Oversized sweets are among the main attractions on the menu at the 2017 Maryland State Fair, but they won’t overpower the flavors of traditional deep-fried fair food.
The 136th annual event will showcase several larger-than-life desserts, including a 10-foot-long Cow Tales candy, the caramel and cream sticks by Goetze’s Candy Co., when the fair returns Thursday.
Pieces of the record-breaking candy, located in front of the Bulk Candy Store in the Exhibition Hall, will be sold toward the end of the fair to benefit the Maryland State Fair Scholarship Fund.
To celebrate National Banana Split Day on Friday, the American Dairy Association North East and Maryland Young Farmers will construct a 350-pound banana split at the Cow Palace at 2 p.m. Free samples will be given out while supplies last (or until they melt).
In keeping with this year’s trend of unicorn-themed food — popularized by Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino this spring — one of the newest fair foods is “unicorn popcorn” (multicolored popcorn with marshmallow).
Newer favorites will return, too. Deep-fried, bacon-wrapped Oreos are making a comeback after their debut last year, along with deep-fried Buckeyes (chocolate-covered peanut butter balls).
And the fair will also offer new twists on funnel cakes, with peanut butter and jelly or Oreo-flavored funnel cakes.
For those guests craving healthier eats, the fair will again incorporate a farmers’ market in the Farm & Garden building.
The Oyster Recovery Partnership and Coastal Conservation Association Maryland will present “Oyster Alley” in front of the Cow Palace opening weekend, serving local oysters and relaying information about efforts to improve the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Other local delicacies, such as crab cakes, ice cream and fresh fruit, will be offered from the Maryland Foods Pavilion and Maryland Dairy Bar.
The state fair starts Thursday and runs through Sept. 4 at the fairgrounds in Timonium (2200 York Road).
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