Fair Fare

It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing colors, the air is starting to get crisp, and the NC State Fair has arrived. As a kid, I always so excited when October got here. I would drag my parents to the fairgrounds so I could eat as much sugar as possible. I was never much into the rides, mainly eating cotton candy, fried dough, candle apples, etc. Some things haven’t changed. As a teenager, we would head out there and see how much money we would waste on carnie games. You know, the football toss, breaking bottles with baseballs, and trying to shoot a flat basketball in a super small bent rim. The $100 stuffed animals we won were definitely worth it. So as an adult, I still love spending all day/night strolling around the fairgrounds. If you have ADD, it is your worst nightmare. There are people everywhere, as well as millions of games, flashing lights, and greasy food to distract you. However, the people watching is freakin’ amazing. Honey Boo Boo would fit it. So this year I thought I would document all the deep fried goodness the fair has to offer. My first stop is usually always Al’s Fries. Fresh cut fries with Cajun seasoning and vinegar. I had to get a small because I knew my stomach was in for a long day. The bacon wrapped fried Reese’s Cup tasted pretty much like battered peanut butter, the bacon was definitely lost. Still great though. Of course I had to try the fried bananas foster, do you blame me? The banana on top of the vanilla ice cream was actually delicious, super crunchy. I dipped it in the ultra-sweet caramel sauce that sunk to the bottom of the bowl. I think I went into a diabetic shock afterwards though. The rest of the time was spent gazing at the livestock, baby bunnies, and 1,000 pound pumpkins, all while eating corn on the cob, country ham biscuits, corn dogs, a bbq sundae (layers of barbeque, cole slaw, and baked beans in a cup) and deep fried bbq on a stick. The bbq sundae was actually amazing, doused with lots of spicy barbeque sauce. The bbq on a stick was like a giant hushpuppy filled with chopped pork. Dipped in vinegar bbq sauce it was delicious. Needless to say, I ate my way through the fair. Looking at giant watermelons and baby ducks may seem boring to most, but I think it’s great. People work countless hours to show them off once a year. It’s not just about the scary rides and deep fried Oreos. It’s the people of our great state gathering in one place to celebrate all the good North Carolina has to offer. It’s part of being a North Carolina native. I left the fair not with a stuffed animal, but with a full stomach and happy heart.


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