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Heads up: fair food drive-ins are becoming a thing

Fancy yourself a funnel cake?

Written by
Anna Rahmanan

It seems like the drive-in concept has become the unsung hero of post-COVID life. From movie theaters to restaurants and even concerts, it turns out that the format lends itself to a wide variety of experiences while still allowing patrons to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Next in line to undergo the drive-in treatment are fairs. More specifically, fair food. That's right: you'll be able to get your hands on corn dogs, funnel cakes, cotton candy and more in cities all across the United States without leaving your car or come in close proximity to larger crowds. 

Although, typically, state fairs take place deep into summer through the fall, the trend has really flourished in cities like Syracuse, Raleigh and Clanton beginning last month. 

Of course, the foods served at each fair represent the overall culinary preferences of the state, providing an inside-look into the cultural leanings and food-related traditions that Americans across the country call their own. In Raleigh, North Carolina, for example, drivers were treated to deep fried Snickers and Oreos, roasted corn and edible gourmet cookie dough, among other delicacies, a few weeks ago.

Food fair attendees in Clanton, Alabama, indulged in corn dogs, red-white-and-blue funnel cake and elephant ears (stretched out dough that is fried and topped with cinnamon sugar. Yum) while, in true New York style, hundreds of people in Syracuse washed down sausage sandwiches and fried dough with bagged wine slushies at the New York State Fair.

As you consult your local state fair organization for a schedule of events in your city, keep one thing in mind: funnel cake is poised to become the unofficial food of summer 2020. Go ahead and enjoy some.

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