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Saturday, Jun 23, 2018
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Rain dampens fun, but Sunday should shine

TAMPA — A cold front moving through the Tampa Bay area on Saturday washed out a lot of outdoor plans, but forecasters say Sunday is salvageable and the week ahead looks sunny and clear.

“This was a cold front coming through the area from the Gulf of Mexico, with a tornado watch throughout the bay area until 5 p.m.,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Andrew McKaughan. “This kind of weather is not really unexpected or unusual for this time of year.” He said he expected to see lingering showers throughout Saturday evening, clearing out overnight.

By Sunday morning, McKaughan said, the sun should be out. “We shouldn’t have any rain chances until next weekend.”

The stormy weather rained out the Humane Society of Tampa’s Bay’s Bark in the Park fund-raiser a few hours after it got underway. “Unfortunately, we had it today and it got rained out mid way. Believe it or not, the turnout was great,” said Humane Society Executive Director Sherry Silk. “There are lots of dog lovers in Tampa Bay.”

The weather also put a damper on the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally at the Florida State Fairgrounds. But that event continues Sunday

from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and organizers are expecting a large turnout.

“We saw a lot of people coming into the fairgrounds in the first hour and then the rain moved in and then it started coming down hard about 2:30 p.m.,” said Jordan Schild, whose Prestige Food Trucks is sponsoring the event and called in the Guinness Book of World Records to document the crowd.

Schild said he expected the turnout to pick up by late afternoon on Saturday and be tremendous by Sunday.

“It’s looks like we’re going to have 82 degrees and a big crowd,” Schild said.

Admission to the World’s Largest Food Truck Rally is free, but there is a parking fee of $6 to $12. The fairgrounds is at 4800 U.S. 301, Tampa.

Rally organizer Jeremy Gomez, who also set up the first mega rally, held in August, planned much bigger for this spring event.

He expected about 8,000 people for the August gathering and got 30,000. The throng clogged area roadways and overwhelmed vendors, who had to run out more than once to restock groceries.

For this year’s event, Gomez got 50 percent more food trucks — there are 150 — , including one that specializes in dog treats and one, the Pickle King, that traveled all the way from Paterson, N.J., for the two-day affair.

“The trucks understand there will be a lot more than 8,000 people showing up this time,” Gomez said prior to the rally.

While the first day got the wet towel treatment from Mother Nature, Schild said he expects Sunday to be a winner for the trucks and the guests.

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