The Elkhart County 4-H Fair has long been a place where fair food comes battered, fried and sugared — on a stick.

This year, look for Funnel Bacon on a Stick. The funnel refers to funnel cake batter, not a device to get grease into your system quickly.

Funnel Bacon on a Stick, fried twice, is one of several new fair food options at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.<br /> Photo supplied/Best Around Concessions
Funnel Bacon on a Stick, fried twice, is one of several new fair food options at the Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
Photo supplied/Best Around Concessions

The Elkhart County 4-H Fair, which will be open July 22 to 30 on the east side of Goshen, is one of the largest county fairs in the U.S. It’s Food Row — between the Heritage Park, midway and 4-H livestock barns — has dozens of fair food vendors, ranging from professional concessionaires to non-profit groups.

Best Around Concessions plans to put a thick strip of bacon on a skewer, deep fry it, dip it in funnel cake batter, fry it again and then top it with maple buttercream icing or syrup in caramel or chocolate flavors, according to Kevin McGrath II, whose family oversees the booth. The item will be available at the Best Around booth next to Heritage Park.

But wait, there’s more.

Wicks sugar cream pie, fried by Pence Concessions Photo supplied/Elkhart County 4-H Fair
Wicks sugar cream pie, fried by Pence Concessions
Photo supplied/Elkhart County 4-H Fair

Pence Concessions near the Ferris wheel has been frying fair food for generations. In recent years, Pence has fried fruit and last year tried fried tequila balls. This year, Pence will offer deep fried peanut butter and bacon. Elvis must be proud somewhere.

Water Joe with caffeine Photo supplied/Elkhart County 4-H Fair
Water Joe with caffeine
Photo supplied/Elkhart County 4-H Fair

The Auntie Anne’s food truck on the northern edge of the fairgrounds near the fair’s office building will have breakfast sandwiches using a 4-H clover-shaped pretzel bun. Ben’s Soft Pretzels may be on the grounds near the grandstand, according to information from Tim Yoder, Elkhart County 4-H Fair Board member.

Concessionaires throughout the fair will offer Water Joe, caffeinated bottled water. That’s in addition to the thousands of gallons of soda sold at the fair and a decent amount of coffee and other beverages.

For decades, the Order of the Starlight Chapter 181 operated one of the few fully enclosed food buildings at the fair as a small restaurant. It got more difficult for the group to operate the place, which was one of the most popular breakfast spots on the grounds.

The 4-H Poultry Club will offer a chicken waffle sandwich as one of their fair food choices at the 2016 Elkhart County 4-H Fair.<br /> Photo supplied/Elkhart County 4-H Fair
The 4-H Poultry Club will offer a chicken waffle sandwich as one of their fair food choices at the 2016 Elkhart County 4-H Fair.
Photo supplied/Elkhart County 4-H Fair

The 4-H Poultry Club, which hasn’t had a booth, will operate a food concession in the building. The menu, intentionally designed not to duplicate the one at Nelson’s, will include chicken nuggets, fried chicken dinners and chicken mac and cheese. Items range from $4 to $9. Chicken and waffles will debut at the fair this year as a $6.50 sandwich using waffles as the bun.

Editor’s note: Due to a staff error, a previous version of this story was published with the incorrect name of the Starlight Chapter. The above version was amended on Tuesday, July 19. Flavor 574 regrets the error.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. I know there is a new truck that worked the gun show in Elkhart at the RV hall of fame. It has chicken and ribs with fries. It was very fresh and great. So the workers said they are going to be at the Elkhart fair. Why is t this one of the new fair food vendors?

  2. In a word, yes. Ask the vendors. Because some are volunteers, not all will know if their food has gluten, but there are good options such as grilled pork chops, salads (try the Greek one at Joe’s Gyros) and ice cream. There’s so much food out there, you should be able to find some good stuff.

  3. Don’t forget The Pretzel Wagon has two locations again this year!!! One by Ferris wheel and one down by the Crazy Mouse!! With this crazy heat come see us for a fresh brewed sweet tea or regular tea if you don’t like the sugar!!! 😁 And pick up a yummy soft pretzel!! Hope to see ya!! #thepretzelwagon.

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