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Enjoy these outdoor events, before the summer heat is on, including World’s Largest Food Truck Festival

Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014 at 11:16 am

By Peter Covino
A&E Editor
Before it gets too hot to even walk around the block, there are a couple of running events coming up this spring, including one around scenic Bok Tower Gardens and another in Kissimmee that will make you red, white and blue along with some other colors.
Runners and walking enthusiasts who want to participate in the 2014 Carillon Classic 5K Run & Walk should get those registration forms in soon. If you register by April 9, you get a $5 discount and you are also guaranteed a dri-fit style T-shirt featuring an image of the world famous Bok Tower.
Entry fee is $25 for adults and $15 for students grades 1 through 12. After April 9 the fee increases to $30 and $20, respectively. The fee includes a one-day pass to Bok Tower Gardens for runners/walkers and their families. To register online go to
For runners and walkers, the 5K course is a bit more challenging than most courses found in Central Florida.
Because of Polk County’s hilly terrain, participants experience elevation changes and a variety of terrains, including paved roads and gravel and mulch trails.
The run/walk also is set apart by the soothing carillon music from Bok Tower, plus the tranquil setting of the gardens as well as  citrus groves and vistas as they compete high atop “Iron Mountain,” one of the highest points on the Florida peninsula.
“We encourage runners and walkers to register early to take full advantage of the discount and to ensure they will receive a t-shirt featuring an image of Bok Tower,” said Brad Ruhmann, co-chair of the 2014 Carillon Classic 5K, in a release from the running event.
Now in its third year, the Carillon Classic is a charitable event sponsored by the Dick Pope/Polk County Chapter of the Florida Public Relations Association in partnership with Bok Tower Gardens, Youth and Family Alternatives, Inc. and corporate sponsors to raise funds for the group’s George W. Harris, Jr. Runaway & Youth Crisis Shelter in Bartow and FPRA scholarship programs. The first two events drew about 700 runners and raised nearly $8,000 for charity.
Corporate sponsors supporting the event include Bok Tower Gardens, Heartland for Children, Clark/Nikdel/Powell, Florida’s Natural, Pepperidge Farm, Publix Supermarkets, Watson Clinic, LLC, Hill Nissan, Zephyrhills Spring Water and McDonald’s restaurants in Winter Haven.
The event will feature individual and team competition. The first, second and third-place winners in all standard age categories will receive a medal. On race day, registration begins at 6:30 a.m., with competition starting at 7:30 a.m. sharp, rain or shine.
General information on the Carillon Classic 5K, including registration forms, can be obtained by going to  To register by mail, send a check made payable to the Florida Public Relations Association to: FPRA, 1606 Taylor Brooke Dr., Bartow, FL 33830.
For detailed information on team competition, including rules and prizes, contact Janel Vasallo at 863-834-8219 or Runners interested in participating in the team
challenge should provide their team name upon registration.
Regular event updates can be found at the event page on Facebook at!/CarillonClassic5kRunWalk.
There won’t be any garden setting or “mountains” at the Run or Dye event at Osceola Heritage Park, April 5, but these runners will really stand out in a crowd.
Or maybe not because all of the runners at the Run or Dye race will be extremely colorful.
Called the world’s most colorful 5K, the Run or Dye event is expected to draw thousands of runners and walkers, who will get blasted with more than five tons of color dye powder. The event ends with a “Color Festival” at the race’s conclusion.
The race starts at 9 a.m.
To register, go to Registration fees are $47 per person and $42 per person as a team. For a $10 discount, use password RODOHPARK on the checkout page.
Food Truck Parade
So maybe you won’t get fit (unless you run around the fairgrounds several times), but there should be a lot of fun and food at the World’s Largest Food Truck Festival Ever, Part II at the Florida State Fairgrounds this weekend in Tampa.
If you have trouble making up your mind what to get at the monthly food truck gathering in downtown Kissimmee, this food truck festival may have you checking in for therapy.
From chowder to cherry cheesecake, gourmet macaroni to 3-mile salsa, slushies to blackened salmon and everything in-between, foodies from all over Florida will find that and then some in the way of culinary creations at the World’s Largest Food Truck Festival Ever.
This year’s event expects to see participation from more than 200 food trucks from throughout Florida and the U.S. Last year, the festival broke the record for the largest food truck parade with 100 trucks participating.  This year, an official Guinness Worlds Records representative will record and verify the event.
Here are some of the trucks expected to participate from the event release, as well as some menu items:
Macarollin’ – Since late 2012, this perky pasta truck has been the brain-child of Peter Causyn of Rochester, NY. It’s not your grandmother’s mac and cheese.  The menu includes gourmet Lobster Mac and Cheese, Bacon Mac and Cheese, and Greek Mac and Cheese.  This will be his 85th “rodeo,” and specifically for this food truck festival he is working on adding a new, local fare: Alligator Mac
and  Cheese.
Wine Not  – This truck, the second creation of owner Peter Causyn, serves unconventional vino sweet treats that are cool for the Florida climate.  Menu items include Black Cherry Merlot Ice Cream, Kahlua Express Ice Cream, Peach White Zinfandel Ice Cream and Rasberry Chardonnay Slushies.
Causyn notes that it is customary for Food Truckers to have a “secret” menu item, not posted on the menu board.  Those in “the know” simply ask for the secret item, which is often the most interesting fare on the truck.  He also says the World’s Largest Food Festival Ever! Part II will be his “selling debut” for franchises of the Wine Not trucks.
Curbing Your Appetite – Laurie Foster, a relative newbie to the food truck industry, was looking for a plan to take her to retirement.  With over 12 years experience cooking in “the bush” for the government workers in rural Alaska, she thought a food truck would utilize some of her highest and best skills and experience.  As a self-taught cook, she loved to travel back and forth from Alaska to Florida and ended up settling in Palma Ceia, FL.  She always gravitated toward trying new seafood recipes, hence the menu items on
her truck.
At the festival, Foster plans to offer Blackened Wild Alaskan Salmon, Conch Ceviche, Beer Battered Fried Snapper, and her ever-popular Crab Cakes.  She also plans to serve a rich Crab Bisque filled with blue crab meat.
Charlie’s Bakery – A fourth generation baker, Gary Hawks had been creating confections at the family-owned bakery in Avalon Park  since he was in high school.  His grandfather had travelled the Caribbean Islands as a baker, and his father was a pastry chef at the original, World famous Woolfie’s on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.  In fact, the bakery and food truck name is a tribute to Hawks’ late father.
Charlie’s Bakery menu items include Chocolate Ganache cake, Double Ganache Mousse cake, and Rasberry Cheesecake.  Hawks plans to introduce his new Snicker’s Cake at the festival.
Trail ride
Even if you are not participating in this weekend’s 26th annual Osceola County Wagon & Trail Ride, there are all sorts of horse-riding type activities at Harmony today.
At  Harmony Square you can watch more than 100 horses and riders travel the west side of Buck Lake through the groves, down Butterfly Trail and along Harmony Streets  to Harmony Square on their way to lunch on 500-acre Cat Lunch. The ride is at 10 a.m.
In addition, the barn at Harmony Town Square will present the Najorka Performance Horses. There will be riding demonstrations and pony rides (fee based), whip cracking presentations, trick roping and a chance to try “steer” roping (horns will be mounted on hay bales). There will also be face painting and free snow cones. Admission is free and open to all.
Home & Garden Show
There is still time work on that yard and do some home improvements before summer sets in and what better place to get some ideas then at the 2014 Central Florida Home & Garden Show, returning April 4-6 to the Orange County Convention Center’s North Concourse facing Universal Blvd.
The home improvement show features innovative products, new ideas, practical advice and great deals in remodeling, home improvement and gardening with hundreds of experts all under one roof.
From windows and flooring to cabinets and landscaping, consumers can shop, compare and save on a wide variety of products and services to renew, refresh and restore their homes.
Show highlights include appearances by celebrity landscaper and green expert Ahmed Hassan of DIY Network’s Yard Crashers and demonstrations by some of the area’s favorite chefs.
Show hours are Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m, and Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Tickets are available at the door, and are $10 for adults; 13 and up; $5 for seniors (60 and up, at the box office only), $5 for children ages 6-12, and free for children ages five and under. Advance tickets can be purchased online for a $3 discount off full-price $10 admission a Convenient on-site parking is available in the adjacent lot and is $9 per car per day.
For more information, visit , or call 877-871-SHOW (7469).  Connect on Facebook, Twitter (@FloridaHomeShow), Pinterest ( for up-to-the-minute show details, discounts and fabulous home improvement tips. Visit the show’s blog at for a complete listing of presentations and times.)