TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Even though the East Texas State Fair is canceled for the 2020 season, organizers are offering foodies the opportunity to dig into their fair favorites.
The East Texas State Fair will be presenting Taste of the Fair, an event created for fair food fans all over East Texas. Visitors can take home all of the fair food classics like turkey legs, funnel cakes, candied apples, and jumbo corn dogs, as well as local favorites like the tamale slammer, the wonderstick, peach puppies, volcano fries, and more.
Fair food concessions will be set up in a come-and-go fashion and all food will be served and packaged to take to-go.
The number one thing that people enjoy the most is the food. Every one of our surveys comes back that everyone wants to enjoy different fair food," said East Texas Fair President John Sykes.
The Taste of the Fair event comes after the decision by fair organizers in July to cancel the 2020 East Texas State Fair due to COVID-19 concerns. It was only the second time in the history of the fair that it’s been canceled, and the first time since World War II.
“When you think about it, not only is the fair down, the carnival is not operating, well food concessionaires are not operating anywhere in this country either,” Sykes said. “After reviewing it with the health department, making sure that we’re following all CDC guidelines and doing all the pieces of the puzzle to keep it safe and healthy, there’s no reason in the world why we can’t do this.”
The Taste of the Fair event will take place Thursday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Sept. 27, and again Thursday, Oct. 1 through Sunday, Oct. 4. Food vendors will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day.
“We’re super excited about bringing it about the same identical time that we would’ve been having the fair," Sykes said. "And even though it’s just one piece of the puzzle, at least it’s something that we can do to make people happy, number one, and also make some concessionaires very happy. Everybody is financially really suffering from them having the COVID restrictions.”
Food stands will be set up along Fair Park Drive at the East Texas State Fairgrounds. The grounds will be equipped with hand sanitizing stations and staff to ensure that visitors are adhering to social distancing standards. All staff, concessionaires, and visitors will be required to wear masks. Seating will not be available, as food is served to-go only.
You can view a full menu here.