Fair food lovers, fear not: Upcoming events will bring us decadent fair-time treats to tide us over until next year.
Although the Kern County Fair has gone virtual this year, it still plans to offer some fair treats during what would have been the event's run. The drive-thru fair food event will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays over two weekends, Sept. 25-27 and Oct. 2-4.
It will be held in the P Street parking lot across from the fairgrounds, 1142 S. P St. Customers will drive into the lot and receive a single-use menu. A kiosk operator will take their order, and when it is ready a runner will deliver all their items to their car. (Preordering won't be available.)
Chelsey Roberts, facility marketing representative, said the list of vendors has not been confirmed but there should be five or six, with at least one or two local businesses.
She wrote in an email, "Some items that we will for sure have are corn dogs, brick of fries, turkey legs, corn, cotton candy, kettle corn, funnel cakes and, of course, on the second weekend cinnamon rolls!"
She noted that since all vendors must have permits to operate a mobile food vehicle and no popup tents will be allowed, that precludes most of the local nonprofits and groups that have permanent structures on the fairgrounds — which are being used for COVID-19 testing — from being able to take part.
For those wanting their local favorites, there are still options.
The Boy Scouts Southern Sierra Council, known for its loaded baked potatoes, will hold potato booths at two locations later this month.
Booths will be open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 25 and 26 and Oct. 2 and 3 outside The Bridge Church, 12225 Stockdale Highway; and Heidi’s Deli, 2900 Calloway Drive.
The menu is similar to what has been offered at the fair, although yummy yams will not be available this year, according to Scout executive Randy Saunders.
There will be a Boy Scout baked potato ($6), with three pats of butter; The Works ($9), with chili, cheese, sour cream, bacon and green onions; chile verde potato ($8), with chile verde, shredded pork, cilantro and green onions; mac and cheese potato ($8), with mac and cheese and bacon; chili-cheese potato ($7), with chili and cheese sauce; and giant potato ($10), with choice of either The Works toppings or two substitution toppings.
Additional toppings, ranging from 50 cents to $1, can be added to any potato. Bottled water ($2) will also be sold.
Saunders said curbside orders taken on site can be filled quickly but preorders will be available. The form will be posted on sscbsa.org starting Tuesday.
Kern County Teen Challenge is continuing its Fair Food Frenzy on weekends now through Sept. 20. Diners can order apple or peach dumplings individually ($6) or in packs of three ($15) or six ($30).
The nonprofit recently added a corn dog basket ($8 for two corn dogs and fries) to its menu. It also continues to offer fresh kettle corn in small ($8) and large ($10) bags and bottled water and soft drinks ($3).
Customers can order through the Eventbrite event linked on the nonprofit's Facebook page (facebook.com/KernCountyTeenChallenge), by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 399-CARE (2273). There will be ordering on-site but preorders are preferred.
Curbside pickup will be available from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday through Sunday through Sept. 20 at 301 E. Roberts Lane. There will be two lines, one for preorders and another for new orders.
The Kern County Basque Club will also hold a fair food fundraiser on Sept. 26.
Orders must be made in advance by Sept. 18 online at kcbasqueclub.com/shop.
Three sandwiches, $12 each, are available: lamb dip, lukainka (Basque sausage) or pickled tongue. Make it a full meal with side dishes including a quart of marinated tomatoes ($10), quart of beans ($7) and half-pint of salsa ($4).
Diners can also add a bottle of cabernet or chardonnay ($10) to the order.
Club board members will oversee the pickup event, which will run from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 26 at the clubhouse, 2301 S. Union Ave.
And for those who want even more wild fair-style foods, the Bakersfield Fair Fix. American General Media, which puts on the Mac and Cheese Fest and Brunch Fest, has organized some restaurants and businesses to offer special menu items during what would have been the run of the fair, Sept. 23 to Oct. 4.
Jennifer Bowden, AGM's event marketing coordinator, said the movement is a way to encourage more people to support these businesses. Rather than the fair taking away business, this year it's current state guidelines that have slowed business at restaurants.
Some of the vendors confirmed to take part are: Shake N Buns (rainbow grilled cheese), SoCal Tamal (birria ramen), Countryside (grilled chile verde mac and cheese sandwich), Pork Chop and Bubba's (turkey leg), Sno Shack of Bakersfield (Dole whip and Old West cinnamon rolls), Urricchio's (Italian flag ravioli with three different sauces and three different cheeses), Aunt Mae’s Sweet Tooth (Hot Cheetos toffee), Mossman's, Mr. Clamato and Cafe Crepes.
For more on the Bakersfield Fair Fix, visit facebook.com/fairfoodfix or tune into AGM's radio stations.
If you know of any local nonprofits who are organizing fair food fundraisers, send the information to email@example.com.