Lake County Fair’s fare delivers a host of guilty pleasures

There’s no doubt food is one of the Lake County Fair’s main attractions.

With options to satisfy each and every craving, the fair can be called a taste of Lake County. It’s summer food that pairs well with outdoor summer fun.

But on Friday, July 25, there was only one item that 14-year-old Torie Thoman was looking for: a corn dog.

“She hadn’t eaten one since she was in the third grade,” said Torie’s mom Kathy, of Wildwood.

Her school’s version of the corn dog is what turned Torie off to the served-on-a-stick treat, but the fair’s corn dog brought Torie back to Team Corn Dog. Her taste of a county fair corn dog even made her a repeat customer at one of the food stands that populate the outer skirts of the rides and games.

She got the jumbo one, Kathy said, because when you haven’t had a corn dog in that many years, really, what else do you go for?

And for her, it truly hit the spot.

“It was worth the wait,” Torie said, in between chewing.

The Thomans have been visiting the fair since Torie and her two younger brothers, Jonathan, 12 and Jamie, 9, were even littler kids. Kathy actually takes a picture of the three each year at the Ferris wheel. It’s a family tradition, she said.

On Friday, the three siblings were also accompanied by their twin 12-year-old cousins, Jacob and Caleb Kowalewski of Mundelein.

The twins didn’t have the same corn dog predicament that their cousin Torie had. Jacob opted for a hot dog from his hometown restaurant Luke’s while Caleb went to Uncle Fred’s for a burger.

In the fair’s dessert department, there’s also no shortage of treats to sink one’s teeth into, or lick, as was the case for friends Mike Carty and Eddie Higgins, both of Chicago.

The two visit the fair each year to see what they call “the funniest event at the fair.” It’s the Banana Derby, where monkey jockeys ride dogs around a track.

Carty and Higgins had just watched the noon show Friday and they were killing some time until the next show at 4 p.m.

While they waited they sat under a tent and ate a cup of vanilla and chocolate ice cream from Yesteryears Ice Cream, a new vendor at the fair with an elaborate set-up that includes a tractor and a horn kids can sound by pulling on a string.

Folks who wish to see the Banana Derby still have a chance, as other shows at noon, 3, 5 and 7 p.m. will go on during the weekend, the last two days of the fair.

And the food? Yes, that will be there, too.

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