Imagine my delight when I opened an email recently that asked me to write a little something about the Washington County Fair that will be kicking off next week! I am being compensated for this post, but trust me when I say that my love for the fair (and the food!) are very real. That said… let me tell you a little story…
I think it was called the Zipper. Ages ago, something like 15 years ago, my friends and I (Mike, Jason, Clint and a few other people) went to the Washington County Fair. I was particularly looking forward to getting something massively unhealthy and fried to a delicious stage of golden brown. I wasn’t really particular on what exactly it was I was going to get, but the desire was there. That was my underlying motivation.
Then, the Zipper.
Clint and I made the mistake of getting on the Zipper (or whatever it was actually called; Clint suggests the ‘Hellishtorturetron’ or perhaps the ‘Zephyr’). We were irrevocably altered by this experience. There are two factors we have to keep in mind. One, sometimes carnival ride operators will extend the time of the ride somewhat in order to ‘be nice’ to the good folks attending the fair or carnvial, or whatever. We got one of those dudes. Two, in the late 90s I wore a variety of big loose shorts that had rather large pockets (and often carried loose change rather than some sort of man-purse or something).
The thing to keep in mind about this ride is that it was essentially a series of suspended seats in steel mesh cages, wide enough for two people, which could pivot back and forth as the ride itself turned through the air.
Enter Clint and I. We got into our doomcage seat, unaware of the horror that was to await us. The ride accelerated and we began to sway back and forth.
OK, I thought, this isn’t so bad.
And then the operator turned up the speed.
First, all of the loose change from my pockets became airborne. Pew! Pew! as they ricocheted off of the mesh cage walls, becoming a hail of tiny silver and copper covered shrapnel, as we tumbled over and over and over again. “AIIIIIGGGGGHHHHH!!!!! MAKEITSTOP! MAKEITSTOP! PLEASEGODMAKEITSTOP!!” I honestly don’t remember if that was me or Clint. Probably both. Probably.
Then, the ride just didn’t stop. It went on. And on. And on. It seemed to enter into this time-out-of-time wherein time had no meaning. And no matter how much Clint and I screamed, no matter how much we begged, no matter how much we cajoled or threatened, it just wouldn’t end. There’s no bargaining with the Zipper.
And then, finally, it ended (with a large portion of my change on the ground below the Zipper).
What I remember is that all my blissful thoughts about getting something fried and delicious left my head with a large amount of regret after getting my insides thoroughly scramblerized like that. Clint and I lay on the ground, on the hard concrete, blissful that we weren’t moving any more, but nauseous beyond belief.
I guess here’s the takeaway. Is it crazy to have a place like the Washington County Fair where you can have life altering rides (there’s a reason I don’t ride roller coasters anymore) right beside the most awesome County Fair food you could imagine? I think so, yes. My advice? There’s more to the fair than just rides. If you’re not into the rides, go for the food.
Speaking of food, there’s actually going to be more options at the Washington County Fair this year than your typical fair food found at concessions stands (these typically act as fund-raisers for 4-H clubs and agriculture associations like Cattlemen’s). This year there are actually going to be some food trucks, which is exciting.
Some of the options are going to be:
- Shuckin Delicious – They provide jazzed up corn on the cob, with Jamaican sausage, cheddar peppers and mozzarella sticks
- Aunt Susie’s Gourmet Kettle Corn- Kettle corn, caramel corn, something called Piggie Puffs and cheddar peppers (a popular option at the fair this year)
- Carsten Concessions- Apparently a ‘food oddity’ trailer rather than your typical fair food. Sounds mysterious and worth checking out.
- MTN Snow Shaved Ice- Because August (well, September really). In Arkansas.
- Porky Chicks- A BBQ concession.
- Danny Bowers- Chicken wings, chicken cheese steak, Jack Daniels burgers and Krispy Kreme Donut Burgers (for your blissful pre-coronary moments)
But the one I’m most looking forward to?
- BALLER FOOD TRUCK!!!! – These guys are the bomb. Seriously. If you’ve never tried Baller, what they do is essentially take a little ball of food stuff, roll it up into a ball, and then fry it until it’s a little delicious gold brown ball of goodness. It’s amazing. They’ll be rotating different ball choices throughout the week. Some of their ball choices will be:
- BaconCheeseburger Ball
- Mac-n-Cheese Ball
- Hashbrown Casserole Ball
- The ‘HOG’ Ball
- Chicken Taco Ball
- Beef Taco Ball
- Chicken Enchilada Ball
- Fried Brownie Bites and
- Fried Apple Pie.
The Washington County Fair is from Tuesday September 1st to Saturday September 5th. Ticket information can be found here.
Follow along with all the news and announcements from the fair on social media. Here are their links:
The giveaway: leave a comment for a chance to win $50 worth of tickets for the fair!
Remember, go for the food (if you don’t like the rides).
-a note: this post was compensated, but, I assure you, my love for Baller Food Truck in particular and food trucks in general is quite real.