EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSBoone County Vendor Banned From Doing Business At County Fair
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Leslie Rubin
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Leslie Rubin
Reported: Jul. 24, 2013 8:59 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 24, 2013 10:36 PM EDT
Madison , Boone County , West Virginia
Controversy is popping up at the Boone County Fair this year after a local vendor is banned from doing business there.
"I have been called the Kettle Corn King," Kevin Dalton of Madison said.
The colonel of kettle corn in Boone County, Dalton has been popping up his famous treat for five years. He says his favorite venue is the Boone County Fair.
"I've got people that follow me everywhere I go just to buy my kettle corn," he said. "Not this year."
The fair has been an annual event for 80 years, but this year, Dalton can't do business there.
The carnival at the fair this year is Myers Amusements from Mt. Lookout in Nicholas County. Due to a contract between the group and the fair board, Dalton was told the carnival has exclusive food rights, including caramel corn and popcorn.
He got a letter earlier this month breaking the news. It read, "Mr. Myers said if you sold popcorn at the Boone County Fair that he would pack up and leave. So I'm sorry that you cannot do it this year. Maybe you can think of something else you'd like to do instead. Sincerely, Leona Messer, Boone County Fair."
"This is neither. It's kettle corn. It's not made the same way, it don't have any of the same ingredients. The base ingredient is popcorn. Its like a hotdog and a corn dog," Dalton said. "I don't see how an out of town entity like that or vendor can have the say so who actually comes in to their own county fair. It's greed."
He said he is considering taking legal actions, but not because of the revenue he is losing.
"Out of the events I do, the Boone County Fair is the lowest paying event I do but it's in my front yard," he said.
He said he's being singled out unfairly. His followers are threatening to boycott the fair, but that's not something he wants to see happen either.
"We still need to bring money into our community, although I'm not going to get to be there to contribute to my community, I still encourage people to go but you do want you want to do," he said.
The fair runs from Thursday until Sunday. Dalton said he'll be set up selling kettle corn at K-Bo's Ice cream in Danville for those who still want to buy his product.
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