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Black vendors at the 2023 Indiana State Fair

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There are over 150 vendors at the 2023 Indiana State Fair, including food trucks, concessions, entertainment and rides.

African Fashion, Black Leaf Vegan, Gobble Gobble Food Truck and Jamaican Breeze Sports Bar and Grill are among the Black vendors you can support at this year’s fair.

“It’s been an honor that I can keep this legacy going that my father started. To be one of the few Black owned vendors, we’ve learned a lot along the way to keep this going,” said Gobble Gobble Food Truck CEO, Alfarena “Alfie” McGinty.

RELATED: Indiana State Fair: What to know before you go

Her father started Gobble Gobble 22 years ago and has been at the state fair ever since. He retired in 2010 and McGinty took over, turning the business into a traveling food truck.
McGinty enters the Taste of the Fair competition every year.

To prepare for the competition, she holds a tasting with family and friends to try out new recipe ideas. This year she came up with the “Mac Daddy Empanada,” which is consists of macaroni cheese and pulled BBQ turkey.

In 2021, Gobble Gobble Food Truck won second place. It was coincidentally, on the same day as the 20th anniversary of their company opening. They won with their “BBQ Sugar Mama,” a donut with pulled BBQ turkey.

“People know the truck, and people come specifically for my number one item: the jumbo turkey legs. Everybody’s wanted to try the Mac Daddy Empanada. People come for the fun food, and we appreciate our customers who come and try,” said McGinty.

The food truck is located across from the DNR building and is open Wednesdays-Thursdays during fair hours.

Black vendors at the Indiana State Fair

Knowing that she is only one of few Black vendors, McGinty wants to see more Black vendors in the future.

“I’ve been talking to Leroy Lewis III, the new marketing director at the state fair; we’ve talked about how we can generate and get more African American food vendors into the fair and having them understand how to keep up with the capacity,” said McGinty.

She said vendors need to be able to cook onsite and have staff there through the duration of the state fair, for 12-13 hours at a time to keep up with the volume of customers.

McGinty said it takes a lot of work, commitment and funding to become a vendor; however, she is eager to help any business that is up to the challenge.

“I told him [Lewis] that I’m willing to be a part of any type of training or informational that can be given to future vendors to help them prepare for the fair,” said McGinty.

If any Black business is interested in becoming a vendor, they can apply on their Indiana State Fair’s website.

Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at 317-607-5792 or by email jadej@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON

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