Dining With Denise Neil

Food truck season starts this weekend in Wichita with a gathering of more than 30 vendors

It’s a delicious rite of spring: The weather warms up, the trees start to bloom, and all the food trucks start reuniting to rally.

This weekend, Wichita’s food truckers will resume their warm-weather practice of congregating in one place for big food truck parties, something they tend to do from April to October each year.

The rally season starts with the return of the city’s biggest meet-up — the Food Trucks at the Fountain event, which happens on the last Sunday of every month. This year’s inaugural event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at the WaterWalk, 515 S. Main.

Food Trucks at the Fountain, which fills the parking lot to the south of the Hyatt parking garage, is the original rally in Wichita, started by local food truck pioneers Rob and Jeff Schauf, owners of The Flying Stove.

They threw the first event in 2013, and in the six years since, it’s grown into a massive gathering that includes more than 30 food trucks and live music.

Jeff Schauf said that this weekend’s kickoff rally will have several returning trucks, including veterans B.S. Sandwich Press, Funky Monkey Munchies and LumpiaPalooza. But it’ll also feature a few newer ones, including The Bomb BBQ.

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The owners of The Flying Stove food truck are the founders of the Food Trucks at the Fountain rally. Jaime Green The Wichita Eagle

Food Trucks in the Fountain is the oldest and biggest food truck rally in Wichita but it’s not the only one. Among the others that will launch soon:

Night at the Fountains: This monthly rally, started by the owners of Funky Monkey Munchies, will happen on the third Friday of the month starting on April 19 and running through October. It’s also at the WaterWalk, 515 S. Main, and happens from 5 to 8 p.m. The rally will skip July and August because of the KEYN concert series, which uses the space. It usually includes more than a dozen different trucks.

West Side Food Truck Rally: Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hotdogs owner Adam Bussey is still finalizing details for this new rally, which he plans to put on from 11 to 3 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month at the parking lot at Towne West Square. The first rally will be on May 4 with a Cinco De Mayo theme, and they’ll continue through November or December.

South Side Food Truck Rally: This rally is actually year round at the Blood Orchards Market, 6346 S. Broadway. It happens on the first Saturday of the month and usually last from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The next one will be on April 6 and will include a DJ and a car show.

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.