When the first waft of warm sugary bliss blew out of a wooden pavilion at the Lorain County fair, I knew I’d made it.
I was on a mission to find the Wellington Dukes band doughnuts, which parent volunteer Tina Biltz said have been a beloved staple at the fairgrounds for 54 years and counting.
Last year, the stand sold 84,000 doughnuts— that’s 7,000 dozen!
Customers come from miles and miles to experience the hype and unforgettable sugar rush, she said: “They get them, they ship them, they freeze them.”
What’s the secret?
“I don’t know! I really don’t!” Biltz exclaimed. “They are made with love.”
I had to try one or two myself. I started with maple. It looked about as perfect as a doughnut can look; I took a bite and it broke apart with no effort. The buoyant but slightly buttery interior mass melted beautifully on my tongue.
Each Dukes band member works a minimum of two shifts and all money goes into the band’s piggy bank. In 2017, the funds were used to buy new uniforms. This year, they’ll go toward a trip to Disney World.
The experience of making and selling sweet treats is a good way for band parents and members to get to know each other, Biltz said. “Then, on Friday night, faces are familiar and it becomes a big family.”
Laurie Hamame can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @HamameNews on Twitter.