Taste of the Fair kicks off at East Texas State Fairgrounds in Tyler

Fair Food Court

TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Some East Texans got a taste of their fair favorites Thursday during the first day of Taste of the Fair in Tyler.

There are no rides or games set up at the East Texas State Fairgrounds, but there are plenty of food vendors to choose from.

“We got several different vendors out here," said Cody Rosenbalm, director of marketing for the East Texas State Fair. "A lot of the same ones that you would see at the regular fair. So we brought in a lot of local favorites.”

Food stands are set up along Fair Park Drive at the East Texas State Fairgrounds. Hand-sanitizing stations are in place and staff is on hand to make sure 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.

“They’re excited a lot of people love fair food and they get it one time a year. So it’s very positive," said Doug Jones of Smokin Like Ya Like It. “I actually haven’t worked since February when this actually started so it’s a chance to get out. Got a lot of friends here, a lot of repeat business. So it’s fun to get out and see my old friends and stuff."

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, and volcano fries.

“It is a bunch of fries shaped like a volcano. We put it in the shape of a big volcano and we load it with cheese, chilli, hot cheetos and lots of jalapenos," said Rebecca Westmoreland of Corky Westmoreland Concessions.

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.

Taste of the Fair runs 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.

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