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Westmoreland Fair patrons line up to feast on fried foods

| Sunday, Aug. 18, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Aunt Dee Dee's assistant manager Shelia Stibrik of Hillsdale shows off the fried food company's new Oreo Funnel Cake on Saturday, August 17, 2013 at the Westmoreland Fair.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Delilah, a 2-month-old Nubian goat, basks in the sun as her keeper Kat Long, 15, of New Alexandria dries her coat Saturday, August 17, 2013, at the Westmoreland Fair in Mt. Pleasant Township.
Lindsay Dill | Tribune-Review
Carrie Flocker, 33, of Belle Vernon feeds Parakeets as the fly all around her Saturday, August 17, 2013 at the Westmoreland Fair.

For fans of fried food, the annual Westmoreland Fair offers a veritable feast of all things battered.

Starting with breakfast, fairgoers can pick up fried concoctions for every meal with snacks in between.

Starting with breakfast at Becky's Funnel Cakes, visitors can pick up raspberry and strawberry Pop-Tarts dipped in funnel cake batter and fried in hot oil.

“People love them. They line up,” employee Susan Masters said Saturday. “You can get an entire day's worth of calories here with one dish.”

For lunch, patrons can try a popular item at Wings 'n Things: a basket of fried zucchini, cauliflower, mushrooms and onion rings with cheese or ranch dipping sauce. French fries and blooming onions are also best-sellers, said Jackie Kromka, whose mother owns the Greensburg-based food stand.

Those looking for a midafternoon snack will find fried pickles, marshmallows and other sweets.

Mark Zebley Sr., owner of Uniontown-based Red's Funnel Cake, fries up Oreo cookies, Twinkies and Snickers candy bars.

Oreos are his top seller here, but he said West Virginians love the Snickers, which are put on a stick, frozen, then battered and fried.

“It's like eating a pie,” Zebley said.

As the sun goes down and the fair's grandstand arena lights up, fairgoers can try deep-fried hot dogs at Aunt Dee Dee's Monster Funnel Cakes.

“Everything's better deep-fried,” said owner Diana DeMase, who has sold a variety of foods at the fair since 1977.

DeMase offers a variety of dessert options, too, from birthday cake-fried Oreos with colorful sprinkles inside to a funnel cake with Oreo cookies crumbled on top, drizzled with chocolate sauce and topped with whipped cream.

Fried dessert enthusiasts can try bite-sized, deep-fried triangles of cheesecake at Beck Concessions, owned by Ryan Beck of Perryopolis.

Patrons looking for lighter fare will find a number of options. Beck's booth serves grilled fresh pineapple and real fruit smoothies.

Fresh oceanic fish is on the menu at the Mt. Pleasant Lions Club food stand, Terry Jackson said. The fresh filets, from the Eastern shores of Maryland and Virginia, are sold as a sandwich or a platter, he said.

“We don't like processed (food). We do quality here,” Jackson said.

And at DJ's Concessions, visitors can get a fresh vegetable basket, a fruit cup or pizza rolls — all new to the menu.

Owner DJ Overly of Latrobe said that after traveling from fair to fair, vendors often crave something beyond traditional fair food, so her kitchen cooks up a different hot meal each night, including dishes such as stuffed peppers or mashed potatoes.

Kari Andren is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-2856 or kandren@tribweb.com.

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