TULARE – Last year the big news was fried cheesecake and this year it’s cheesecake with bubble gum frosting, the soon-to-be-famous chunky bacon pickle dog and Fahrenheit Fries – along with deep-fried Twix candies and PB and J fries.
It must be time for the Tulare County Fair.
Fun food is always an attraction at the Tulare County Fair, and back by popular demand is the $1 happy hour, where fairgoers can find at least one food item for just $1 on Thursday, Sept. 17, at every food booth on the fairgrounds.
The bubble gum cheesecake is the brainstorm of Tulare County Fair CEO Pamela Fyock. It was introduced at the Sacramento County Fair this year and earned the “Best Creative Food” award at the Alameda County Fair. The Fahrenheit Fries come with cheese sauce, sliced jalapeño peppers, jabanero sauce and sriracha sauce.
To be fair, the Tulare County Fair also offers healthy choices, including grilled chicken, roasted corn on the cob, salmon burgers, teriyaki chicken and fish tacos.
For those who love the classic corn dog, a corn dog-eating contest, sponsored by Milo’s Corn Dogs, will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 18. How many “dogs” can you eat in 8 minutes? Semi-professionals, amateur eaters and fairgoers who love corndogs will compete for $800 in prize money. The contest entry fee is $15; entry forms are due by Monday, Sept. 14. Rules are available on the web site, www.tcfair.org. Prize for first prize is $500.
After enjoying the fun food, fairgoers can head to the carnival and enjoy the huge bobsled roller coaster, the return of the Big Splash water ride and many more fast and furious rides. Younger fairgoers will enjoy an area of the carnival created just for them.
This year thrill-seekers can go straight to the front of the line thanks to the new WOW FASTPass. The pass, which sells for $50 each, allows fairgoers to go to the front of the line for an unlimited number of rides, either Friday, Saturday or Sunday of the fair, which runs Sept. 16-20. The traditional wristband sells for $20 after Sept. 15,or $30 after that date, and also provides unlimited, one-day rides, any day of the fair.
The WOW FASTPass may be purchased online at www.tcfair.org or at the Fairgrounds. A certain number of riders will be allowed onto the ride in front of other riders, with the ride operator having discretion as to how many to allow. The pass is good only on the day of purchase.
The fair will offer educational activities for children, and entertainment including a hypnotist and magic shows, an exotic animal exhibit, a “Wild Science” exhibit, Chinese acrobats and more, all free with gate admission. Antique tractors will be on parade and on display, along with the Great American Duck race (with live ducks), puppets and a family circus with comedians and jugglers.
Headliners on the Budweiser Stage are comedian Paul Rodriguez on Wednesday, Sept. 16; Kellie Pickler on Thursday, Sept. 17; classic rockers Foghat on Friday, Sept. 18; Rose Royce on Saturday, Sept. 19; and Marty Stuart with Aubrie Rose on Sunday, Sept. 20. All concerts are free with paid gate admission.
Admission is $8 for adults; $5 for children ages 6-12. Seniors 62 and older are admitted for $6 on Senior Day, Thursday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., sponsored by Humana. Military Appreciation Day is Thursday, with $6 admission from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for active duty military with ID card.Visit www.tcfair.org for ongoing updates to the schedule of events.