Food vendors staying busy at the Rockingham County Fair

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 6:42 PM EDT
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ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) - Tuesday marked the second day of the Rockingham County Fair, and the fun was rolling along.

The food at the fair is always a big hit, with vendors selling hundreds of pounds of burgers, chicken, and hot dogs during the week.

On Tuesday, WHSV got a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into making some of the fair’s best food.

“We come in here about 9:00 in the morning and aim to open about 10:30 or 11:00 to get things prepped and ready to go. Right now, we got about 9 people working,” said Mervin Diehl, a member of the Mount Crawford Ruritan Club.

The Mount Crawford Ruritan Club has been serving burgers, hot dogs, fries, barbeque, and Philly cheesesteaks out of its booth at the fair since 2007. Mervin Diehl said the club serves about 50 pounds of Hamburgers a day.

“There are four big bags of french fries in a case, and we probably go through about six of them a day. Philly cheesesteaks, I’d say we do in the neighborhood of 65 or 70 a day,” said Diehl.

While the Mount Crawford Ruritan Club specializes in beef and barbeque, the Cross Keys Ruritan Club is churning out chicken.

“It’s pretty hectic in the evenings. We went through about 17 cases of chicken, so 17 times 40 that’s how many pounds of chicken we went through last night even with the rain,” said Greg Trobaugh, Vice President of the Cross Keys Ruritan Club.

Trobaugh has been helping cook chicken at the fair since he joined the club in 1969. He said the club typically goes through two tons of chicken during fair week.

“We’ll do about that same amount of french fries and then tenders and nuggets, we’ll do about 3,000 pounds,” said Trobaugh.

The club’s chicken is always in high demand at the fair, and that means all hands on deck each night.

“It takes about 25 people or more in the evening to make it work because you’ve got seven cash registers open and people standing back at them, so you’ve got to try to get them out as fast as you can,” he said.

The Rockingham County 4H Club also serves its fair share of burgers, chicken, and hot dogs during the fair. Landon Bryan has been helping the club cook since he was eight and now at eleven, he handles the coffee and hot chocolate. He guesses he serves around 500 or so cups of coffee and hot chocolate each day.

For all the clubs, despite the hard work, selling the food is a great way to raise money and be a part of the fair fun.

“I just love helping out with the club and the fundraisers. I love to see people happy to get something good to eat,” said Diehl.

The Rockingham County Fair will continue through Saturday, August 20.

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