BLOOMSBURG — The 160th annual Bloomsburg Fair is in full swing. Each year the fair has new attractions and foods and this year is no different.
It seems like every year the Bloomsburg Fair outdoes itself, which is hard to do. With more than one thousand vendors, it’s hard to be different, but some are still succeeding. There are more healthy food options and this year, something vegan.
When you go to the Bloomsburg Fair, you have a large selection of food items to choose from and many include the words “deep fried,” but now there is a vegan food stand called, “Caribbean Noodles.”
“It’s been a very huge hit. I just did 100 peppers this morning so I could make a new batch and I had to multiply that by five because it’s going so well,” said Mitzanne Graver-Conway of Caribbean Noodles.
The owners say they came up with the idea when they started visiting fairs and noticed some food groups were lacking.
“I noticed that there was nothing healthy to eat. It’s all deep fried,” Graver-Conway said.
A name that is familiar to many people, but new to the Bloomsburg Fair is Yuengling–as in ice cream–but Yuengling isn’t just selling its ice cream for profit, it’s all for a good cause. $2 gets you a scoop and half of that goes to the Make A Wish Foundation.
“People are really, really receptive to the fact that they get to have their ice cream and they’re also helping out some kids having their wishes granted,” said Jackie Wenrich with Yuengling’s Ice Cream.
Customers say having part of their money go to charity is a good reason to buy the ice cream.
“I never tried it either, but that’s a selling point. At least you know where some of the proceeds are going,” said Sherry Thiroway of Coal Township.
One of the new attractions at the fair this year that’s getting a lot of attention is this carousel in the horticulture building.
Scott Edwards is the superintendent of horticulture and says he wanted something new and exciting for this building. So he called Knoebels and asked to borrow some horses to make a carousel. The owner said yes.
“A couple days later he called and changed his mind. I said, ‘Oh, okay.’ He said, ‘We’re going to build you a whole carousel.’ So as you can see he really did!” Edwards said.
There are vendors at the Bloomsburg Fair who make the same foods every year. The foods many of us love and look forward to. And then there are other vendors who come up with new and exciting foods that they hope will draw a crowd. One of those vendors is Chick’n Cone. It looks like an ice cream cone, but it’s not.
“It’s crispy popcorn chicken. We fry it up and toss it in one of our signature sauces. Then we chop it up so you can see it’s nice whole breast chicken and then we serve it in a delicious waffle cone,” said Jonathan Almanzar.
Chick’n Cone has three flavors to choose from.
And don’t forget dessert. If you live in the Swoyersville area, you may know the name Nemetz’s Bakery. They make kolachy cookies.
“The cookies are unique because it’s a cream cheese and butter dough, so it’s that flaky and nice dessert. And the filling inside, you can either have nut, which is a special homemade recipe, we can’t say, but fruit we have raspberry, apple, and lemon,” said Janelle Nemetz.
Sharon McCormick of Berwick says she wanted to try the kolachy cookies.
“Oh my gosh they’re good!” McCormick said.
Nowadays you can get anything deep-fried at the Bloomsburg Fair, so why not a half-pound cheeseburger?
“It’s a deep fried half-pound angus burger with cheddar cheese, deep fried bacon, deep fried pickles between two grilled cheese sandwiches,” said James Hasbrouck with Fried Specialties.
It’s called “The Defibrillator” and it has more than 1,600 calories. It is the newest item at Fried Specialties and the owner says it’s a big seller. He admits his stand is not a healthy one, but encourages people to treat themselves.
“That’s what fairs are for,” Hasbrouck said.