Come and get it! Harborfest Offers Myriad Food

By Chrissa Butler, contributing writer
OSWEGO – Cotton candy, popcorn, pizza and the lemonade served from a stand that looks like a giant lemon.

Fried potato chips
Fried potato chips

Giant salty pretzels, toasted nuts and fried dough. Giant frozen smoothies and burgers loaded with everything.

Hot dogs and grilled corn. Salt potatoes and the Ice Cream from the Future.

Every junk food food group … and even some of the healthy food groups (cheese samples anyone?) … are represented at Harborfest.

The food is one of the highlights of the weekend-long festival.

The ever-popular bloomin' onion
The ever-popular bloomin’ onion

Bill Evans, the owner and manager of Wendy’s Enterprises, had his grills hot by 10 a.m. cooking many favorites including sausage, French fries and fried potato chips, getting ready for the lunch rush that starts at 11 a.m.

“The most popular is the bloomin’ onion,” he said, sautéing onions and smoking turkey legs.  “After that, the turkey legs.”

And there are some new stands out there, sprinkled in between the tried and true favorites, food possibly not yet tried before.

Matt Talalas, co-owner of Heidi Jo's Jerky
Matt Talalas, co-owner of Heidi Jo’s Jerky

Heidi Jo’s Jerky, of New Hampshire, is making its first appearance at Harborfest this year with three locations: Breitbeck Park, next to the Jazz Stage and across from the midway on Lake Street.

Homemade jerky in bulk and by the package and meat sticks as well as homemade hot sauces are for sale.

Co-owner Matt Talalas said they are excited to make their first appearance at Harborfest, a weekend where they usually have another commitment. Located just outside of Manchester, Heidi Jo’s was founded in 1995.

“A lot people think jerky isn’t healthy, but it’s low fat and high in protein,” Talalas said. “It’s made with no MSG and no preservatives.”

"Exotic" meat sticks were available at Harborfest 2012.
“Exotic” meat sticks were available at Harborfest 2012.

Some of the most popular flavors include western flavored and Teriyaki and black pepper flavored.

But there’s more than beef jerky. You can get elk, buffalo and venison sticks as well as wild boar jerky.

But Talalas’ personal favorite is the black pepper beef jerky.

“Come down and try it,’ he said.”And tell everyone to come to MY location across from the midway! I want to meet them!”

You can order Heidi Jo’s jerky any time at

turkey legs
turkey legs ready to serve
cooking at harborfest
Something’s always cooking at Harborfest