“I’m a Scottsbluff resident and I typically use the cart at Bands on Broadway and events around town, and this is the biggest event I’ve tried to tackle,” said Mike Wilson, owner of the local food cart Mike’s Wild Dogs.
Wilson sells hot dogs with different types of sauces, including chili hot dogs, barbecue hot dogs and pizza hot dogs. He has had his hot dog cart for just a year, so this is his team’s first county fair experience.
He said he’s built a devoted following in Scottsbluff, but attracting customers at the county fair can be slightly more difficult.
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In the mornings, however, she sets up shop next to the livestock pavilion to sell coffee, smoothies, iced tea and snow cones to the performers and their families.
The Jax trailer has been part of the fair since 2019, but this was the first year it was stationed by the pavilion as opposed to with the rest of the food trucks.
Other vendors traveled from much farther than Scottsbluff to attend the fair. Ish Husain’s Renear food truck came all the way from Omaha to sell gyros, baklava and Greek salads at the Scotts Bluff County Fair for the 10th straight year.
“We’re here all day, sweating it out in the heat just for you guys, so we appreciate (people) coming out and supporting us so we can continue doing this as the years go by,” Husain said. “Everyone’s here to support one another…we love to see all the stuff they’ve got going on. It’s refreshing.”
He said the food truck travels across the Midwest each summer to provide food at various county fairs and music festivals.
“It’s fun,” Jeff Leo, who owns the food truck, said. “I mean, you have a lunch hour and you have a big nighttime crowd. I just like traveling all night long, going from show to show … you enjoy it, it’s a blast,”
Cactus Jacks sells mainly gourmet burgers, but Leo said he’d added a brisket special to the menu for the fair.
“People decide on their favorites and they look forward to us coming back every year. Several years in a row now, I’ve introduced a new sandwich every year, so it’s kind of fun for them to try the new one,” he added.
Leo said he’d seen more business at fairs and festivals than usual this summer. He suspected more people were visiting such local events as entertainment as opposed to going on long-distance vacations.
“Fair’s just the most fun time,” Jax manager Herman told the Star-Herald. “Obviously, I have a little bit of nostalgia but … county fair is something I look forward to every year. I think it’s nice to get everybody to one location to celebrate and eat some good food. Lots of us food vendors are family-owned businesses and locals. It’s a good group of people.”