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Vt. fair vendor shares cotton candy secrets - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. fair vendor shares cotton candy secrets

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NEW HAVEN, Vt. -

John Meigs has been perfecting the cotton candy craft since he was too small to reach the sales counter.

"As it builds up, you've got to give it a twirl. The secret is in the twirl; you've got to keep the stick twirling," said Meigs of Meigs Concessions.

For more than 50 years, he's traveled the country serving up the sweet treat.

"People love cotton candy," Meigs said. "If you go to a festival or fair, you're generally going to get a cotton candy to take home or eat on the way."

The St. Albans man picked up the craft from his dad.

"They were a nickel when my father started and they are $5 today," Meigs noted.

And back then, the brightly colored concession stand wasn't in the mix.

"My father started in the 30s during the Depression," Meigs said. "He had a friend that would travel with him. He had a motorcycle and a sidecar."

Today, Meigs takes the business on the road to about 15 fairs every summer.

"I like the traveling, going to the different shows, seeing the little kids I used to wait on. Now, we're waiting on the grandkids," he said.

And luckily for the those in charge at the Addison County Fair, New Haven is an annual stop.

"It's cotton candy or it is the candy apples," fair director Jim Foster said. "You know, it's just fair. I mean, what would a fair be without cotton candy?"

Foster says Meigs and his confections are a perfect fit.

"His passion, it fits so well with the Addison County Fair, because the fair is generational and he is a generational vendor," Foster said.

These days the grandfather is sharing his skills with his grandkids and was willing to give me a shot.

"Some people can pick it up right away and others it's a little more difficult," Meigs warned.

I was with the "others."

John Meigs: You're starting to get the knack, there you go.

Keith McGilvery: Do you think anyone is going to buy this one?

John Meigs: I'm not sure (laughing)!

I'm sure it comes as no surprise, mine never made the sales counter.

I did ask about the colors. Meigs tells me he's experimented with yellow and blue, but in the ended decided to stick with the pink and green his dad started with more than 70 years ago.

This year, the Addison County Fair & Field Days runs Aug. 5-9. Click here for more information.

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