The sweet smell of funnel cakes overflowing in powdered sugar, the subtle sound of kettle corn popping, the joyous outbursts of children devouring deep fried desserts– it is festival time!
This year, the 102nd annual West Side Nut Club Fall Festival kicked off Monday, October 2nd, celebrating the arrival of another Fall in Evansville, Indiana. With over 137 food booths, the Fall Festival has just been named the best festival in the country by USA Today. This has been in the works for more than a century and truly illuminates their slogan, “From Small Acorns, Large Oaks Grow.”
The festival originally started off with just a few local businessmen on the west side of Evansville, but is now known as one of the largest food festivals in the nation, and with so much food, there ought to be some famous favorites!
Starting off strong, locals recommended the apple dumplings with a scoop of vanilla ice cream at food booth 85. This fall flavored dessert could also be ordered sugar free and, while it took some by surprise, it left many longing for more!
Chloe Cline greatly enjoyed her corn dog, more commonly known as “pronto pups”, at the festival, but was hopeful to try much more as she ventured through the numerous food vendors. Her friend chimed in and agreed that while the pronto pups were “gas”, they would find more unique food there and were excited to continue looking for their new favorite finds.
Chloe Clinden on the other hand knew without hesitation that her favorite food find was the deep-fried s’mores – this was a popular favorite. Joelle also said, “For a sweet treat, I liked the Mickey Mouse, where the deep-fried Oreos are the ears and then the deep fried s’mores is the body.”
The chocolate covered strawberries at vendor 104 were also a hit according to Amelia, a performer at the festival. Various other chocolate dipped desserts could also be found at the festival though, including grapes, bananas, and clown noses (red velvet cake balls).
Fall Fest has no limitations and can please more than a sweet tooth; the classic Munchie Map lays out not only the places one can find the vendors, but also categorizes the various foods. For example, the chicken category includes the well-known chicken bacon ranch mac and cheese, and it tells readers just where to find it at the Evansville Rescue Mission booth located at number 136.
The banner above the food truck claims, “This mac & cheese saves lives!” And according to customers close by, the mac and cheese also saved their appetite. Various combinations are available such as buffalo mac, chicken fiesta mac, and Cajun mac in addition to the chicken bacon ranch mac.
Another familiar favorite was the pork parfait. Camille commented, “My favorite is the pork parfait because it has a mixture of different flavors and it is so good, you can’t just get it anywhere else.” Found at food vendor number 5, this fall fest favorite offers a unique layered BBQ delicacy that consists of mashed potatoes, pull pork, Hawg N Sauce Barbecue, corn, and baked beans.
Moving on to yet another well-known dinner option is the donut burger, courtesy of Donut Bank and Grace and Peace Lutheran Church. This popular item is the only thing found on the menu at food booth 41, but 104.1 WIKY’s Diane Douglas assures customers they will not be disappointed in her recent article when discussing the burger.
The West Side Nut Club Fall Festival has food for everyone’s liking, from your festival classics all the way to pumpkin spice puppy chow. With over 137 vendors, and 100 years of experience, it is bound to have unforgettable food that one can only experience the during first week of October in Evansville, Indiana.