By Amy Bickel
The Hutchinson News
Forget the diet. This year's Kansas State Fair is all about delicacies that are deep-fried and on a stick.
There's cheese, alligator and calamari on a stick. You can even get pancakes and macaroni 'n' cheese wrapped in bacon on a stick.
"Every concessionaire is well aware of my want for food on a stick," said Sue Stoecklein, the fair's commercial exhibits director.
Stick food, after all, is right in line with the fair's mentality, which features the "Get on a Stick" theme this year. And Stoecklein said she is unveiling a new contest for food vendors this year -- best use of theme.
It's just part of the hype leading up to this year's fair -- the new food lineup almost as anticipated as who is going to perform on the grandstand stage.
Stoecklein unveiled a few of the foods to board members Tuesday morning, which included a vendor selling eight flavors of pork rinds and a gentleman who makes his own "Old Texas Soda," which he sells in a stainless-steel mug.
Also on the fair menu this year is deep-fried Jell-O and cheesecake, along with frosted-flake fried chicken.
The chicken vendor "brought some in for the staff to try, and it was amazing -- sweet and salty and it was on a stick, too," Stoecklein said.
Meanwhile, the Kansas Fair Foundation is selling "On the Stick Tour" T-shirts with all the fair's food-on-a-stick items, said fair board member Cindy O'Neal.
Sticks aside, Stoecklein admits there have been a few hiccups this year. What gave her the biggest worry was when the fair's only cheese-curd vendor decided to skip this year's fair.
"I've never had to search out vendors before," she said.
No worries, fried-cheese aficionados: Stoecklein secured another Wisconsin vendor.
In other business:
Cindy O'Neal made a motion that the fair "continue to negotiate on a real estate matter." No other details were available on whether a purchase of property or sale of property would be made before the next board meetings in September.
(c)2014 The Hutchinson News