Cars filled the parking lot and overflowed onto both sides of West Yellowstone Highway for the food trucks parked at the Tate Pumphouse in Casper. Generators hummed as people lined up for dinner — fish and chips, fry bread tacos, Mexican food, pulled pork, Philly steak sandwiches, — at Food Truck Friday.

Once a novelty, food trucks have become a staple for many Wyoming public events. They can be found on the green grass of Lander’s city park at the annual beer festival, gathered for Buffalo’s Longmire Days and parked throughout downtown Casper during the city’s summer art walks.

What may have seemed like a passing fad is now a $1 billion nationwide industry that continues to grow every year. Multiple cities claim to be the birthplace of the modern American food truck. The movement has inspired books, apps, a Hollywood movie and more than 4,000 business owners to take to the road.

About 250 mobile food units travel throughout Wyoming, including traditional food trucks as well as businesses like shaved ice carts, said Derek Grant, spokesman for the Wyoming Department of Agriculture. Numbers aren’t available to compare across years because of changes in the tracking method, he said. Anecdotally, however, he said he’s seen more food trucks in recent years, including a monthly food truck event in the Cheyenne Depot plaza.

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