Imagine going to a fair food event where can order your food but you can’t stay onsite to enjoy and eat it, either. Welcome to the COVID-19 pandemic where literally everything has changed. You might as well get food from any market, big-box chain store, or fast food drive-up place for that matter. However, this re-purposed event does offer an opportunity to get out even if there are limits.
NC State Fair Food Event First Cancellation since WWII
What is worse knowing that the NC State Fair has been canceled for the first time since World War II amid the pandemic. According to State Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler said their research has shown that 65 percent of people who attended the state fair would be reluctant to attend during a pandemic.
“I think you can expect to see additional drive-thru fair food events which have been really popular this summer,” Troxler said.
NC State Fair was the Biggest Annual Event
Previously, the fair was the biggest annual event in the state. Nearly 18 million people have attended the North Carolina State Fair just over the past 10 years. The event has brought more than a million people to the fairgrounds in five of those years.
Food Vendor Enthusiasm
The vendors are as excited as the patrons for this event.
“We are able to bring together 22 of our North Carolina-based fair food vendors that would normally be here in October,” NC State Fair Manager Kent Yelverton said.
Until October 25th, the fairground gates will be open. You’ll be able to go in and choose which foods you just can’t go without this year.
Revenue for Food Vendors
The vendors show as much enthusiasm for the event as the patrons. “Without the state fair, you lose a lot of opportunities…a lot of revenue. So for us, this food event is an opportunity to serve and re-gain some of that and serve the public,” said Bobby Scott of Fat Boyz BBQ.
Food Fair Schedule, COVID-19 Guidelines, Protocols
When the event begins it will run each day from 10 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Patrons will enter the Fairgrounds through Gate 9 off Trinity Road and park in the midway area. Then they’ll walk up the hill toward Dorton Arena, where they’ll find all the fair food vendors. Face coverings and social distancing are mandatory for all people attending. Once you get your food, you have to leave. People cannot gather and eat at the event. Most vendors are cash only. Yet some choose to accept credit cards.
Here is the list of vendors and food items available at the event.