Did you feel that? That was the state's collective arteries shivering in fear, thanks to the announcement of the finalists for the Wisconsin State Fair's sixth annual Sporkies food contest, showcasing the craziest and most crave-inducing culinary creations local chefs could concoct – and probably deep-fry or shove on a stick.
These are the eight finalists, selected from 31 entrants, vying for one of this year's four Golden Spork trophies:
- Deep-fried spinach lasagna bites (from Albanese's Roadhouse)
- Deep-fried turducken on a stick (from Water Street Brewery)
- French onion soup on a stick (from Slim's PBR Park)
- Pig candy cannoli (from Brew City)
- S'mores beer float (from Slim McGinn's Irish Pub)
- Breakfast bombs (from Saz's Taste of Wisconsin)
- The PorkSTACKular (from Budweiser Pavilion)
- WI hot chicken bombs (from Water Street Brewery)
The winners will be selected at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Associated Bank Amphitheater, with the help of a iron-hearted panel of celebrity judges – including Packers icon LeRoy Butler, "Around the Corner" host John McGivern, Milwaukee radio vet and OnMilwaukee contributor Steve Palec, and Journal Sentinel food editor Nancy Stohs. "Wisconsin Foodie" host Kyle Cherek will return as the event's emcee.
State Fair goers hungry for democracy (and maybe a myocardial infarction) can have their voices heard by voting for their favorites via text message keyword, paper ballot at the Guest Services Pavilion, and social media by using #FairgoersFave on Instagram, Twitter and the Facebook voting app. The entry with the most votes – collected Aug. 2-7 – will earn the Fairgoers Fave Sporkies trophy.
Last year's first place winning dish was spaghetti and meatballs mozzarella sticks from Albanese's Roadhouse, while Saz'z "Monkey Business" won the Fairgoers Fave award.
All of the Sporkies entrants (a full list can be found here) will be available during the Wisconsin State Fair. One can find the finalists' locations by spotting the 13-foot spork (or a crowd of people vowing to exercise or join the local gym the next day) outside each spot.
Stay tuned to OnMilwaukee for more State Fair announcements, updates and articles as the late summer spectacular draws closer.