Food truck rally finds new home at the Sedgwick County Zoo

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A popular food truck rally in west Wichita has found a new home at the Sedgwick County Zoo after the previous host canceled the monthly event.

The rally comes back next month, according to a post on the Facebook event page. Upcoming dates are September 15, October 13 and November 10. It's held from noon to 3 p.m.

It was previously held in the parking lot of Towne West Square.

"The amount of support we’ve received from the Wichita community has been amazing and we are humbled and extremely appreciative of it all. It is a privilege to team up with one of the best Zoos in the country to make the West Side Food Truck Rally bigger and better than ever," Hot 2 Trot Hotdogs said on the event page.

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Towne West Square has been struggling for years to attract new customers and keep businesses open inside. Local residents were hoping with new management, there might be more traffic, but now shoppers are worried. 

"The food truck rally brought a lot of people to Towne West. People generate around food a lot," said Adam Bussey, owner of Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hotdogs food truck. 

Bussey shops at Towne West Mall and has ever since he was a little boy. Now, he runs a food truck business and wants to share his success with the west side of Wichita.

"We had around 15-hundred the first rally, people through there, and talking to the store owners in the mall, they said they created some revenue for them."

The West Side Food Truck Rally teamed up with west Wichita about three months ago after residents said they wanted more in their area. 

"Really nice that they're trying to get everybody west side over here. Obviously it's good for their business too and draws them to this area. So it's really nice to draw attention to our side of town," says Kristy Stevens, a Clearwater Resident

But less than a month ago, a group from New York bought Towne West and said "no more" to the rallies. 

Some people who live close by the mall said they were hoping new management would bring more opportunities, instead of taking them.  

"I see the food trucks other places and it brings people around so i think it would help business here. We definitely need something to help business here, so," says Sandy Milner, who leaves near the mall.  

Bussey says some businesses have already reached out and are willing to lend their lots. He's hopeful the rally will have a new spot in time for next month's event.

"So we're kind of scrambling now to find some place on the west side, where we can host around 20 food trucks for a west side food truck rally," says Bussey. 

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