Food trucks to feed fireworks fete

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Apalachicola’s Independence Eve Fireworks Celebration is set to kick off on Sunday, July 3 at 6 p.m. at Riverfront Park in. As the area’s largest summer event, the celebration attracts locals and visitors from all over the region. 

The patriotic festivities will include live music, a veterans’ tribute, and a solo performance of the National Anthem. The lineup of local and out-of-town food trucks has become another popular feature of the event.

Big Boi’s Roadside Grill & Seafood, from Panama City, will be serving at the event for the third year in a row. Owner Gary Oates has been in the cooking business for 18 years and his passion for grilling and catering led to opening the food truck business eight years ago. Since that time, he and his wife Trina have traveled to Apalachicola many times for multiple events, most recently last weekend at the Juneteenth celebration. It’s not uncommon for them to do a pop-up here on a weekend as Trina’s connection to her birthplace is very strong. “I will always support Apalachicola as that is my home,” Trina said. “People love our food, and I love making it, but meeting people is what I love the most.” 

The Mellow Mullet is also returning to the event for a third year. Owner Elisabeth Thomas has two trucks that will be serving up her New Orleans-style sweet and fluffy shaved ice, in both traditional and sugar-free varieties. Thomas describes her treats as “delightful, melt in your mouth satisfaction.” In addition to her regular Apalachicola and St. George Island locations, she also serves at private parties and area festivals.

David Oxford, owner of The Dawg House, offers a budget friendly “hot off the grill” lunch on weekdays at his usual location on Hwy. 98, just outside of the Apalachicola city limits near Ace Hardware. He is also frequently seen serving up his famous dawgs at Franklin County events. This will be his second year at the Independence Eve celebration serving up hot dogs, sausage dogs, and boiled peanuts, complemented by chips and beverages.

Kim Council’s SGI Food Truck will be serving hand-patted ⅓-pound burgers, BBQ fries, and tater tots, back for the third year. Council’s truck has been a fixture of the local food truck scene for the last few years but is now reserved for special events only.

Carrie Johnson and Kim Johnson are the duo behind Crave, a new addition to the food truck food court. They specialize in serving up sweet treats when they’re not pursuing their careers as local real estate agents. In addition to soft serve ice cream, milkshakes, and donut holes, you can also try their famous “walking tacos.” Their home base is 131 Commerce Street in Apalachicola. Their motto is, “We’ve got you covered on dinner and dessert!”

Daric Freeman, of Lynn Haven, is bringing two food trucks, each with unique offerings. The Spice is Right is the place for barbecue, seafood, and hamburger sliders. Freeman focuses on

“regional cuisine with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients.” The truck gets its name from his signature seasoning blend.

That’s What Cheese Said is Freeman’s second food truck, where you can experience gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and macaroni & cheese bowls with assorted toppings and added ingredients that “span the distance between comfort food and straight-up experiments in flavor.”

Allison House hails from Tallahassee, but was born and raised in Apalachicola. Her food truck,

Roro’s Acai, is a brand-new venture that she is excited to share with the July 3 crowd. Acai berries (pronounced AH-sigh-EE) are the fruit of the acai palm tree, which is native to South America. House blends them into delicious, nutritious, organic cool treats served with fruit toppings. The business is named in honor of the family’s beloved golden retriever. 

​Sippin’ Lemon, owned and operated by David Bryan of Panama City, will be serving 32-ounce  fresh squeezed fruit chillers in lemonade, strawberry, and Pacific flavors.

Danny Itzkovitz will serve the crowd from his flagship food truck, Tamara’s On the Go, which now has a permanent spot on the corner of Water Street and Avenue E, next to the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture, and Art. His other two trucks provide catering services to weddings and events and travel to festivals.

“We really miss our brick-and-mortar locations and our wonderful customers of 20 years, but we’re so excited about our new adventure,” he said. “We’ve always been involved in the food aspect of the Independence Eve Celebration, and are happy to continue our wonderful friendship with Main Street. This event is one of the biggest days of the year for us.”

Tamara’s On the Go will be serving a varied menu featuring some of Itzkovitz’s signature dishes.

For award-winning craft beer from the local Oyster City Brewing Company, visit the beer truck on Water Street. In the sponsors’ reserved seating section, Cathy Buell will be serving up hot dogs to raise awareness of SGI Cat Allies. Buell’s hotdogs will be complimentary for sponsors, but tips will be accepted to support the nonprofit she champions that promotes the humane welfare of community cats in Franklin County.

The Independence Eve Fireworks Celebration, organized under the auspices of Apalachicola Main Street, earned a Florida Main Street award for Outstanding Special Event and was also named one of the Top 12 Independence Events in Florida. Admission is free, and lawn chairs and picnic blankets are welcome. The entirety of the funding for the celebration is provided by sponsorships from businesses and families. 

Augusta West is executive director of Apalachicola Main Street, a non-profit organization affiliated with the state and national Main Street networks, with a mission to enhance the city’s downtown with economic development that promotes a sustainable future while preserving the district’s historical significance. For more information or to reserve a table, please visit www.july3fireworks.com. West can be reached at awest@apalachicolamainstreet.org or (844) 272-2523.

Apalachicola, Main Street, food trucks

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