By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 28, 2022 at 2:04 PM

Get ready. It’s almost time for the Wisconsin State Fair, which takes place Thursday, Aug. 4 through Sunday, Aug. 14. And that means it's nearly time to indulge in some of the wildest Fair foods you can imagine.

To warm you up, we’ve got the list of the eight Sporkies finalists to get your stomach rumbling.

Back for its 9th year, The Sporkies competition will put eight State Fair vendors head to head in a grueling competition for the coveted Golden Spork award.

Chosen from an impressive selection of 28 entries, these eight finalists will be put to the test on Tuesday, Aug. 2 when a panel of local celebrity judges will taste every single one and choose the ultimate winner based on  appearance, presentation, creativity, originality, and of course, taste.

Drum roll please! 
And this year's finalists are...

Black Bean Burrito Balls

Black bean burrito ballsX

Lakefront Brewery Beer Garden
A mixture of black beans, sweet corn, a plethora of cheeses, and spices combined into bite-sized spheres and breaded with a combination of spicy cheese curls and nacho cheese chips. Then, into the deep fryer the Black Bean Burrito Balls go! Served with zesty chile lime sauce.

Brandy Old Fashioned S’more On-a-Stick

Brandy old fashioned s'more on a stickX

Freese’s Candy Shoppe
Fluffy brandy old fashioned infused cream is sandwiched between two graham crackers, covered in milk chocolate, and drizzled with white chocolate. The Brandy Old Fashioned S’more On-a-Stick is topped with the traditional old fashioned garnishes of fried orange and dried cherry.

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Latte

Cinnamon Toast Crunch latteX

Slim McGinn’s Irish Pub
Slim McGinn’s Irish Pub’s Two Brothers nitro coffee goes to the next level when mixed with Cinnamon Toast Crunch infused cereal milk. Add a cereal crust rimmed cup and top with delicious whipped cream to top off this delectable Cinnamon Toast Crunch Latte.

Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken On-a-Stick

Flamin' Hot Cheetos chicken on a stickX

Bud Pavilion
Wanting something spicy, fun, and of course, on-a-stick, the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Chicken On-a-Stick was born. This deep-fried chicken skewer is breaded with a special seasoning blend and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos dust. Drizzled with chipotle ranch and sprinkled with top-secret seasoning.

Fried Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos

Fried pickle cheese curd tacosX

Richie’s Cheese Curd Tacos
Fried Pickle Cheese Curd Tacos are completely deep-fried with pickles sandwiched together with cream cheese and freshly battered white cheddar cheese curds. Deep-fried to get that classic Richie’s crispy taco shell. They are topped with raspberry chipotle sauce and fresh greens.

Peño Pretzel Popper Brat

Peno pretzel bratX

Gertrude’s Pretzels
This masterpiece starts with a 10-inch jalapeño cheddar bratwurst that is wrapped in fresh pretzel dough, topped with coarse pretzel salt, and fresh cut jalapeños. The Peño Pretzel Popper Brat is baked and brushed with butter, then drizzled with white cheddar sauce, and served with a house-made jalapeño cream cheese.

Surf & Turf Sliders

Surf & turf slidersX

These sliders are piled high with marinated pulled pork cooked to perfection, a layer of tropical slaw, and Tropics’ signature pineapple mango salsa. The Surf & Turf Sliders are topped with hot, crispy coconut shrimp and smothered in a jalapeño aioli sauce, all on a fresh Hawaiian sweet roll bun. 

The Sconnie Slugger 

The Sconnie SluggerX

Miller Lite Sports Bar & Grill
Highlighting the great state of Wisconsin, The Sconnie Slugger combines a locally made beer brat and cheese curds and then dipped in Cruller cornmeal batter. This play on a corn dog is deep-fried and topped with “dijonaise” and German sweet and sour cabbage.

Eat 'em up

All food items entered for the Sporkies competition will be available for purchase during the 2022 Wisconsin State Fair. Just look for the  massive 13-foot spork displayed at all Sporkies finalists’ locations!

Want to be one of the judges?

Are you a Wisconsin State Fair food fanatic?  Then, you'll want to put your hat in the ring to be an honorary Sporkies judge. This Sporkies Fairgoer Judge will get to sample all eight Sporkies finalist dishes ahead of the State Fair to select the ultimate winner. To enter, individuals must submit their dream Fair food recipe on or before Friday, July 1. For more information and to enter, just click right here.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.