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Northern Ohioans attempt a drive-thru county fair so they can get food on sticks

Illustration for article titled Northern Ohioans attempt a drive-thru county fair so they can get food on sticks
Photo: Danita Delimont (Getty Images)

Memorial Day is in less than two weeks, and you all know what that means: the start of summer! We can all wear our white shoes again and sneak off early on Friday afternoons to go to the beach! (But only if we social distance and keep our masks on.) Normally summer would also mean street festivals and carnivals and county fairs—janky Tilt-A-Whirls, fireworks, cheap-ass prizes, live music through dubious sound system, endless quantities of food on sticks—but this year, it is not to be.

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Or is it? Stark County, Ohio, is jumping the gun a bit by opening its county fair this weekend. It will be the nation’s—and maybe history’s—first drive-thru county fair. (A similar concept has been underway in Florida, but that’s been set up by midway vendors who won’t be able to travel this year.) Patrons will drive through the fairgrounds in Canton, where they will be able to order food, which will be brought to them. The concessionaires have listed the full menu on their Facebook page, which includes hot dogs, corn dogs, cotton candy, deep fried Oreos, strawberry lemonade, all the classics. Once the fairgoers have their food, they will drive off, because all the food must be consumed at home (or, I guess, in cars at stoplights far from the fairgrounds) and there are no bathrooms. The tagline for this event on the Facebook page is “Please don’t prevent a good thing from happening!!” This, sadly, could be applied to just about every other potentially fun thing for the summer of 2020.

I, personally, am very curious to see how this will go. It doesn’t quite capture the entire spirit of a county fair (crowds, noise, sweat, animals, crying children), but it is an attempt to retain at least some of it. It would be nice if Americans could have the chance to eat some food off sticks this summer. Please, Stark County, don’t prevent a good thing from happening!

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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DISCUSSION

This sounds...lame. I can probably recreate most of these foods at home and do a better job too.

To me a drive-thru fair means a bunch of carnies building sketchy ramps out of plywood and 2x4s sourced from a closed construction lot that I can drive my car over at the risk of grievous bodily harm, just like riding regular fair attractions.