Thursday, July 28, 2011

Love fair food? It's fare game this week at the Wyandotte County Fair

Posted By on Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 1:08 PM

An array of delicious deep-fried delicacies -- from cupcakes to ravioli -- are available at the Wyandotte County Fair this week.
  • An array of delicious deep-fried delicacies -- from cupcakes to ravioli -- are available at the Wyandotte County Fair this week.



It's back! After a two-year sabbatical, the Wyandotte County Fair is back in business. The 125-year-old county fair lost its longtime location five years ago when the county's Unified Government sold the property -- the setting for the fair since 1953 -- to Schlitterbahn Waterpark. The fair inaugurated its new location, at 13700 Polfer, on Tuesday evening. And from a culinary point of view, it's a veritable wonderland of deep-fried deliciousness.

click to enlarge Chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick?
  • Chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick?
Last night's fair attendance was modest (some of the food vendors were complaining that they hoped to be a lot busier), probably because of the oppressive heat. The thermometer hit 103 degrees on my drive to the fairgrounds, but there was actually a nice cool breeze at the fairgrounds: a soft summer breeze perfumed by the fragrance of boiling corn oil, spun sugar, barbecued meats, and just a hint of eau de porc wafting over from the Hedrick's Racing Pigs show over near the midway.


The fair continues tonight and tomorrow from 5 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. The carnival hours are slightly different: tonight from 5 to 10 p.m. and from 5 to 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

click to enlarge fatcitywycocotton.jpg
The weekend activities include Motorcross tonight at 7 p.m., Demolition Derby tomorrow at 7 p.m. and the Mud Run on Saturday at 6 p.m. Good times!

For patrons attending the fair strictly to sample the epicurean delights, the vendors include a food truck from the Bonita Michoacan Restaurant, serving tacos, burritos and quesadillas; a barbecue vendor; a truck selling cotton candy -- it's over on the midway; and the usual assortment of mobile stands selling -- among other delicacies -- that tasteless, watery (and expensive) concoction known as a "lemon shake-up."

There are also footlong corn dogs, Italian sausage sandwiches (with or without grilled peppers and onions), turkey legs, funnel cakes, chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick, root-beer floats, nondairy pineapple whip, soft-serve ice cream, popcorn, snow cones, and slices of pizza.

click to enlarge fatcity_deepfry_cupcake.jpg
And if deep-fried dishes are your weakness, this fair offers endless possibilities: fried mushrooms and ravioli -- large ravioli, the vendor assured me -- fried Snickers bars, fried Twinkies, battered and fried Oreo cookies and, a new one on me, fried cupcakes. "We take a frozen cupcake on a stick," said the guy in the food truck, "and we dip it in funnel-cake batter. Then we deep-fry it for exactly 90 seconds. It's real, real sweet."

I ordered a corn dog instead.

Last night was "Gospel Night" on the Free Stage, and there was an enthusiastic crowd gathered to hear the inspirational tunes performed by Just One Drop, Purpose 28, Glory Road and Prairie Praise.

But not everyone at the fair was in a religious fervor: I saw a young man -- a brave soul, under the circumstances -- walking around in an "I Killed Jesus" T-shirt. A couple of the chubby farm boys stared at him as if he had arrived from Mars.

click to enlarge fatcitywycochalkboard.jpg
I noticed that the Tupperware lady was eating a chocolate-dipped cheesecake on a stick, so I got one, too. The slab of cheesecake was dense (the better for dipping in molten chocolate) and kind of pasty. But that's the problem with fair food: It almost always sounds better than it tastes. But, hey, don't take my word for it: Go check out the fair for yourself. It's free (parking costs five bucks), and in Wyandotte County, it only happens once a year.


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