Fun fair food photos

Do you guys know what these are?


They’re Dippin’ Dots. I’m not sure how they’re made but they’re delicious. They’re super-cold ice cream pellets. 8-Year Old Daughter and I are in love with them. The above example is the vanilla/strawberry combo. We got them when I took 8-Year Old Daughter to the county fair back in Ohio. 4-Year Old Daughter couldn’t go because of an ankle injury, poor thing.

My mom use to take us to the Berea Fair every year when we were kids. It was the highlight of our summer. Now that I’m taking my own kid, the circle seems complete. Happy news: It hasn’t changed one bit!

County fairs are about a lot of things. They’re about rides and farm displays and shows and animals and politicians who want to shake your hand. But for me, they’re mainly about food. Good bad food, if you know what I mean.

This is the grilled turkey leg man. I ate them for years and finally decided that I didn’t really like them all that much and I was eating them out of a sense of tradition. I wonder what they do with the rest of the bird?


Here’s the stuff of dreams. Grandma Ski’s Polish Food truck. Just look at that menu. All of the major food groups are represented. I had a big ‘ole kielbasa sandwich. Daughter, much to my disappointment, turned her nose up at these gourmet delights and had an utterly ordinary slice of pizza. Kids. They don’t know what’s good.


They still have a side show. It’s now called the Palace of Illusion, but when I was a kid it was the Freak Show. During those unenlightened times, you paid money to stare at people who had physical deformities. It was a parade of social rejects. It’s still a bit strange but it’s definitely been softened since then. That’s probably for the better, don’t you think? That’s my brother in the foreground. He is not part of the show. This year.


Here’s daughter coming out of the fun house. [That drum was rotating.] All I need at a county fair are the bumper cars and the fun house. I’ll have nothing whatsoever to do with all the sick-inducing rides. This ride would have been a perfect place to take LSD, if you were so inclined to do that sort of thing.


The Berea Fair is a true county fair with 4-H displays and lots of farm animals entered into blue ribbon competitions. Here’s a massive pig, almost as big as Daughter, and her young piglets. They were cute but looking at them just make me HUNGRY for a bacon, lettuce, tomato and mayo sandwich on toast. Yum-yum. Eat ’em up.


The evening we attended, they held the Demolition Derby. Have you even been to one? Fantastic entertainment. This particular evening was the Suburban Mom Minivan Edition. An all-minivan demolition derby! We couldn’t attend because we had to leave for New Jersey the next morning. There was also a Pink Floyd tribute band later in the evening. It killed me to miss these unique events. I won’t make the same scheduling error next year.

19 thoughts on “Fun fair food photos

  1. I went to that thing every year growing up and just looking at the photos make’s me all nostalgic and shit, glad to know the the tradition that is the Demolition Derby is alive and well, that was one of the highlights of the summer growing up and my older sis had a few boyfriends who actually took part. good stuff.

  2. Okay, I’m caught up. Had to use my blackberry up here in the mountains! But I’m up to speed on homecooked meals and your poor little one’s injury! Hope it’s better soon!Those little balls are a fave with my family too. And we have a great county fair we go to here. It’s neat for Hedgie to see the local kids’ animal entries and to know how differently other kids live. NYC can be so weirdly provincial and it’s good to get out of there and see the world…Marvelous post.

  3. Super-cold ice cream. So… ice-cream?Fairs in the UK fall into two categories – puke inducing rides and chavvy children or tug of wars and warm beer. You can probably guess which one I like more!

  4. Kono: You should visit. It’s still a blast. And it smells the same, if you know what I mean.Hi Leah! I’ve been wondering where you’ve been. You’re so lucky to have a place to go in the summer. The 4H kids are pretty impressive with how they handle barnyard animals.Nutty: I wish I could take you to the Berea Fair. It’s a perfect day in every way. You’d never forget it.Pat: Why is it the sinister food always tastes best? It’s a conundrum.

  5. MAR-VE-LOUS! what great fun! we keep saying we’re driving over to vidalia for the onion fest, but somehow always miss the annual festivities! or maybe, we’ll try for the rattlesnake roundup next year…and no, i’m not being sarcastic. it really does look like fun! xoxoxoxo

  6. i know dippin’ dots, but will bypass those in the blink of a flashfrozen eyeball for battered, deep-fried oreos! i love festival food – but strategize about what to eat, and generally split things with my exercise buddy so we don’t get too tanked…like you, there were foods we ate out of ‘tradition’, but when one is working the caloric budget? those things are the first to go!demo derby? niece’s husband won a couple years ago! tomorrow night there’s a schoolbus demo derby. on a ‘figure 8’ track. unfortunately, i’ll miss it for other adventures…

  7. Savannah: You should make the effort to attend these things. Getting there might be a pain in the ass but it’s WORTH IT. And I would attend a rattlesnake round-up without hesitation. Have you ever eaten rattlesnake meat?kykn: I certainly USE TO have cast iron guts. Now there’s a price to pay for eating that stuff. But I can’t seem to help myself.HIF: Hey, I never lost my appreciation for a good county fair. I don’t know what I love more…the city or GETTING AWAY from the city. Just ask Leah.Daisy: Actually, I’ve heard of school bus demo derbys. That’d be even cooler than a minivan derby. And the figure-8 track is a touch of genius.

  8. Being a Southern Ohio girl myself, I do love the fair. But the fair down here in Fl is even better! It has a big 4H section, all that awesome bad food ( I must have a funnel cake!)but I would pay extra for the minivan demolition derby! Ours is just reg ole cars!

  9. So, are there a lot of turkeys just bumming around down there???? (Someone had to say it…)I like fairs too, especially if they have demos like wagon pulls by horses, and the agility dogs are always fun.The food? Well, mini donuts are high on the list, as are elephant ears, bison burgers, yam fries and smokies with sauerkraut and mustard. Tastes good while you eat it, but it always seems to sink like a stone in my belly and hang out for a good portion of the day. I feel like a slug.

  10. As far as I know frozen dots haven’t arrived here, yet. I will try them as soon as they do though.The fair looks and sounds like my fantasy America, and, obviously, puts Brit fairs into deep shade.

  11. LG62: They had funnel cake at our fair but I was so STUFFED that I couldn’t think of it. And there’s nothing wrong with regular demo derby. They also have school bus demo derby. It’s all great stuff. Ponita: Most of the food there will lay in your tummy like balls of raw dough but I dare you to resist. You can’t!ES: Dippin’ Dots will yet another fine U.S. cultural export. Like Baywatch.TB: Blue ribbons are nice to look at but you can’t eat them.

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