"It's so amazing!" said Braden River High student Matthew Kirby after his first bite of fried Mountain Dew at the Manatee County Fair Saturday. His mom, Amy Gore, laughed as he described the crunchy outside and juicy inside of the snack.
TIFFANY TOMPKINS-CONDIE/Bradenton Heraldfrom: bradenton.com
By ELIZABETH JOHNSON
January 20, 2013
MANATEE -- The Manatee County Fair is back in town, which means residents are getting their fill of a traditional fair food -- corn dogs, caramel apples, cotton candy -- and more unique options like deep fried soda.
"People come in here just to stroll and eat," said Dan West, fair manager. "They eat all day, going from one place to another. When I was a kid, we ate dinner at the fair every night."
The Ridgway family from Parrish is one of those families who don't come for the rides, but for the cuisine they get once a year at the fair.
"We come for the food. That's all we do," said Dave Ridgway who was sharing a funnel cake with daughter, Alyse. His wife, Sandy, was having a pretzel. The family shared a large lemonade.
Patrons lined up at the order window of the Cattlemen's booth for hamburgers, hot dogs and barbecue sandwiches, a staple since 1962.
"It was started to raise money to help children in FFA and 4-H," said Faye Mann, director of the Manatee County Cattlemen Association. "Our barbecue is famous -- we cook the roast on the grill and shred it up. The burgers are extra thick and juicy. The crowd runs in spurts. About the time
you take a break, the line is back."
Another food tradition at the fair is the Manatee County Sunrise Kiwanis' secret-recipe corn dogs that have been served for more than 50 years.
"Only two people know it," said member Richard Birkholz of how the batter is prepared.
"They are homemade. We make the batter, stick the hot dogs and put them in the grease."
The organization expects to sell between 1,600 and 1,800 corn dogs at this year's fair.
"And every dime goes back into the community," Birkholz said.
Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2013/01/20/4358493/manatee-county-fair-foods-range.html#storylink=cpy