Fair vendors ready for annual event

By William Thompson: Freedom Newspapers

The life of a traveling concessionaire can be exhilarating.
So says Pat Cumings of Fritch, Texas, who arrived at the Curry County Fairgrounds on Sunday with the trailer she calls “Pat’s Yum-Yum Hut.”

“When you’re working in the trailer during the fair and you get a line of people, then you get a rhythm going,” Cumings said, “but sometimes when it’s really busy it can get up to over 100 degrees inside the trailer. I’ll do this for the rest of my life though before I go back to being a bookkeeper.”

Cumings will be serving funnel cakes, curly fries, caramel apple wedges and nachos from her trailer when the Curry County Fair begins a six-day run today.

Exhibitors and concession trailers set up Sunday for the 84th annual event.

“The fair people here go out of their way to help you,” she said. “They even park your trailer for you.”

Buddy Vaughan, director of the Curry County Fair Board, said Sunday that everything will be ready for tonight’s 6 p.m. kickoff.

“We are on schedule. Everything has been running pretty smoothly,” Vaughan said. “Workers are picking up trash, cleaning booths, putting up flags, a little bit of everything.”

Monte McClurg trucked 19 species of animals to the fairgrounds Sunday as he and two helpers began setting up a petting zoo.

“We’ve got a pair of kangaroos, a giant turtle, a zebra and a camel for camel rides,” McClurg said. “We’ve even got a baby camel that is still bottle fed.”

McClurg said he and his partners will have time to sample the delights of the fair — at least those he finds appealing.
“I like going around to all the commercial exhibits,” he said. “I’m not into carnival rides, and I haven’t eaten a corn dog in years.”

German born Udo Hafner began his fair and carnival career five years ago when he got a job on a concession trailer at a fair in Mercedes, Texas. This is the fifth year Hafner will be serving turkey legs, sausage on a stick and funnel cakes from inside the “Taste of Texas” trailer.

“You don’t get rich off work like this, but it pays the bills,” Hafner said. “This kind of work gets in your blood.”
Hafner said his funnel cakes are not run of the mill funnel cakes.

“I’m a German cook. I’ve got a German recipe,” he said.