This month’s event, named “Rally the Spirit,” is Thursday, Sept. 8, 5:30-9 p.m. and will include an Instagram and Snapchat contest for college students who attend Florida Polytechnic University, Florida Southern College, Keiser University, Polk State College, Southeastern University and Webster University.
Students must follow @DowntownLakeland on Instagram, take photos during the rally using the RallyLakeland16 filter on Snapchat, and upload photos to Instagram, tagging @DowntownLakeland to win prizes.
The evening also includes entertainment provided by each college, as well as Mayor Howard Wiggs reading the “Rally the Spirit” proclamation. College presidents and Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce President Cory Skeates will offer greetings. Big MAX Morning Show personalities Eric Michaels and Mike Lee from MAX 98.3 FM will serve as event emcees.
This college-themed food truck rally is the result of a collaboration between the Downtown Lakeland Partnership—which hosts the rally each month—the City of Lakeland, the area colleges, and the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce’s Talent Development Committee, under the leadership of co-chairs Mike Carew and George Wilson. It was done to accomplish goals for each of the partners.
For colleges and students:
- Provide an opportunity to get students downtown to experience the Food Truck Rally
- Provide students with an opportunity to discover downtown merchants
- Provide students with opportunities to interact with students from other colleges
- Expose students to free, fun activities downtown
For the Downtown Lakeland Partnership:
- Enhance the September Food Truck Rally attendance with several hundred students
- Capture student contact information to develop a database for alerting them to events downtown
For the City and the Chamber of Commerce:
- Develop Lakeland to include an image of being a “college town” and acknowledging the economic impact students have
- Add business for downtown merchants
- Retain young professionals as permanent residents after college
The Thursday Squared Food Truck Rally is made possible each month through sponsorships by Grow Financial Federal Credit Union; Broadway Real Estate Group, Fairchild, Addison & McKone Insurance; Auto-Owners Insurance; and Biolife Plasma Services.
Senior Sponsors for the September Food Truck Rally are Broadway Real Estate Services, Keiser University, Ledger Media Group, Mabe Production & Installation, Inc., and MAX 98.3 FM – WWRZ. Sophomore Sponsors are Owl Now Urgent Care and Watson Clinic LLP.
The Downtown Lakeland Partnership contracts with the Tampa Bay Food Truck Rally to present Thursday Squared each month.