It wasn’t a matter of if Hot Cheetos would make its way into fair food, just when.
The Flamin’ Hot Cheeto has become a bit of Cheetos marketing and also a foodie trend, finding its way out of the bag and onto tacos and burritos and – in the case of The Big Fresno Fair – fries and baked potatoes, too.
The fair opens a 13-day run Wednesday and, as usual, food is a highlight.
The Corn Stars booth will sell a Hot Cheetos baked potato.
You can get the Hot Cheetos fries at Good Ol Burger.
Chicken Charlie’s has a Hot Cheetos-dipped Buffalo chicken chimichanga. The dip comes after the green tortilla is stuffed with Buffalo chicken, mac and cheese and bacon and then fried.
The chimichanga is Chicken Charlie’s entry in the first Big Fresno Fair Food Fight. The judged competition has various concessionaires battling to see who can create the best piece of fair food in three categories: Best Savory, Best Sweet and Best Beverage.
The event happens 2 p.m. Thursday on the Pavilion Stage.
The Bee’s Bethany Clough will serve as one of the judges.
Of course, Hot Cheetos isn’t the only new fair food worth mentioning.
Disneyland fanatics can get their Dole Whip fix at the fair. The raved-about non-dairy, pineapple soft serve will be available in a cup, cone or waffle cone and can be dipped in chocolate.
Keeping with chilled desserts, A Taste of Paradise offers specialty shaved ice in flavors like Chunky Monkey, Death By Chocolate, root beer float, pumpkin pie chai and (because it is the fair, after all) dill pickle.
Acevedo’s Postreria Gourmet – the coffee shop/Mexican bakery that opened at Champlain Drive and Perrin Avenue this year – will be inside the Industry Commerce Building. It will be heavy with desserts like strawberry or Nutella cream cheese croissants, along with cupcakes, brownies, cannolis, cake pops and espresso drinks.
A full list of all your food choices (and a handy-dandy map) can be seen online at www.fresnofair.com.
Beer and wine time
The fair is bringing back its beer and wine festivals.
The Brew Fest happens 2 p.m. Saturday with 30 breweries, plus food trucks, a DJ, lawn games and private betting stations for the horse races.
The Fall Wine Festival is 2 p.m. Oct. 12 and offers much of the same – just swap the beer for wine from more than 24 San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast wineries.
Tickets for each event are $35, or $25 for designated drivers. Fair admission is not included.
The Big Fresno Fair runs Oct. 2-14. General gate admission is $12, $8 for children 6-12, seniors and military with valid ID. A $38 season pass is also available.
Gates are open 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday.
All buildings close at 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday and 10:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The Big Fresno Fair Museum & Fresno County Historical Museum closes at 9 p.m. each day, with tours running at 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. daily.
The main carnival operates from 3 p.m. to closing Monday to Friday and 10 a.m. to closing Saturday and Sunday.
Horse racing post time start 1:15 p.m. Monday and Thursday to Sundays. There is no racing Oct. 2 and Oct. 7-9.
Ticketed concerts happen 7 p.m., nightly at the Paul Paul Theater.