Tanana Valley State Fair

Food choices were plentiful at the Tanana Valley State Fair, including elephant ears, funnel cakes, Thai tea and Dippin' Dots. Kyrie Long/News-Miner

Fair time is food time, but what fair food does Tanana Valley prefer?

I wandered the Tanana Valley State Fair on Thursday afternoon to discover some people’s favorite fair foods.

“Well, because of my work — I typically work on the slope — so I’ve missed the last four years, but typically we come every year,” said Patrick Lopez, who had a shark painted swirling up onto his right cheek.

Chicken sandwiches and the Thai teas were among Lopez’s favorites.

“They have two Thai teas here. One is brown and one is also a green, and we’ll do one of each of those,” Lopez said, adding that he and his family will try whatever else is new on the fair menu.

Lopez also said he likes the funnel cakes served up at the fair, the ones with powdered sugar.

Jack Morris said his family comes to the fair at least once a year.

“I like going to the little Korean place down here at the corner and getting the wontons,” he said, “and of course the brick of fries is always fun, and the kids really like the big corn dogs.”

The Morris family also weighed in on the great elephant-ear-versus-funnel-cake debate, which continues at the fairgrounds to this day. Jack prefers the ear-shaped fried bread to the spiraling one. His opinion appears to run in the family.

“I’ve always been an elephant ear fan. My mom was with the lady that brought it here years ago,” he said, adding that what is now a fair stand used to serve patrons out of a pull-behind RV.

Ashley Morris had a preference for the elephant ears, as well.

“They’re fluffier, they’re bigger, they have a little bit more flavor to them than the funnel cakes because the funnel cakes are a little bit thinner, a little bit smaller, there’s not as much flavor,” she said.

Molly Murphy said she comes to the fair once or twice a year.

“I have to get an annual funnel cake,” she said, adding that she gets an annual gyro as well. Murphy said she likes to change up her other choices yearly.

Pam Taylor, who sat by the rides, said she comes to the fair every year when it’s not raining. There’s a wide variety of food she’ll partake in.

“Dippin’ Dots, the Thai wings, the turkey legs, the elephant ears,” Taylor said. She prefers her elephant ears with cinnamon and sugar.

Laura Gavora said she comes to the fair for the food.

“The little shrimp pita pocket over there at the Seafood Alaska, it’s really good, and same with the artichoke that’s right next to it at the crepe place,” she said.

Nick Compton, 12, talked with me while getting a wax hand with his mother.

“When we got here, we did button pictures, but then we went over there to the sweet Thai chili place. It was really good,” he said, adding that he thinks Dippin’ Dots are really good.

Compton also likes the elephant ears, with sugar and cinnamon.

Contact staff writer Kyrie Long at 459-7510. Follow her on Twitter:@FDNMlocal.