Sometimes I wonder how I end up on a planning committee for an event. I felt it happening when Sarah Thompson, the director of public relations for the Tennessee Valley Fair, said, “let’s have a meeting after the fair so I can write down your suggestions.” All I really wanted was to tell her my one idea to improve the Fair Food Contest.
For the second consecutive year, I had the pleasure of judging traditional and crazy fair foods. I would like for the foods to arrive at staggered times instead of all at once. By the time we got to the final items, they had been sitting backstage for over an hour.
Bacon turned up in several entries. We tasted chocolate-covered bacon, a BLT hot dog, a maple-bacon doughnut dog and a bacon-maple funnel cake. Nathan and I really liked the BLT hot dogs, which had crisp bacon wrapped around a hot dog with lettuce and diced tomato under the dog in the bun. The bacon-maple funnel cake was delicious and won a well-deserved ribbon. The doughnut dog looked like the punchline to an off-color joke.
I especially loved a candy apple from the Fairview United Methodist Church booth. Church member Cheryl Hodge was in the audience watching us eat. After the contest was over, she gave me a bag of candy apples and said that she was moved to give them to me because I looked so happy while tasting their contest entry. I took the apples back to work with me and shared them with the night jocks on three different radio stations. Of course I saved one to bring home to my wife too.