Vendors at fair help boost local economy
Food vendors are cooking up tasty treats at the Georgia National Fair to satisfy customers and boost the Middle Georgia economy.
Concession stand owner, Paulette Keene and her workers serve funnel cakes to hundreds of people every day during the fair.
"We came here I think six years ago and you know we've increased our sales over the years because they like our product and they keep coming back," Keene said.
Keene and her husband Norman own "Paulette's Food Service.” They travel around the country serving up fried food and lemonade and now they’re in Perry. Not only does her food stand help draw people into the fair, but she also supports the local economy.
"Most of the time we hire local people to help us so we're leaving money in the county too,” she said. ”We buy a lot of supplies.”
125 food vendors made the cut to set up their stands this year, with many more still on a waiting list. Fair organizers said the vendors are very successful. Last year, they brought in $2.7 million and one vendor said he's watched the fair evolve right in front of his eyes.
"It's grown a lot, the mix of food is really great here,” Gabby’s Kitchen “South” Manager Jay Rounds said. “You see the vendors change. They always get better."
While vendors said the fair is great for business, many people visiting said there's some particular food that is sold that keeps them coming back.
"Corn dog, there's nowhere else you can get food like it," fair attendee Dakota Moncrief said.
"Can't get it nowhere else, it's the atmosphere and the food," fair attendee Carl Simpson said.
While people said the food is tasty, vendors said they're looking forward to more people coming out in the next few days.
"We were a little slow last night, I think the football games kind of got us but they're coming out,” Keene said.”I think we're going to have a terrific weekend."