As the largest fair in Virginia, the Salem Fair is one of the most popular annual events in Virginia's Blue Ridge.

With its collection of rides, games, performers, and family fun, the Salem Fair has earned the distinction of being named one of the Top 100 fairs in the country, and it's become an annual tradition for many locals and visitors in the region.

Of course, one of the most unique parts of any experience at a fair or carnival is the unique food. It's a time when calories don't count and you can treat yourself to some one-of-a-kind creations.

When it comes to fun food, the Salem Fair certainly doesn't disappoint.

To help you know where to indulge, here are six foods you have to try when you visit the fair this year!

1. Birthday Cake Funnel Cake


It doesn't have to be your birthday to celebrate with a Birthday Cake Funnel Cake! The funnel cake stand located across from the carousel offers this specialty flavor that features a freshly-made funnel cake, powdered sugar, sprinkles, and birthday cake icing that melts all over the cake. It's extra sweet and extra delicious!

2. Gillette's Pizza


Gillette's is a family-owned stand that's been part of the food scene at the Salem Fair for 25 years. The pizza is highlighted by Gillette's made-from-scratch marinara sauce and a generous amount of toppings. From sausage and pepperoni to chicken bacon ranch, it's a pizza party! The menu also includes strombolis and calzones.

3. Ice Cream at John's Ice Cream


Powered by an engine that was built in 1912, the old-fashioned ice cream machine at John's Ice Cream churns out some of the creamiest ice cream you'll find. It's the perfect sweet treat for a warm summer day and the taste of the ice cream will help you understand why John and his wife, Charlene, won the Best Outside Exhibit award at the 2015 Salem Fair.

4. Harvell's Honey Bun Bacon Cheeseburger


A Bacon Cheeseburger on a Honey Bun. YEP. THAT'S RIGHT! Between the sweetness of the honey bun, crispy and salty flavors of the bacon, juiciness of the burger, and creaminess of the cheese, it's a symphony of flavors you just have to experience for yourself. The advice of the gentleman who prepared our burger? "Just smash it and eat it!"

5. Fried Oreos at Fried Dough


What is the best way to eat an Oreo? At the Salem Fair, you fry it! At the Fried Dough stand, the Oreos are freshly fried and then topped with powdered sugar. The heat from the fryer causes the cookie to slightly melt, giving the fantastic combination of a melted Oreo, batter and powdered sugar. The only challenge will be giving the Oreos time to cool before you eat all of them.

6. Fried Broccoli at Fried Cheese & Veggies


Don't forget that it's important to eat your vegetables! You can try a variety of vegetables at the Fried Veggies & Fried Cheese stand, but we recommend the fried broccoli. For an extra layer of flavor, pair the fried broccoli with some fried cheddar cheese sticks. It takes the broccoli & cheddar combination to a whole new level.

The 2018 Salem Fair takes place from July 3 through July 15 at the grounds of the Salem Civic Center and there is no admission fee. Remember to share your fun fair pictures with us on Instagram by using our #BlueRidgeDay hashtag!

Visit the Salem Fair website for more information. Have a great time and Bon Appétit!