Funky food at the fair

Whether it's corn dogs, elephant ears or a chocolate insect, you can find it there

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Caleb Brekke, 5, chows down on a corn dog at the North Idaho Fair Friday.

COEUR d'ALENE - Ever try deep fried lemonade? How about a chocolate-covered meal worm? Beer balls?

If you've been to the North Idaho Fair before, chances are you've tried the elephant ears.

This year's food vendors have come up with some pretty creative treats.

Bonnie McGlowthen, with Wayne's Concessions, has some of the most unique foods. She serves kangaroo, alligator, frog legs and wild boar.

But also chocolate-covered meal worms, scorpions and crickets.

"We special order them in," McGlowthen said, adding she sells about 40 per day.

Scorpions and crickets are the hot sellers, she said. When someone eats a chocolate covered bug, they even get a sticker that says: "I ate the bug."

Deep fried lemonade can be had at the Seriously Scrumptious food trailer. Owner Phil Marshall doesn't like to tell you how it's done.

"It takes all the allure out of it," he said.

Actually the lemonade isn't deep fried. The elephant ear batter balls are fried and covered in a lemon sauce, and topped with whipped cream and a cherry.

That's not all he deep fries, though. Marshall's stand has deep fried pop tarts, brownies and ravioli too. He even has chocolate covered bacon.

Across from his stand is Ed White's concession stand. He claims to be the largest vendor at the fair.

He has been coming to the North Idaho Fair for 30 years. This year he added hand-dipped cheddarwurst corndogs. He makes all the batter himself and even wholesales it to other vendors.

He said he is keeping pretty busy and could use two more people to help during the fair.

"If you know someone who likes long hours, low pay and hard work, send them my way," he said.

Ekness Meats has been a part of the fair for 30 years as well, said Keith Ekness.

They have been vending for 19 years and before that they supplied many of the vendors with their famous sausages.

The big seller at the fair is their beer balls.

"There is no beer in the making of them," Ekness said. "They just go well with beer. People under age can still have our beer balls."

Ekness said they have three generations working the booth this year.

Sheep burgers are just down a couple of booths from Ekness.

They are being prepared as a fundraiser for the Spokane Area Sheep Producers, said volunteer Laura Ray. Proceeds from the sheep burgers go to help fund 4-H kids.

The sign outside the booth says: "50 million coyotes can't be wrong."

After a sheep burger you can pick up a Smores-a-bob, which is smores on a stick. Co-owner Clint Allen said they are made with marshmallows dipped in chocolate and rolled in graham crackers.

He also sells fruit kabobs and chocolate covered cheesecake.

Allen has been selling his fruit snacks for about four years, and when he packs up on Sunday, he is headed for Pig Out in The Park in Spokane.

The Hauser Lake Lions Club is operating the Lions booth in the food court, where you can get Carver Farms corn on the cob and they put it on a stick.

Post Falls Lions and Liberty Lake Lions are helping out as well.

Kenny Bartelett said they were plenty busy for the first day of the fair.

"Big sellers this year are the chicken strips and chili cheese fries," he said, adding they also have been selling biscuits and sausage gravy for breakfast.

The Oldtimers Gang moved their elephant ear booth inside the food court this year. They have been selling elephant ears for 36 years at the fair.

They use the proceeds for a youth missionary fund.

Over the years, the Oldtimers Gang elephant ears have become a North Idaho Fair tradition - if you can find them this year.

"This is our first year in the food court area," said Jean Gatten. "A lot of people don't know where we are at."

Jerad Storlie takes a bite out of a Philly cheesesteak sandwich Friday at the North Idaho Fair.

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