Craving funnel cake or fries? The York State Fair Food Festival might have a solution

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch

York County residents who have been craving fair food staples this year will be able to get their fix of lemonade, deep-fried Oreos and cinnamon rolls.

The York State Fair Food Festival will bring 10 vendors together at the fairgrounds this weekend for a new event offering a variety of popular fair food.

"Our staff and community was devastated when we had to announce the cancellation of the 2020 York State Fair," said fair spokesperson Brianna Holmes. "We wanted to provide an opportunity for vendors to be successful after they’ve had a rough season due to so many large events being canceled — as well as our loyal fair guests who look forward to our event each year."

Tom Cravetts cooks Italian sausage, peppers and onions at the Santillo's stand on the last day of the 2019 York Fair, Sunday, September 15, 2019.
John A. Pavoncello photo

The York State Fair Food Festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the York Fairgrounds, 334 Carlisle Ave.

Admission and parking will be free, and fair attendees will be required to exit the fairgrounds once they have purchased their desired foods, Holmes said.

There will be 10 vendors at the food festival: Bricker's Fries, Captain Crab, Mi Adobo, Rock It Pizza, Santillo's, Savory Funnel Cakes, Stoltzfus, Three L Concessions, Tubby Tommy's and Old West Cinnamon Rolls.

"Due to the social gathering limitations, we couldn’t invite every vendor that we typically have at the fair or that expressed interest," Holmes said via email. "We hope that if the event is successful this is something that we can host again and with additional vendors."

The York Professional Firefighter's chop steak sandwich has been a staple at the York Fair for 47 years and will return next year as the Fair moves to July. Sunday, September 15, 2019. 
John A. Pavoncello photo

There will be a limit of 250 event attendees permitted into the fairgrounds at one time, and an area between the grandstand and the arena will be barricaded off so staff can monitor attendance levels, Holmes added.

Margaret Camalleri, the owner of Old West Cinnamon Rolls, said she was disappointed to find out the venues she typically attends as a vendor — like the York State Fair and the Bloomsburg Fair — were canceled this year due to COVID-19.

While most business owners took financial hits from COVID-19, Old West Cinnamon Rolls isn't Camalleri's full-time job, and what hurt her the most about the cancellations was not seeing the familiar faces she typically would see, she said.

"It's all about the people, that's the reason why we still do it," Camalleri said. "I'm most excited to see the people, that's why I'm hoping they'll come out."

Old West Cinnamon Rolls has been a York State Fair staple for 35 years. 

"We've had such great clientele over the years, it's almost like family that you see once a year, but they always make a point to come see you," Camalleri said. 

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.