Fry Festival & Cook-off
Saturday, August 25th
Craig County Fairgrounds
9:00 a.m. - Gates Open (Free Admission)
11:00 a.m. - "A Taste of the Country"
$7 in advance $8 at the gate)
Calf Fries will be served at the tasting from 11:00 am until they run out - Get there early!!
Big Country Weekend is proud to
present the self proclaimed World's Largest Calf Fry Festival
& Cook-off complete with cowboy games, great country
foods, carnival, fair foods, children's games, arts & crafts, and of course (as
last counted) 2,000 lbs. of calf fries.
"Besides all things pertaining to hay, cattle,
horses and livestock, there were, and are, three big things that
Vinita has long been known for: the railroads, cowboys and the
Will Rogers Memorial Rodeo. Until August of 1979, that is. Then
came the Calf Fries.
Every fall for the last 33 years, Vinita, Oklahoma, has held
'Calf Fry Festival.' A festival, of course, is a sort
of a party, and ours most certainly that. The cooking and 'Fry-Off'
competition are only part of the fun. Headed by a 'steering'
committee, events are planned months in advance. There is always
a 'Belle of the Ball.' Entrants 'dress' for the occasion, and
decorate their booths in eye-catching regalia. All the entrants
are performers as well as 'cookers,' with the judges giving
points in each category.
Started in 1979, by rancher and banker, Jim Shelton; veterinarian
Dr. John Myers; and insurance man Larry Green, the Calf Fry
Festival is now Vinita's claim to national and international
fame. It is known and renowned as being the 'Calf Fry Capitol
of the World. Our Fame reaches far and wide as each year the
Chamber of Commerce tries to recruit celebrity judges and tasters
only to be turned down. Celebrity refusals include Her Royal
Highness Queen Elizabeth II, football star Troy Aikman, Jay
Leno, David Letterman, Oprah Winfrey, Newt Gingrich, and Rush
Limbaugh. Many did not refuse us personally, but their secretaries
or agents refused us on their behalf. This is not necessarily
the agent's fault, as they thought our festival must surely
be a hoax. Which brings us to what a calf fry is
A Calf fry (also known as a mountain oyster)
is the part removed from a bull calf to make him a steer calf.
A cowboy 'delicacy,' which is fried or roasted over the fire used
to heat branding irons, when the cowboys "worked" the
cattle on the range. Calf fries are a true legacy
of the 'Old West.' Which brings us back to the celebrity refusals,
many who will eat fish eggs, raw fish, snails, raw oysters, and
the like with gusto, but can't get past the idea of eating testicles,
or even believe anyone else really does! But it is their loss
of a fine time, and lots of good fun!"