A New Era: Fair Food Drive-Thrus

Published on December 10, 2020

Who would have thought that a fair drive-thru would ever become an actual thing? Neither did I, and I’m more excited about than I thought I would be. As we know, many things have been shut down or canceled due to COVID-19, but some events had other plans and are determined not to let it ruin the fun. That’s what most fairs in many states are doing. No matter what age you are, looking forward to the festival coming to your city or state is always a joyful moment. 

Even if you don’t ride the sketchy rides that look like they are about to fall to pieces, just going and enjoying the atmosphere and the shining lights is worth the trip. Let’s not forget the delicious fair food like cotton candy and funnel cakes that everyone looks forward to. 

Drive-thru fairs are happening in many states, and don’t worry. They are keeping it as safe as possible and following social distancing guidelines as well as wearing proper PPE. From the east coast to the west coast, these drive-thru fairs are popping up everywhere and you might want to see if there is one going on near you. 

It may seem daunting for vendors to pull up and set up their tents and appliances to prepare to make food, wondering if anyone will come out to something like this. A recent article by The Bussiness Journal in Youngstown Ohio discussed how vendors don’t know what to expect with this as the weather has been unpredictable, and this is something new that they are trying out. 

In the article, they also spoke of how the turn out was better than what expected initially. “George Roman, the Canfield Fair director of concessions and entertainment, said the fairgrounds saw approximately 850 cars, with about 50 parked outside the gate before the ‘soft opening’ began.”

Down south in Clanton Alabama, they have set up a Facebook page to advertise their drive-thru for their fair. They even are advertising a lunch special that no one would want to pass up an good olé corn dog, fresh-made lemonade, and your choice of one of their fried delights, now that sounds like a good cheat day to me.

That’s the route that most fair directors have to take is to advertise on social media as much as possible because most people don’t know it’s going on and thing its shut down like most events due to the pandemic. Just a scroll through social media apps like Facebook can help you discover something new and unique. 

Let’s not forget the west coast in San Diego where they have done the same with their fair and have been advertising their full menu online prices and all. Local artists make up a huge part of state and county fairs, and those artisans are going to have a chance to sell their goods online as a compromise.

Most cities and states have jumped on the bandwagon, holding drive-throughs in replacement of their fairs for 2020. Some have happened while others are just beginning. Check your local fair and see if it’s in town and holding a food drive-thru, and maybe you can snag yourself a candy apple or a freshly fried funnel cake.

Jori Ayers is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily based in Tampa, Florida. She was formerly with the editorial team at Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.

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