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This is the last weekend to partake in the Collier County Fair. The animals, the games and rides and most importantly, the food.

From turkey legs to candied apples, if it’s not unique to the fair, like foot-long corn dogs, it’s just plain better, like the cotton candy.

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First thing you need to know. Bring cash. It’s $15 per adult to enter. And many of the entrance booths don’t take credit. Inside, tickets are $1.50 each with rides taking a varied about of tickets (and there’s a $20 minimum purchase when using a credit card). You can also buy a wristband for $35, which gets you unlimited rides. But even inside, you will have to seek out ticket booths that take credit. Yes, there’s ATMs present. But if you want to avoid a user charge, or seeking out the few places that take credit, bring cash and lots of it. And if you’re hungry? You guessed it, cash.

I left my calorie counter behind and prayed that I would walk enough along the Midway to counteract the millions of calories I was about to ingest.

My first indulgence was the buffalo chips, which is much better than it sounds. It was a cake-sized mound of potato chips, covered in buffalo sauce, chunks of chicken and ranch dressing. It’s big enough for two or three or perhaps even four people. In their haste to serve everyone, a few of the chips were undercooked on the bottom. But who am I kidding, those were my favorite ones. The chicken was a bit “pressed and precooked” for my taste, but at least it was cooked thoroughly.

You could also order this mound of chips with hamburger meat and a cheddar cheese topping. Instead of chips, you can also do fries. And the bucket is optional.

There were a multitude of libations to wash those potatoes down with: daiquiris served in pineapples, for example, or a jug of juice (it looked as though people were looking to fill tiny lawnmowers), but I went for a classic cherry Icee; brain freeze included.        

For dessert, a funnel cake. But not just any funnel cake. Brace yourself: Red. Velvet. Funnel. Cake. OMG!

In fairness, the cake part is hardly distinguishable from regular funnel cake. The powered sugar, welcome, but not unique. No. The icing on the cake was literally the cream cheese icing on the cake. Five out of five stars. Simply amazing.

There’s nothing quite like carnival food. Thank goodness it only lasts nine days. Which means Sunday, March 24, is your last chance.

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This newspaper pays for all meals related to dining reviews. We do not solicit or accept free food.

If you go

Collier County Fair

  • 751 39th Ave NE, Naples
  • 239-455-1444
  • collierfair.com   
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