Lots of Options for the Hungry at the Lycoming County Fair | News, Sports, Jobs


KAREN VIBERT-KENNEDY / Sun-Gazette Naja Long, of Hughesville, right, tries a hot dog covered in mayo, Sriracha sauce and fruity pebbles, from Rexy’s Gourmet Dogs, as her mother McKenna Long, left, watches the Lycoming County Fair in Hughesville. Naja said she liked the hot dog.

Bite your teeth into the Lycoming County Fair – literally.

With old favorites and twists on the classics, even the pickiest eaters can rejoice this year – and the more daring have options, too.

For the past year and a half, Gary Shingler of Rexy’s Gourmet Dogs has been sharing his creative hot dogs at craft shows, festivals and fairs in the area.

This year, Shingler offers his hot dogs midway through the Lycoming County Fair, with peanut butter and jelly, cookies, Takis, Doritos, crushed pineapple, pickles, marshmallow fluff and even fruity pebbles.

“It really took off about a year ago”, said Shingler.

Getting people to try the first bite is the biggest challenge. When people walk by and see the Fruity Pebbles on a hot dog, their first reaction is, “yuck,” he shared with a chuckle.

“Then I ask them to try it and then they say to themselves, my God, it’s actually good” said Shingler, who takes inspiration from YouTube and Pinterest.

Fairgoer Naja Long, took a bite of mayo, Sriracha sauce and Fruity Pebbles hot dog while her mother, McKenna Long watched, and said happily that it was good.

The Lycoming County 4-H Foodstand is located in a brown brick and mortar structure near the animal buildings.

“The stand has been open for some time”, Alex Armstrong, a Lycoming 4-H County educator, said.

She guessed that the booth was built over 30 years ago by a former 4-H leader.

All workers at the booth are either 4-H members, volunteers or family members. Local 4-H clubs take turns to keep the operation going, and all proceeds from the dealerships go to the Lycoming County 4-H program.

The brownie sundae is a crowd favorite, especially as temperatures hovered around 90 degrees on opening days.

This is “something that makes us a little different,” Armstrong said.

If dessert doesn’t appeal to you, a hot dog and a bottle of water will only cost you $ 2.

Another local nonprofit, the Rotary Club of Hughesville, also operates a food stand.

The bright yellow and blue grandstand is located near the grandstand and has been in use since “at least 20 years” Rotary volunteer Kelly Gillis said.

Most of the workers are Rotary volunteers, either from the Hughesville club or other local Rotaries, as well as other members of the community.

Additional help is “very welcome” said Gilles.

Rotary also offers a popular cold treat

“Our slushies are going very well” said Gilles.

They come in four flavors: cherry, blue raspberry, lemonade and sweet tea. The variety of barbecue sandwiches is “Big sellers” too, said Gillis.

While some are sticking to beloved classics, other fairground staples have started to branch out. Example: the Lycoming County Fair Local Dairy Bar.

“It’s just a family stand”, said co-owner Rachel Gordner.

Beth Earnest, another co-owner, believes the booth has been in business since 1974, which doesn’t mean there isn’t room for change.

“We were in the Larrabee building until this year”, Earnest said.

With a new permanent booth just outside their old home, the family could start a new business: serving breakfast on weekends.

From 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. until Saturday, the last day of the fair, the Dairy Bar will serve pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, toast, fries and all toppings.

Earnest also noted that “many loyal customers” come for the milkshakes and the homemade chicken corn soup.

Of course, standard fair-trade foods are plentiful: funnel cakes, fries, burgers, pizzas, gyros, ice cream and even hard lemonade slurries from Nomad Distillery are on the menu.

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