Saturday, July 25, 2009

Huntington Hot Dog Festival

Once again Huntington tried to play host to the West Virginia Hot Dog Festival. This year's event featured 9 hot dog joints, one wiener manufacturer and a whole bunch of various and sundry vendors, clubs, political action organizations and just general hawkers of meaningless crap.

Here are a few pictures:

This is the "Healthy Alternative" sold by Java Joint. It is a tofu weenie and served with vegetarian chili, er I mean sauce. It tasted like a vegetarian hot dog with about three times more mayonnaise than necessary in the slaw. But at least it had slaw: Many of the other HDJs didn't offer it at all.

I was pleased as punch to see at least one person who sported a t-shirt!

At about 2:30 a huge storm blew up and really put a damper on festivities. Many of the vendors packed it in after this.

The HDJs present were (in no particular order):

Hillbilly Hot Dogs
Java Joint
Stewarts Original Hot Dogs (two stands - I guess when your owner is the festival chairman you get such special treatment)
Cowboy BBQ
Big Loafer
Ramona's Market (From Proctorville, Ohio, for Pete's sake!)
Johnny Dogs
Sam's Hot Dog Stand
Midway Drive In

Other vendors/hawkers/propagandizers included:

Rick's Lemonade - 2 stands
Tri State Casino and Racetrack
Ohio Valley Camera Club
Animal Rescue
Temporry Airbrush Tatoos
Club Pet & numerous other pet related tents)
Huntington Harmonica Club
Right to Life (complete with a creepy dead baby display)
Colonial Lanes
Sponge Bob Paraphanalia
Hospice of Huntington

I'll say again what I have said for the past 3 years: Call it what you will, this is not a West Virginia Hot Dog Festival, but a Tri-State Hot Dog Festival. The hot dog vendors at this event in no way represent the hot dog culture of the state, and therefore I will waste no more of Blogger's data storage space with more words about it.

For our posts about past years festivals, follow this link.


Unknown said...

No M and M Dairy Bell? Pish posh.

Eric Wolfe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric Wolfe said...

My dad and I went down and stayed long enough to eat a couple of hot dogs and watch the Root Beer chug. We just missed the down-pour of rain as we made it into the parking garage to leave.

We both waited in line at Hillbilly Hot Dogs stand, probably the longest line there. The line moved fairly quick, and was well worth the wait. Hillbilly HD was the only vendor I observed serving slaw. Dad had two proper W.Va. style dogs (mustard, onion, chili, slaw). I had two Thundering Herd Dogs, it has many of the traditional W.Va. dog dressings but kicks it up a notch in terms of spiciness (onions, chili, habanero sauce, nacho cheese, jalapenos, slaw).

I don't know what Hillbilly HD did differently that day for the festival to make such exceptional dogs. But, we both agreed the slaw was sweeter and much creamier, in a good way, than the usual slaw served at the Hillbilly HD in Huntington. They featured perhaps 20 different varieties of hot dogs from their booth. Hillbilly HD didn't skimp on the toppings, all of our dogs were stacked high with chili and slaw. They didn't hide their toppings underneath the dog, like some prominent local vendors. I have to say Sonny and Sharie brought their A game to the festival.

We washed the dogs down with a couple of delicious Frostop root beers. Strangely, the Frostop root beer was poured from plain 2-liter bottles instead of being served from a tap. My dad commented on this, I had to re-assure him it would be worth it. However, the root beer was still quite delicious, despite the way which it was served.

I stopped at the main info. booth to inquire if there was a people's choice vote for best vendor, since this is a regular practice at the annual rib fest. Much to my surprise, I was politely informed nobody wanted to hurt feelings of local vendors by making this into a contest, since all the vendors were there, in good faith to raise money for the local children's hospital. That is, unlike the annual rib fest, this was a charitable fund-raiser, and all the vendors involved were in some way contributing to this cause. It was not just about the hot dogs, and slaw.

But, seriously you ate a tofu dog? Eeeww!