From french fries to klub, food sales grow with crowd
WILLMAR -- It's not a county fair without food on a stick or hot out of the deep-fat fryer.
On day three of the Kandiyohi County Fair many visitors were there to take in the exhibits, be entertained at the Heritage Square Stage and find the perfect food for the day.
Tige Sluka of New London said the attendance has been up this year. He should know. He's spent the last three days selling lemonade, french fries and corndogs from his stand.
"It's been way up," Sluka said. "The weather has helped it along in getting people out."
Sluka, owner of KT Concessions, said he has been attending the county fair with his wife Karen for the last five years. His wife runs the stand next to his red tent selling loaded potatoes and food off the grill.
The couple travels to fairs across the Midwest since getting into vending seven years ago.
"We try to find the events that suit us and make sure we have food that suits everybody's liking," Sluka said.
Lenin Marqez and Dan Hable were also at the fair selling Tiny Tim Donuts.
The company, based out of Taylors Falls, has been selling donuts at the Kandiyohi County Fair for more than 20 years, said Hable, a Tiny Tim Donuts employee.
Hable said he's not sure why donuts are so popular, but knows people come and enjoy them when they are hot and fresh out of the fryer.
"It's not just something you can go and get," he said.
Hable, who has been at the fair for four years, agreed with Sluka and said the attendance is up; partly because of the nice weather and also the grandstand events.
"The fair is way better than last year considering there are no tornadoes like last year," Hable said referring to last year's storm that forced the fairgrounds to be evacuated.
But it was the unusual Norwegian dish that had many trying an old food for the first time.
Mike Schroeder, owner of The MORE Café in Milan, is at the fair for the first year selling klub, a ground potato with flour formed into a ball with ham in the center and boiled in a ham broth.
He and his daughter, Rachel, said they have heard only compliments about the Norwegian dish.
"From 7 to 70, everybody likes it," he said. "We've met a lot of different people and stands who have had different makes of klub since they were a kid."
Schroeder said people are slowly finding out about klub by word-of-mouth advertising. He said more and more people are getting Klube each day of the fair.
Today marks the final day of the four-day county fair with the gates opening at 8 a.m. and closing at 10 p.m. Featured events include a safety trailer and scavenger hunt as well as a story hour at the Little Red School House and 4 p.m. talent contest at the Heritage Stage Square.
Fair1 - Dan Hable , left, and Lenin Marqez make a fresh batch of Tiny Tim's Donuts Friday afternoon at the Kandiyohi County Fair.
Fair2 - Mike Schroeder and his wife Yong, owners of The MORE Café in Milan, were setup all week at the Kandiyohi County Fair selling Klube, a Norwegian potato dish.
Fair3- Tige Sluka of New London hands Brenda Jacobsen, also of New London, some freshly cut and made French fries on Friday during the Kandiyohi County Fair.