LANCASTER – The Antelope Valley Fair’s food concessionaires competed for the first time this year, and the AV Fair Association on Monday announced its most savory winners.
In addition to competitions in livestock auctions and exhibit entries, the 77th Annual Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival featured its first “Alfie’s People’s Choice Fair Food Competition,” along with a panel of judges, who evaluated the overall taste and presentation of food entries at this year’s fair.
Voting for the People’s Choice competition took place over the weekend of Aug. 21-23, and the category winners include the following:
- People’s Choice Dessert: Kettle Corn by Couple of Nuts;
- People’s Choice Food: Tasti Chips (aka Irish Nachos) by Tasti Chips;
- People’s Choice non-alcoholic beverage: Texas Twister Lemonade by Texas Twister; and
- People’s Choice Best Use of Fair Theme: Valley Wide Dental.
Each of the People’s Choice winners received a rosette (that is, a big ribbon) to display at their booth for the remainder of fair.
“The People’s Choice Fair Food Competition is a chance for A.V. Fair concessionaires to show off their culinary creations and take a competitive role in the fair,” Wendy Bozigian, marketing manager for the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds, said. “Entries consisted of the various types of food offered by this year’s concessionaires throughout the 10 days of fair (through Aug. 30).”
2015 Best of Barn Appétit Grand Prize winner – Olde Tyme Ice Cream!
The competition also included a judges panel, which chose the Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar by Olde Tyme Ice Cream as the 2015 Best of Barn Appétit Grand Prize winner of this year’s fair.
The hand-dipped bars are created by Mark Hill and his wife, Lori, and they have been treating folks to their ice cream products for about 40 years. Their Upland-based company, Olde Tyme Ice Cream, works year-round to bring their creamy treats to fair grounds and convention centers all over Southern California, Hill said.
This summer season they’ve been making their rounds at many fairs, including the San Diego County Fair and the California State Fair in Sacramento. But the Antelope Valley Fair is always like coming home, according to Hill.
“We’ve been participating in the Antelope Valley Fair for almost 20 years now,” he said. “And I can’t say enough about the fair’s management team, which is one of the most responsive and caring teams I’ve experienced – showing that true community fairs still exist today.”
His ice cream has sweetened his reputation from around the fair circuit in Southern California. His company was inducted into the hall of fame for the Western Fairs Association in 2001.
Ask Hill what’s so good about Old Tyme Ice Cream products, and he’ll answer that he and his wife look forward to one thing: being “quite surprised and really honored” when his desserts are a hit with customers and contests.
“We always thought about making a great, high-quality ice cream product,” he said, explaining that his secret is not cutting any corners on his treats. “When it comes down to dipping ice cream in chocolate, we use real high-quality chocolate. We use pure chocolate blended for us by a ‘chocolateur’.”
Hill said he and his wife are proud to use only the most quality ingredients they can for their ice cream products – and that’s what makes their ice cream desserts “top banana.”
“Given the best ice cream there is, it really speaks for itself, and customers really taste the difference,” he said. “It’s kind of proof that we do one of the best things out at the fairs.”
The panel of judges also selected the following 2015 winners for the various tastiest categories:
- Most Refreshing non-alcohol Drink: Watermelon Water by JLQ Concessions;
- Tastiest Desert on a Stick: Hand Dipped Ice Cream Bar by Olde Tyme Ice Cream;
- Tastiest Item on a Stick (non-dessert): Booth Potato Bombs by 4-H Booth;
- Best Fried Food Dessert: Strawberry & Whipped Cream Funnel Cake by Toucan Enterprises;
- Best Fried Food (non-dessert): Indian Tacos by Papa Joes (Friends of the A.V. Fair, Inc.);
- Most Creative & Tasty New Dessert: Banana Royal by Olde Tyme Ice Cream;
- Most Creative & Tasty New Food Item (non dessert): Bacon Wrapped Pickles by Bishop Concessions;
- Tastiest Fair Dessert: Cinnamon Roll by Old West Cinnamon Rolls; and
- Tastiest Fair Food: Funnel Cake Bacon Cheeseburger by Mariah’s Fair Treats.
Judges chosen from the community included Craig Altman of Adelman Broadcasting, Patrick Bonas of Rally Kia, Kyle Bozigian of Bozi Enterprises, Joe Cabral of the City of Lancaster, Brian Chase of High Desert Broadcasting (KMIX), Renee Eng of Time Warner Cable, Luis Garabay of the City of Lancaster, Donna Giddens of the A.V. Press, Josh Mann of Waste Management, Kim Robbins of RZ Radio LLC (KTPI), and this reporter from The A.V. Times.
“With so many tasty entries from our food concessionaires, the judges were really challenged with determining the winners in each category since all the food was great,” said Tina Martirossian, the A.V. Fair events, vendor and concessions coordinator.
The 77th Annual Antelope Valley Fair & Alfalfa Festival is taking place at the Antelope Valley Fairgrounds through Sunday, Aug. 30. Visit www.AVFair.com for more information. View photos of several of the winning A.V. Fair concessionaires on the Antelope Valley Fair’s Facebook page here.