From pickles to gyros, hotdogs to seafood, fair has good eats

MARK NANCE/Sun-Gazette Fred Johnson of Farmhouse Insurance tries to get his hands around a "Saucy Piggy" from Saucy Sam's at the Lycoming County Fair Thursday.

HUGHESVILLE — Come hungry.

That’s the mind set of many people headed to the 147th annual Lycoming County Fair this week with visions of various fair foods leading the way.

With the fair fully opening this past Thursday and continuing through Saturday, there’s a virtual cornucopia to please just about everyone’s palate.

“Try the pickles,” said Trinity Pentz, 13, of Montoursville.

Pentz was joined by her friends, Melanie Boings, 12, also of Montoursville, and Carina Sellers, 18, of Hughesville at Peppers Pickles, a new stand based out of Lewisburg, where they were handed samples of sweet and sour and horseradish-flavored pickles.

Temperatures soared and the sweltering crowds headed to the stands with ice cold liquid refreshment, such as sellers of fresh-squeezed lemonade and orangeade.

Denise and Morgan, a mother and daughter from Montoursville, were quenching their thirsts with lemonade.

Montgomery’s Lorena Hampton, her husband, two daughters and a son headed straight for a favorite — a Greek food stand offering gyros filled with lamb cooked on a skewer, beef and chicken.

“It’s always good,” Hampton said of the thinly sliced chicken on the pillowy-soft pita bread topped with ripe tomato, sweet sliced onion and tzatziki sauce. “It’s our family tradition.”

Those with a sweet tooth can find chocolate and cream cookies dipped in batter and fried for a few seconds in hot sizzling oil, a sinfully delicious diversion from the tradition of dipping cookies in cold milk, according to the food workers.

And then there are stuffed pretzels, some of them filled with sweet cream cheese and topped with cinnamon sugar.

Traditional fair favorites such as fried dough and funnel cakes topped with drizzled chocolate and powdered sugar, snow cones and candy apples may be found.

Noticeable this year are the many food trucks who have made their way to the fair.

At one of those, Taco Bill’s, two women deep fried corn tortillas and stuffed them with seasoned beef, topped with lettuce, tomato and sour cream.

A stand near the Second Street gate is selling fresh steamed clams and other seafood products. Close to fair office, the aroma of the clams and butter reminds a person of eating at a seaside restaurant.

The fair is for the adventurous eater, too, with Chef Vergie Witthoff preparing empanadas at her Brasil on Wheels food truck.

Not your cup of tea? Youths involved in the 4-H Club are offering hot dogs and hot dog plates, while plenty of stands have chili dogs, hot sausage, peppers and onions, grilled beef and burgers, and grilled cheese with bacon and many other toppings.