Saturday, October 16, 2010

NC State Fair is On!

Greg and I were in Raleigh today for a seminar, and we headed over early so that we could spend a couple of hours roaming the State Fair in the morning -- and after the seminar ended, we went back to the Fair to spend the evening, indulge in some fried food, and watch the fireworks. Among the new fried fare at the Fair this year are fried frito pie (described as "Texas chili mixed with mild cheddar cheese, wrapped in a Frito corn chip which is then battered and fried"), fried pumpkin pie, and fried banana split sundae. Last-year's surprise treat of chocolate-covered bacon is back, and yes I've had it and must confess I liked it. Since our time was limited we stuck with some old favorites, like the BBQ and fried fish platters from the Shriners, salads with London broil steak from Butcher Boys, some ribbon-cut sweet potato chips, and a cup of moosetracks ice cream from the ice cream vendor inside one of the exhibit halls. We visited the Got to Be NC tent where we saw our friends Weng and Cheng of Capsicana Zing Gourmet Sauce who had quite a crowd sampling their zesty sauce. The Bone Suckin' Sauce folks were also there, and another popular stop with fairgoers was the Lilly's Maple Butter booth (in one of the exhibit halls this year) where you could sample their sublimely delicious sweet treat.

The crowds were out in full force this evening, no doubt because of the spectacular weather and today being the first Saturday of the fair. It was almost overwhelming along the midway and other popular spots, with people packed more densely than I've ever experienced -- and I know crowds, having grown up in NYC and traveled to India. But almost everyone seemed in good spirits, although it was irritating to have clusters of people come to a complete stop in the middle of the road so that they could text or talk on their cell phones (people, please be considerate and step to the side instead of blocking traffic!). The fireworks show was entertaining as usual, although not quite as satisfying as the musically-choreographed fireworks we saw at a Durham Bulls game this summer. But over all we have a lovely time at the fair on our first visit of the year (we will be back before it's over). The one disappointment was all of the trash on the ground. We've been going to the North Carolina State Fair every year for over 20 years now, and never has there been some much trash lying around, which was a shame and unnecessary since trash cans and recycling bins are everywhere. Please folks, don't throw your food wrappers, plastic bottles or other garbage on the ground: Use a trash can or recycling bin. Let's keep our fair fun and looking good.

If anyone tries any of the new fried items, please leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Zestfully yours,

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