Southern Oregon Food and Beverage: Fair Food to go
Feeling like you missed out in 2020? Knowing that the annual Douglas County Fair was going to be canceled this year, Fair Food To Go brought a little bit of normalcy into the fairgrounds on Oct. 23 through Oct. 25 when the Douglas County Fair promoted a Southern Oregon Food and Beverage event.
Knowing that many community members were quite upset over losing the fair as well as other forms of entertainment due to the pandemic, Southern Oregon Food and Beverage wanted to bring in their fair food to give people a little taste of fair food. Just about 1000 community members came to enjoy the food vendor on the Douglas County Fairgrounds.
Everyone in Douglas County who has been to the fair knows about those heaping piles of crunchy curly fries that wrap around each other. Daryl Whicheleo, owner of Southern Oregon Food and Beverage, brought the fair favorite to the event for some fair food to go.
In order to hold the event safely, Southern Oregon Food and Beverage and Douglas County Fair put markings on the ground to ensure safe physical distancing along with posting signs, boards, and banners to remind customers of the rules, “It was nice to see people interacting safely and properly,” Whicheleo says.
The event was done in a large enough space that people could park and walk up to the stands. The benches where people ate were placed an appropriate amount of space away from each other, “I think people really enjoyed the experience because it was personal; People could get out and visit with family and friends,” Whicheleo says.
The original plan for the event was to hold it earlier in the year and to have more vendors, but it was hard to get more on such short notice after the fall forest fires, “Because of the fires they used the fairgrounds as an evacuation center,” Whicheleo explained. “It was a last minute thing, so it was just the two of my food stands there,” says Whicheleo.
Whicheleo’s stands featured two different types of food, one savory and one sweet, “One of the food stands was a curly fry, corn dog, sausage and burgers stand while the other one was a funnel cake and deep fried candy bar stand,” Whicheleo says.
Whicheleo and his team also travelled around the West Coast to other fairgrounds, “We normally hit about 40 fairs a year travelling from Washington, California, and Oregon but because the fairs are shut down this year we travelled somewhere every weekend to do some type of drive up event,” Whicheleo says.
The admission for the event was free; the only cost was for the purchase of food.
The Douglas County Fair also held a contest on Facebook asking people to post their fair food pictures. The winner of the contest received a $20 gift card to Southern Oregon Food and Beverage (SOFAB) and two tickets to the 2021 Douglas County Fair.
Looking forward, Whicheleo hopes to come back to the Douglas County Fairgrounds later this year to participate in another event, “There is talk about holding a Christmas Fair and we are possibly doing a conjunction with that,” Whicheleo says.
The event helped relieve some pandemic tension for the public. “People really enjoyed it, it was such a fun experience, all of the customers really appreciated coming out and doing something outside of the norm” adding to this “people are sick of sitting at home, they really want to go to concerts, rodeos, and events, so this was a small part of that,” says Whicheleo. To learn more about the future events that are happening at The Douglas County Fair visit their Facebook page.
Contact me at:
For more articles by Savannah Peterson please click here.