Mississippi Valley Fair Kicks Off

Tuesday marks the first day of the annual fair in Davenport

While August 1 may have some thinking summer is almost over, for fair-goers the fun is just getting started. The annual Mississippi Valley Fair kicked off Tuesday, taking over the streets of Davenport. Vendors from all over the country have come out to get in on the summer fun and for many, its something they look forward to all year long.
 
Stephen Toth of "Belly Buster on Tour" and his wife started working fairs 18 years ago after their business aired on the Food Network. Now, the fair lets them share a slice of their culture. 
 
"We're promoting our Hungarian heritage," said Toth. "My wife is a master chef from Budapest, Hungary."
 
For some vendors, this is a yearly tradition. Sherri Brunk and her family have participated for more than 20 years. They travel all over the country and for them, seeing regular customers is the most rewarding part. 
 
"We get return customers year after year and it's just like family." 
 
Going from fair to fair has become a lifestyle for some vendors. For the past 30 years employees of "Steve's Meat Shop Mega Grill" say they make enough during fair season to take the rest of the year off. 
 
"The fairs are just a fun place to come out," said cook Mike Fowler. "There's so much variety and diversity and fun things you can do at the fair. we love to come out." 
 
McKensie Hickman has been doing fairs almost her entire life. She helps her dad run Quality Concessions, a place best known for their must-have Wisconsin cheese curds. 
 
"I've been doing this since I was two. It's my dad's so I would always come in and work a little bit and then I'd leave." 
 
While each year seems to be a bit different from the last, fair goers can't get enough of one of the largest celebrations in the Quad Cities. 
 
"I started coming here in 1949 with my grandfather because he used to be on the fair board and was a ticket taker," said Alan Thete, who runs a display by the Navy Seabees. "I live just a couple blocks away from here so it's here, it's handy, and I've got to come every year." 
 
You can find out more about the fair and the list of events all week here

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