12Food Truck RodeoThe response to the monthly Food Truck Rodeos in the town of Hope Mills has been overwhelming, and that hasn’t been lost on Chancer McLaughlin, the town’s development and planning administrator.

“We did hear the response of the community with the last event,’’ said McLaughlin. The most recent Food Truck Rodeo near Town Hall drew close to 1,400 people, nearly triple the size of the regular crowd at the rodeos.

“The lines were very, very long,’’ McLaughlin said. In some cases, people were waiting upward of 25 to 30 minutes to be served by the six trucks that were on the scene.

At the next Food Truck Rodeo, Thursday, May 2, the town will add three food trucks for a total of nine that will serve the public.

In addition, instead of a DJ playing recorded music, there will be a live jazz band.

The nine trucks at the next rodeo will include some that are familiar to people who have attended the event before, along with a few new ones. Following is a list and brief description of each food truck coming to the rodeo this week.

R Burger is one of Cumberland County’s most popular food trucks, featuring a variety of special hamburgers.

Kona Ice features shaved ice treats. 

32 Degrees is a unique truck specializing in two kinds of ice cream, one for people and one for their dogs. “A lot of people don’t realize puppies can’t eat regular dairy products,’’ McLaughlin said.

Big T’s is the mobile version of the popular food stand at Hope Mills Lake. Big T’s usually features items like funnel cakes, boiled peanuts and lemonade, to name a few.

A Catered Affair by Chef Glenn is another Hope Mills-based truck. Chef Glenn offers items like fried green tomatoes and pineapple chicken stir-fry.

Cedar Creek Fish Farm One word. Catfish.

Nannie’s Famous offers selections like wings and crab legs.

One Nine Drive is a newcomer truck from Aberdeen. It features specialty items like smoked beef brisket, curry chicken bowls and sweet potato wedges.

Rome N Round, also new to the redo and hailing from Aberdeen, features pizza.

“What typically happens at these rodeos is people will hit multiple trucks,’’ McLaughlin said. “If I’ve got to wait 30 minutes in each line, I might not be able to get everything. The easiest way to possibly make the line go faster when you have a much larger crowd is to have more options.’’

McLaughlin is mindful of balancing the need for more options with the need to avoid having too many trucks at one time so that each truck won’t make too little money.

McLaughlin said the town is having discussions about how to handle the potential growth of the Food Truck Rodeo. He said if necessary, it may eventually be moved to the nearby baseball fields at Municipal Park.

In addition to food trucks, the town will also have vendors present to share information about local service and charitable organizations.

As always, the rodeo will include the opportunity to donate nonperishable food items to the ALMSHOUSE.

If anyone would like to be a vendor at a future rodeo, or if there is a food truck the public would like to see come to the rodeo, McLaughlin welcomes suggestions. Reach him via email at cmclaughlin@townofhopemills.com.

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