Georgia-Carolina fair begins

Augusta's fair takes flight on opening night

Add a new specialty to the fair food menu: the quarter-pounder doughnut burger. Before flipping upside down on the Ring of Fire or Chainsaw rides, fair patrons can feast on a hamburger with bacon, lettuce and cheese sandwiched between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

Clint Yoder, the operator of his family food business Little Richard’s Inc., said the sweet and juicy delicacy sold out at a fair last week in North Carolina. He hoped Friday’s opening night crowd at the 89th annual Georgia-Carolina State Fair would give it a good review, too.

Yoder’s food stand travels to fairs across the country 40 weeks of the year serving everything from the doughnut burger to turkey legs to corn dogs.

“We meet a lot of interesting people. We’re always in a new place and we never go hungry,” said Yoder, of Pennsburg, Pa.

On Friday, patrons paid just 25 cents for admission to the fair, which runs through Oct. 23. Sponsored by the Augusta Exchange Club, it draws an estimated 70,000 people to the fairgrounds off Hale Street in downtown Augusta in nine days.

Mary May, of Augusta, was a lot more interested in her Italian sausage dog dinner than the Ferris wheel and livestock shows. She has a tradition of traveling to fairs in the area, where she meets the same group of friends for dinner.

“You’ve got to have a funnel cake. The best is the stuff you don’t normally get,” May said.

Funnel cake and vinegar fries were on the mind of 13-year-old Hamp Burnside, who has been going to the fair since he can remember, but he wanted to spin around on the Cyclops ride, too.

“It’s never boring. There’s always something to do,” Hamp said.

Ben and Deidre Hankinson found something for all ages at the fair. Their three sons, Whitner, Maddox and Crimmins, aged 2, 9 and 11, respectively, could stroll around at their parents’ side enjoying the good weather or daring rides.

“It’s an American pastime,” Ben Hankinson said. “We have our kids and want to share that pastime with our kids.”

From fries to funnel cakes, fair has it all

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