By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Aug 10, 2020 at 1:01 PM

The Wisconsin State Fair may have been cancelled. But the oh-so-popular Sporkies awards are back, albeit in a slightly different form.

This year, fairgoers have submitted their creations for The Sporkies: Fairgoer Edition. In this reverse version of the popular food competition at Wisconsin State Fair, wild and wacky fair-goer creations are judged by both other consumers and a judging panel comprised of State Fair vendors.

And – although you can’t try the creations in person – you are invited to cast your vote for one of the eight finalists based on which one you think would taste the best.

But don’t delay! Voting closes on Tuesday, Aug. 11 at 11:59 p.m. Head to The Sporkies Fairgoer Edition to cast your online vote. 

The eight Sporkies finalists 

1. Mozzarella Sticks
Submitted by James S. from West Bend, WI.
Beer brat stuffed with mozzarella cheese, battered, deep-fried, and served on a Wisconsin hoagie bun. Topped with a spicy marinara sauce.

2. Wisconsin Sushi
Submitted by Juliet Y. from New Berlin, WI.
"Sushi" plate featuring two different rolls and sauces: (1) pretzel flat bread topped with mac & cheese, bbq pulled pork, and tater tots – for dipping in a beer-cheddar-bacon sauce; (2) rye bread topped with tartar sauce, fried cod, coleslaw and fries – for dipping in a reduced apple and brandy sauce.

3. Saturday Night Supper Club On-a-Stick
Submitted by Ashley G. from Brookfield, WI.
Roasted baby red potatoes, brown buttered thyme and rosemary seasoned New York steak bites, seared shrimp, and bacon-wrapped green beans served on-a-stick. Sauced with a roasted garlic and peppercorn aioli and served over garlic haystack onion rings.

4. Welcome to Wisconsin Cupcakes
Submitted by Katie K. from Waukesha, WI.
Beer-infused chocolate cupcake topped with cream cheese frosting and sprinkled with pretzels.

5. Wisconsin Harvest Rolls
Submitted by Brenda D. from Campbellsport, WI.
These savory rolls feature Wisconsin-sourced ingredients. Savory sausage, caramelized sweet onions, kale, lemon zest, thinly sliced carrots and smoked gouda cheese are wrapped in an egg roll and deep-fried. Served with a smoked paprika and chipotle aioli.

6. Wisconsin Hot Bacon Bourbon Pulled Pork Cornbread Twinkie
Submitted by Eric S. from Muskego, WI.
Homemade cornbread twinkie stuffed with sweet and spicy bbq pulled pork. Topped with bourbon bacon butter, candied bacon, and honey habanero glaze.

7. Deep-Fried Bloody Mary with Beer Ranch Chaser
Submitted by Stena M. from Milwaukee, WI.
Crispy deep-fried mozzarella sticks with all the flavor of a classic Wisconsin Bloody Mary. Served with a cool and tangy beer ranch dipping sauce.

8. Wisconsin Fish Fry Taco
Submitted by Nick B. from Mukwonago, WI.
A potato pancake "taco" shell is stuffed with fried cod, topped with coleslaw, and dolloped with tartar sauce. An entire fish fry dinner, held in one hand!

Additional details

The popular favorite will win the Fairgoer Fav Award. In addition, the Sporkies submissions will be judged by a panel of former Sporkies winners and a sponsor delegate in three categories: appearance and presentation, creativity and originality, and presumed taste.

Judges include delegates from the following businesses:

  • Bank Five Nine, contest sponsor
  • Poncho Dog, 2019 Sporkies 1st Place Winner with Buffalo Chicken Cheese Curd Tacos
  • Saz’s, 2016 Sporkies 2nd Place & Fairgoer Fave Winner with Klement’s Racing Sausages On-a-Stick
  • Slim’s Irish Pub, 2018 Sporkies 2nd Place Winner with French Onion Soup On-a-Stick
  • Water Street Brewery, 2019 Sporkies 2nd Place & Fairgoer Fave Winner with Deep-Fried Italian Stallion and 2016 1st Place Winner with Deep-Fried Old Fashioned

Prizes include a chance to judge the Sporkies in 2021 and a State Fair Prize pack for first place. Second and third place winners and the Fairgoer fave will receive admission tickets to the 2021 Wisconsin State Fair.
Award placings will be announced on Wednesday, Aug. 12.

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.