New and returning food at the fair

Published 10:16 am Thursday, August 13, 2015

Deep fried apple pie from the Minneapple Pie stand is new to the Mower County Fair this year.  Alex Smith/

Deep fried apple pie from the Minneapple Pie stand is new to the Mower County Fair this year.
Alex Smith/

Plenty of variety for lovers of the carnival culinary arts

The main path through food vendors was crowded with lines as fair goers enjoyed a variety of foods at the Mower County Fair Wednesday afternoon.

Among these stands were longtime vendors and rookies experiencing their first year at this fair.

Kathy Heise, owner of Heise Concessions, started working at the stand after she married her husband in the 1980s. He originally bought the stand in the 1950s, and the structure of the building remains the same today.

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“It’s basically the same stand [it was back then],” Heise said with a chuckle.0813.FairFood1

After her husband passed away in 2001, she decided to keep running it with the help of her employees. According to Heise, he was very passionate about the fair and loved coming back each year. 
“That’s why I love it,” she said.

Heise’s stand is best known for their Pronto Pups, which are corn dogs, as well as their other deep fried foods on a stick.

Throughout the summer, they visit three fairs and several small town celebrations. However, she enjoys this fair the most.

“Austin’s fair is the best,” Heise said.

On the other end of the stick, Minneapple Pies is a newbie to the Mower County Fair.

George Atsidakos, owner of Minneapple Pies, decided to come after friends had recommended they stop by for the week.

“We heard the people are really nice and it’s a great town,” Atsidakos said.

The stand offers two flavors of deep fried pie: apple and pumpkin. Both are topped with cinnamon sugar and come with a side of ice cream. All the ingredients are homemade and fresh.

“We put in a lot of hard work. People don’t see all the behind the scenes work,” Atsidakos said.

Atsidakos originally started the stand in 2009 and travels throughout the country with his stand during the summer. The inspiration for the business came from his father, Andy, who immigrated to America from Greece and was known for his homemade apple pies.

“He always wanted to [sell his pies] at the Minnesota State Fair,” Atsidakos said.

Since his father never got the chance to, Atsidakos made it his mission to do so. He accomplished his goal in 2011 and has been a vendor there every year since.

DeAnna’s Food Concessions, which has seen many years at the Mower County Fair, gets by with a lot of help from family.

F0813.airFood3“It’s a family business,” said Ryan Hagy, the oldest son of the family.

The stand started after a contest between Ryan’s father and his brother to see who could sell the most cheesecakes at a fair. Following that, the family stated the stand has been to the Mower County Fair for almost 20 years.

“My dad really liked hanging out here at the fair,” Hagy said.

According to Hagy, he spends most of his summers traveling across the country with his family working at different fairs.

“I’m definitely blessed to say I can work with my family,” Hagy said.

Hagy enjoys this fair because of the people and fellow vendors.

“It’s a great atmosphere,” he said. “Everyone is so community-minded.”

At the various stands the Hagy family owns, they sell a variety of ice cream flavors, deep fried candy bars, meat sundaes and pitas with different types of meat among other menu items.

Hagy looks forward to coming back to the Mower County Fair every year.

“It feels like a family reunion,” he said.