Treat yourself to some good food at the fair

LAWRENCEVILLE - The soft, fluffy pink, yellow and blue wisps of cotton candy, the shiny red coatings of candied apples, the sweetness of powdered sugar lightly dusting the tops of funnel cakes. These delightful confections alone may be enough to bring some out to the Gwinnett County Fair this week.

And in addition to these treats, hungry fair-goers can choose from the many fried items offered by various vendors - green tomatoes, pies, pickles, fries, vegetables, the handy chicken on a stick, onion blossoms and more.

Bill Baughman, the fair director in charge of vendor selection, said he attends other fairs and carnival events to find unique food offerings. He said he looks for those selling "something special."

Baughman found Road Runner Concessions that way after seeing a long line of people waiting for the vendor's salt and vinegar French fries.

For those attending the fair and looking for more than a snack, various vendors will be offering sandwiches, hand-dipped corn dogs, barbecue and ribs, hot dogs, hamburgers, pizza and Cajun and Mexican foods.

Have a sudden craving for Southern fare? Fair-goers can get peas, turnip greens and cornbread.

"I think one of the most popular places is Mount Vernon's church booth," Baughman said.

The church offers a pinto bean plate with cole slaw, onions and cornbread.

"They also have the best banana pudding in the world," Baughman said.

Fair-goers can also enjoy ice cream or shaved ice for dessert.

And don't forget your peanuts, available roasted or boiled, or grab an ear of corn roasted while still in the husk.

"It's really interesting seeing what people put on their corn," Baughman said, adding the typical toppings include butter and salt, but some people like to add mayonnaise, cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese.

"I've tried (the Parmesan cheese)," Baughman said, "and it's really good."

Baughman also suggested the Polish hot dogs that are cooked and served with peppers.

"They don't come with Tums," Baughman added, "so you have to bring your own."

SideBar: If You Go

· What: Gwinnett County Fair

· When: Through Sunday

· Where: Gwinnett County Fairgrounds, 2405 Sugarloaf Parkway in Lawrenceville

· More information: www.gwinnettcountyfair.com