Chocolate-covered corndogs, fried crepes among new Tulsa State Fair food offerings
BY NICOLE MARSHALL MIDDLETON World Scene Writer
Thursday, September 27, 2012
9/27/12 at 12:01 PM
See a map of the Tulsa State Fair.
Fried bubblegum, chocolate-covered corndogs and fried watermelon are just some of the new foods awaiting Tulsa State Fair visitors this year.
And just how do you eat fried bubblegum?
Well, it's not exactly what it seems, explained Sarah Thompson, a spokeswoman for the fair, which opens at 5 p.m. Thursday.
"It's like a bubblegum-flavored dough ball that's fried," she said. "You've heard of fried Kool-Aid? It's like that."
Thompson said she is looking forward to trying the fried watermelon, and she thinks the chocolate-covered corndogs sound interesting, offering that ultra-trendy combo of salty and sweet.
Surveys have shown that the food is always the top reason that people attend the fair, followed by free entertainment and shopping, Thompson said.
"Food is always No. 1," Thompson said. "It's like a food show."
Because fairgoers have come to expect new, unique food offerings every year, organizers start researching new vendors months in advance.
"Every year our commercial space sales department researches new food and contacts vendors to see if they would be interested in coming to the Tulsa State Fair," Thompson said. "And some vendors will approach us with new, creative ideas."
Just when you think that vendors have run out of things to fry, they come up with something new.
Even crepes, the fancy French food, will take a turn in the deep fryer this year and be offered up by local restaurateur Rusty Rowe in the Exchange Center. Rowe owns Mod's Coffee and Crepes at 507 S. Boston Ave. downtown.
Rowe said he was invited to the fair by one of the organizers who loves his food and his shop.
"When we had our first meeting, he said that we could do whatever we wanted to do but that we should try and do something a little different to give people who come to our downtown location something different to try when they come to the fair," Rowe said.
"So my wife said we would deep-fry the crepes."
But there was still a lot of work to be done to get the recipe just right, he said.
Rowe spent about a week perfecting the fried crepes, running back and forth from his restaurant to the Mexican restaurant Elote across the street, where they allowed him to use the deep fryer.
In the end, he came up with two flavors of fried crepes that he is proud to serve.
"We wouldn't want it to just be a novelty," Rowe said. "We want it to be really delicious."
Fairgoers can choose from Nutella and banana or strawberry-chocolate. He described them as being similar to a sweet chimichanga.
"Crepes are very delicate, so you have to be careful. But the outside actually turns into a shell," Rowe said. "And they are really portable."
Rowe is looking forward to his first time selling food at the fair, but another local vendor, Karen's Lil' Donuts of Owasso, has lots of experience: 17 years worth, in fact.
Karen Jencks has eight booths at the fair offering some of the favorite sweet treats, but she also likes to find something new to draw the crowds. Three years ago she won the best new fair food award for her fried brownies.
This year, her new offering is deep-fried Nutter Butters.
"It is going to be delicious," Jencks said. "You put sweet batter on there and fry them and dust them with powdered sugar."
And Jencks said fairgoers should always have new, fun foods to look forward to when they come back every fall.
"I am always trying to think of something new," Jencks said. "It keeps people coming back to the fair."
Tulsa State Fair admission
Adult, Friday-Sunday: $10
Adult, Monday-Thursday: $8
Seniors (62+)*: $6
Youth (5-12): $6
Children (Younger than 5): Free
* must have valid ID
Tulsa State Fair hours
Thursday: buildings 5-10 p.m.; midway 5-11 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: buildings 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; midway 11 a.m.-midnight
Sunday: buildings 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; midway 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Oct. 1-4: buildings 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; midway noon-11 p.m.
Oct. 5-6: buildings 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; midway 11 a.m.-midnight
Oct. 7: buildings 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.; midway 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
Ford Family Fun Night: Thursday, Sept. 27
Admission and ride promotions
Thursday: $1 admission with coupon from a local Ford dealer; $5 without. Rides (excluding extreme) are $2.
Monday: Save $5 on a ride wristband with a coupon from Mazzio's. Price without coupon: $30. Includes gate admission.
Tuesday: Two-for-one gate admission and midway rides.
Wednesday: Save $5 on a ride wristband with a coupon from Arby's. Price without coupon: $30. Includes gate admission.
Oct. 7: Save $5 on a ride wristband without a coupon from Mattress Firm. Price without coupon: $30; price includes gate admission.
Events and exhibits
Disney on Ice, Dare to Dream: 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 10:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Friday; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Pavilion. Tickets $20-$40. Available at box office, by calling 918-376-6000, or online at tulsaworld.com/tulsastatefair or tulsaworld.com/disneyonice
Live Shark Encounter: Weekdays at 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. and weekends at noon, 2 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., West Midway.
Miss Tulsa State Fair: 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Stage.
Movie Stunt Adventure: Daily at 4 p.m., 6 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m., West Midway.
Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show: Demonstrations by Martin Howard 11:45 a.m., 5:15 p.m. Saturday and 11:45 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Sunday. Demonstrations by Orlando Serrano with Miguel Garcia 10 a.m., 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.. 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Alice in Wonderland timed competition 1:30 p.m. Saturday. Awards ceremony 5:30 p.m. Sunday. QuikTrip Center Lower Level.
Oklahoma Picking and Fiddling Championships: During building hours Saturday and Sunday, Muscogee (Creek) Nation Stage.
Perondi's Agility Dog Show: Daily at 1 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., north of the Oklahoma Stage.
PRCA Rodeo: 7 p.m. Oct. 5., Jake Owen concert following, $30; 7 p.m. Oct. 6., Randy Rogers Band concert following. $30. Pavilion. Available at box-office, by calling 918-376-6000, or online at tulsaworld.com/tulsastatefair
The Tulsa State Fair will offer park-and-ride shuttle service daily. Shuttles run 6 to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays, and noon to midnight Saturdays and Sundays.
Park and ride locations are:
- Tulsa Promenade Mall, 41st Street and Yale Avenue
- Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave.
- Nathan Hale High School, 6960 E. 21st St.
Free parking is available on the north and east sides of the fairgrounds complex, and $10 paid parking is available on the south and west sides of the complex.
Livestock Dairy Cow shows: Friday-Sunday, Expedition Arena
Purtiest Cow Contest: 6 p.m. Saturday, Expedition Arena
Cattle Dog Trials: 9 a.m. Tuesday, Mustang Arena
Sheep Dog Trials: 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday, Ford Truck Arena and 9 a.m. Wednesday, Mustang Arena
Draft Horse Halter classes: 2 p.m. Oct. 5
Mustang Arena; Draft Horse Hitches: 7 p.m. Oct. 5
Ford Truck Arena; Draft Horse Show: 8 a.m. Oct. 6, Ford Truck Arena
Llama Show: 9 a.m. Oct. 6, Super Duty Arena
Light (Draft) Horse Pull: 2 p.m. Oct. 6, Ford Truck Arena
Heavy (Draft) Horse Pull: 6 p.m. Oct. 6, Ford Truck Arena
4-H Dog Show: 10 a.m. Oct. 7, Super Duty Arena
Southwest Dairy Milking Parlor: Thursday through Monday at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Oct. 2-7 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 5 p.m.
Headline acts appear on the Oklahoma Stage through the duration of the Tulsa State Fair. All shows are free with paid admission.
Friday: Randy Houser, 8 p.m.
Saturday: Vertical Horizon, 8 p.m.
Sunday: Eli Young Band, 8 p.m.
Monday: Jeremy Camp, 8 p.m.
Tuesday: Easton Corbin, 8 p.m.
Wednesday: Hot Chelle Rae, 8 p.m.
Oct. 4: Theory of a Deadman, 8 p.m.
Oct. 5: Keith Sweat, 8 p.m.
Oct. 6: Breathe Carolina, 8 p.m.
NOTE: A limited number of VIP access passes are available, which include front-of-stage access to the Oklahoma Stage and gate admission. Tickets are $25 a day. Visit tulsaworld.com/tulsastatefair for ticket availability.
Original Print Headline: Fried fair flavors
Nicole Marshall Middleton 918-581-8459
Ride unlimited midway and kiddie rides during coupon nights. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World file
Rusty Rowe, owner of Mod's Coffee and Crepes, created a fried crepe to sell at the fair this year. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Fried crepes from Mod's Coffee and Crepes come in Nutella and banana or strawberry-chocolate. "We wouldn't want to be just a novelty," says Mod's owner, Rusty Rowe. "We want it to be really delicious." STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World
Disney on Ice presents "Dare to Dream" during the 2012 Tulsa State Fair. Courtesy
Tulsa World file