TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida’s state fair may still be on, but the uncertainty surrounding this pandemic has turned the carnival industry into a bit of a circus.
With their infantry of pizza and fried Oreos, fair vendors Matt Lauther and Drew Arnold are usually traveling across the country this time of year. But this year they’ll be stationary, selling the same cuisine from their stand in Riverview.
“Overnight I said, ‘We gotta put everything I own up to make the presence, so people want to come in there,” said Lauther, describing the festive-ambiance he has tried to inject into his temporary-workspace. “We’ll serve the five main food groups that people go to the fair for…and then the donut bacon burger because that will get people in the door.”
For Luther, it’s about more than just finding a way to make ends meet. It’s also a way of honoring his roots.
“I’m the fourth generation [in my family] to work in the carnival industry, on both sides of my family,” said Lauther. “Long story short, I’ve had to hire my family and out-of-work carnies because they’re all out of a job…my ancestors would be proud of me.”
Taste of the Fair is located in Riverview, and you can find more information here on their Facebook page.