Fair food for the family

The Beaver family has actively been serving N.C. State Fair goers for about 50 years now. Their business, Old Style Foods, can typically be found at many fairs across the southeastern United States. In the wake of COVID-19, the Salisbury natives wanted to find a way to continue serving their North Carolinian supporters in a safe manner.

Troy Beaver, the grandson of Old Style Food’s founder, said his father, Jeff, was eager to implement this project after seeing it done successfully elsewhere.

“My dad had a friend who did a similar event in New York at the state fairgrounds there, so he contacted the state fair here.”

For several weekends, the group has worked alongside another vendor to serve a variety of fair foods, like deep-fried Oreos and Snickers, corn dogs, and cotton candy, among other things. Beaver said funnel cakes have been the most popular among customers, with pineapple smoothies also being a big hit.

Visitors enter the fairgrounds’ Gate 9 entrance on Trinity Road. The cars then split into three lanes upon entering the parking lot. Customers never leave their car; an employee takes each order, retrieves the food, and brings the items back to the car.

Each weekend, the team has made changes accordingly to meet the needs of visitors.

“We’ve had to adapt to process the cars through faster, and I think each weekend we’ve gotten better at that. We’ve created an order form we’re now using, so we hand that out to make the process a little simpler.”

Beaver has been grateful for the opportunity to provide work for his team during this time, while also giving North Carolinians a fun and safe event to attend outside of their homes. The event has attracted visitors from across the state, some driving as far as an hour and a half for the tasty treats. In the future, Beaver would love to continue serving the people of NC.

“We’re going to keep it going this summer as long as we can. As far as the future goes, though,  it’s kind of unknown if it would fit into our schedule, but it’s something that we would entertain if the fair permits and if our schedule permits.”

Drive-Thru Fair Food Days will be taking place on June 26-28 and July 3-5, operating from 12-8 p.m. daily.

About Caramel Apple

Hello everyone! My name is Emily, but you all can call me "Caramel Apple." Originally from Sampson County, I am currently a journalism student at UNC-Chapel Hill. I am so excited to be a part of the NC State Fair team this summer!

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