Looking for an event that puts all your favorite mobile food vendors in one place?
The Columbus Food Truck Festival is scheduled from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17, and Saturday, Aug. 18, along the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus.
Admission is free. Most of the proceeds from food sales will benefit Nationwide Children's Hospital and Music Loves Ohio.
Mike Gallicchio, who co-founded the event with Chas Kaplan, said the eighth annual festival will feature 62 food trailers and trucks, more than 30 arts-and-crafts specialists and 15 bands on two stages over the two days.
"It's the No. 1 foodie event in Ohio," Gallicchio said. "It's giant. It's a food-truck festival but it's a combination of a lot of things that bring people down there."
Virtually every type of food will be for sale, from rich indulgences to healthful fare, he said.
"There's all kinds of food, everything you can imagine, honestly," Gallicchio said. "It's not a fair-food thing. It's definitely on the gourmet side."
Vendors will occupy spots along both sides of the Scioto River in and around Bicentennial Park, the Rich Street bridge, Washington Boulevard and Genoa Park near COSI, 333 W. Broad St.
"People love it down there," Gallicchio said. "It's so nice. The city has done just a nice job with the greenspace down there. It's been good for us."
The food-truck festival started in the Columbus Commons downtown but outgrew its surroundings after six years, Gallicchio said.
"It's such a great park and we did really well over there for a long time," he said.
One addition to the festival this year will be Nationwide Children's Hospital's seventh annual Columbus Duck Race on Aug. 18. The eponymous Duck Race, which starts at 5 p.m., will benefit pediatric research at the hospital.
Participants will purchase rubber ducks, 20,000 of which are placed in the Scioto River at the Broad Street bridge.
The first prize is $5,000, second prize is $2,500 and third prize is $1,000.
Ducks can be purchased online until midnight Thursday, Aug. 16, at columbusduck-race.com. Ducks also will be available for purchase at the food-truck festival.
Kaplan said dozens of people and hundreds of volunteers make the Columbus Food Truck Festival go off without a hitch every year.
"We've worked really hard so there aren't that many surprises," he said. "We try to do it right every year."