THIS WEEKEND: FOOD TRUCKS INVADE THE GIGANTIC NAUTICAL FLEA MARKET IN ISLAMORADA

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Add a gathering of food trucks to the hundreds of vendors who will set up shop in Founders Park for the 27th annual Giant Nautical Flea Market.

Hosted by the Upper Keys Rotary Club, 13 food trucks featuring a variety of food and drink items add a new twist to the two-day beach shopping event and boat show on Saturday and Sunday, February 26-27.

In years past, Rotary offered a pancake breakfast and a full lunch menu. It was phased out this year due to congestion issues with only one restore point. Rotarian Mary Beth Harris, who worked to secure the trucks, said they would be positioned on the beach, on the large lawn and at the front of the park.

“We have a wide variety of food options, from Thai, Asian and pizza to grilled corn, donuts and ice cream,” she said. “Having food trucks spread throughout the park footprint benefits customers and market vendors.”

Craig’s Island Time will be located on the beach with the famous fish sandwich and other delicacies. Pig In Pig Out will offer BBQ pork and ribs, while Italian Food Company will bring its Neapolitan-style wood-fired pizzas to the event.

Near the amphitheater will be the Green Turtle Inn Roadside Barbeque, which will offer barbecue brisket, chicken, mac and cheese and other mouth-watering treats. Polar Ice will offer shaved ice and ice cream, while the Key Largo Rotary serves traditional American fare such as meatball subs. Dot’s Thai Food will offer everything from chicken teriyaki to red curry.

Near the main entrance to Founders Park, people will find Mister Serrano Mexican food. Kona Ice is here to keep people cool. And Joey Bag of Donuts will offer his fresh and hot donuts.

This year’s event will have two entrances, wider aisles and use the entire park to reduce crowding. If you’re taking the shuttle from Coral Shores High School or parking along the old highway, you’ll likely use the new north entrance near the Chamber of Commerce building. You’ll find more vendors on the loop road inside the park and wider walkways with fewer people on the large lawn.

The event raises funds to support scholarships for local children who pursue further education after high school, whether through college, trade school or certification.

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