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The weather cooperated on Saturday for the opening of the Warrenton Farmers Market in Old Town. Head vendor Sue Olinger has been serving up her homemade pies for decades.

“I am very excited going into the 44th year of the Warrenton farmers market. We will be offering several new items this year as we have had many new applicants. And, of course, all the established vendors will be returning, offering their tried and true products. We are so excited to see our community return to their Saturday morning ritual,” said Olinger.

Starting next Wednesday, May 1, there will be another opportunity to sample local flavors when the food trucks arrive at the WARF.

“This is the second year that we’ve done this,” said director of Warrenton Parks and Recreation Margaret Rice. “It was really popular last year and this year we’re adding picnic tables.” 

On Wednesdays, from 5 to 7 p.m., several food trucks will be at the WARF, offering a range of items, from empanadas and tacos to barbecue to ice cream. Rice encourages folks to stop by, stay for dinner and play, walk or swim. 

“You don’t have to be a member to take advantage of the walking paths or play equipment … and you can get a day pass to take advantage of the pool,” she said.

Some of the food trucks that will grace the grounds at the WARF include SoBo Mobile, Moo Thru and Two Smooth Dudes. 

SoBo Mobile’s recipes herald from the owner’s Mexican heritage and from their farm, where free-range chickens, turkeys, pigs and cows are raised in a loving manner. Food is prepared fresh and simply, garnering them a fan base for their south-of-the-border offerings. 

Dairy farmer Ken Smith introduced his retail outlet Moo Thru on Route 28 in Opal several years ago, specializing in fresh milk and ice cream. With that success, he took Moo Thru on the road with a mobile truck to dispense his ice cream confections. 

Tater tots are taken to a new level with a Manassas food truck, Two Smooth Dudes. Try their Maryland Crab or Italian Tots or perhaps an Almond Spinach salad or wrap. Residents will be able to choose between indulgent or healthy at Two Smooth Dudes.

Rice said there are still some spots available.

In order to be given a place at the WARF’s Wednesday evening foodie fests, food trucks are required to have a permit and comply with various specifications.

Rice and Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Catherine Zimmer have been at the WARF for 12 years.

“We’re very proud of this facility and encourage all to give it a try,” said Rice. “Come for a day.”

In May, the WARF will be offering a Community Wellness Challenge.

“We’re working on the website and details will be done shortly,” said Zimmer, “but it will lots of fun for the whole family.”

A bit of history

Just like heading to your favorite restaurant, heading to your favorite food truck is a good choice for those who are after a quick -- but delicious -- bite on the go. It also helps if that food truck is near where you work or play. 

Food trucks have come a long way since the 1800s, when a cattleman and inventor named Charles Goodnight was credited with inventing the chuck wagon. In 1866, he used an army surplus Studebaker wagon to create, what many consider this country’s first food truck. He repurposed that first government wagon to include a cook’s worktable complete with shelves and drawers for holding food and utensils. Cowboys referred to food as “chuck” so the portable wagons dispensing food became known as chuck wagons.

And, according to sites like Food Truckr, the industry is booming. Latest statistics report that the food truck sector has skyrocketed, growing at an annual 7.9 percent over the last five years.

Portland, Oregon, holds the title for the most food trucks per capita,  boasting an estimated 500 total trucks.

Fauquier County made it easier for food truck vendors to do business last May, when supervisors approved zoning changes to allow “mobile-eating establishments” to serve customers in more districts with fewer approvals. The trucks are welcome in county parks and the grounds of public safety facilities.

While a fairly recent trend in Fauquier County, food trucks are popping up at places like Old Bust Head Brewery where they often provide the menu while customers listen to live music. 

Reach Anita Sherman at asherman@fauquier.com

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