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Deep Fried Fare Equals Healthy Fair


The Sacramento County Fair opens today and 10,000 school kids will visit during its first two days. 

Dennis Forel is dressed up in red, white, and blue and will wheel his way through the crowds on a bike with a front wheel that's as large as most of the kids.

He says the bike's customized.

0522 an sac co fair cyclist

"I have a pneumatic or air-inflated tire on the back," he says. "Normally it would be solid front and back but that gets you the American nickname, "Bone Shaker."

He's been riding his bike and making balloon animals for 38 years on the California fair circuit.

You'll hear his voice when you walk through the two giant popcorn containers at the main entrance, which is where the fair's CEO Pamela Fyock can often be found directing traffic.  She says she expects 100,000 people to attend this year's fair. That would be 25,000 more than in 2011, when state funding was cut.

"It's economy and it's really the community and our sponsors coming forth supporting the fair," she says. "Our foundation has grown and taken up the slack."

Hannah Souza is 12 and isn't worried about funding or foundations.  She's worried about showing off Prince, her prized goat, for the first time.

 0522 an sac co fair goats

"Well ever since I was little I went to the county and state fair," she says. "And I just loved goats, so I just decided to do goats."

Fyock says the combination of events, exhibits, and the latest in deep-fried cuisine has helped attendance in recent years.  

"The health of the fair for the last three years has been on a steady incline up with attendance because we offer so much value for families," she says. "It's a safe, wholesome environment."

In Milo Franks' corn dog truck, Milo says the fair's CEO is responsible for his new creation -the Pickled Corn Dog. But, he says creating an edible product took a little work.

0522 an sac co fair milo franks

"She says, 'Hey, try something new. Try a pickle.'  So we tried originally to hone out a pickle and put the wienie inside, but too much pickle. Wayyy too much pickle."

A thin slice of pickle is now on the side of the hot dog before both are dipped in batter and deep fried.

0522 an sac co fair corn dog

Milo says he prefers it to the popular jalapeno corn dog.

Kids under 12 get into the fair at Cal Expo for free. The fair runs through Memorial Day.


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