, Associate President of the West End Business Association.

Customers do acknowledge that food trucks do create congestion, and they understand the objections in Old Town.

"It does cause a lot of traffic, as you can tell -- people-wise as well as cars and stuff. It's hard to find a place, especially with Alexandria's streets being so tight," says food truck customer Danielle Wagner.

The City Council will review its food truck regulations and the industry’s trial run in public spaces in October 2015.