State Fair unveils finalists for signature food

One of the finalists for Indiana State Fair's signature food. (WISH Photo/John LeSage)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — From fried mozzarella sticks in a grilled cheese to a light, fruity drink, the finalists for this year’s Indiana State Fair signature food are diverse.

One of the five finalists will be named the fair’s signature food, and the public gets to vote on it.

For this year’s fight to be named signature food of the Indiana State Fair, the five entrants had to deconstruct then reconstruct familiar fair grub. It’s in honor of the rebuilt coliseum.

One of those foods competing is the fruit twister shakeup. It’s the brain child of Goodwin Family Products.

“Well regular lemonade would just have lemons. But this has oranges, strawberries and pineapples added to it. So it’s a nice reconstructed, deconstructed item for the fair,” Tony Goodwin said.

Another entrant is the Cheeseburger Basket on a Stick. Barto’s Candy & Concessions is behind it.

“By taking the potato, the ground beef, the cheddar cheese flour and bread crumbs, deep frying it, putting it on a stick, we have represented the bun, the bun, the cheeseburger and the french fry,”  John Barto said.

There’s also the Mac Daddy, Gobble Gooble’s homemade macaroni topped with pulled BBQ turkey, Urick Concessions’ twist on the funnel cake and the American Dairy Association’s Colossal Grilled Cheese Sandwich, which includes three columns of breaded mozzarella between two slices of American cheese grilled on sourdough bread, accompanied by a salted chocolate caramel milkshake.

All of it was unveiled to six judges Wednesday, including Kevin Freeman of WFMS and Indiana State Fair Queen Alyssa Garnett.

“A lot of the food is, I wrote down, you can walk around with it.,” says Freeman.

“Yes exactly! Food on a stick. It’s mobile,” says Garnett.

The judges only get to taste the food, but they aren’t picking out the winner — Hoosiers are. Voting starts Monday and runs through July 6. The one that gets the most votes will be named the fair’s signature food. It gets special promotion and recognition.

But all five of the foods will be available for purchase at this year’s fair, which runs Aug. 1-17.

When voting opens Monday, click here to cast yours. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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