This way to... – Americans spend millions on food each year at fairs and festivals around the country. Here are a just a few examples of the creative concoctions being offered to attendees. Nadja Robot didn't feel up to trying any of these fried delights at the 2011 Illinois State Fair. "I'm sure they were really... something," she says.
Funnel cakes – Dezra Despain spotted these new takes on an old favorite at the 2012 Indiana State Fair. "I remember when funnel cakes were just fried dough with powdered sugar on top. They are getting creative," she says.
Fried Oreos – Abby Langston's husband had these at the Dixie Classic Fair in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. "He loved them and has gotten them every year since, but I think they're a little dry in the middle and aren't really worth the probably-too-many-to-count calories."
Picnic on a Stick – The Picnic on a Stick, at the State Fair of Texas, contains pieces of spicy fried chicken, tater tots and slices of dill pickle. The ingredients are repeated three times on a stick, then dipped in batter, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. It is completed with the choice of barbecue sauce, ranch or honey mustard.
Deep-fried Mac-N-Cheese Slider – The State Fair of Texas features sliders. "Three-cheese mac is baked until golden brown, battered in bread crumbs, deep-fried until crisp on the outside, warm and gooey on the inside," fair officials say. The concoction is then placed on a slider bun with a griddled beef patty.
Super Fries – Jackie Alpers is a photographer who says she tries to taste almost everything she photographs. She made an exception with these fries, covered with pinto beans, chile sauce and cheese from a county fair in Arizona.
Craz-E Burger – The Big E, or Eastern States Exposition, in West Springfield, Massachusetts, is home to the Craze-E Burger, which was introduced in 2009. It's "a huge hamburger, topped with melting cheese and crispy bacon, all served on a grilled, glazed donut."
Fried Snickers – Alison Toon's son indulges in a once-a-year fair treat at the California State Fair in Sacramento. "I just wander around the fair, enjoying the smell of the food. Most I can't eat, as I have to stick to a gluten-free diet," Toon says.
Fried bacon cinnamon roll – The fried bacon cinnamon roll won first place for "Most Creative" treat at the 2012 State Fair of Texas. It's made of a cinnamon roll dipped in a sweet pancake batter and rolled in crispy fried bacon crumbles. It is then deep-fried and topped with powder sugar. The fair calls it "a main course and a dessert all in one."