It takes thousands of people to pull off an event as massive as the Florida State Fair. Amid the roaring rides, and overwhelming crowds, there are quiet success stories. Here are two of FOX 13's favorites.
BACON ICE CREAM
Griff Gillette used to be a pilot for American Airlines. As he hopped from city to city, coast to coast, he would taste ice cream. Many times he didn't think much of it. He always thought he could do better.
When he was furloughed, he went into the fair business, and eventually launched his own ice cream business to see if he was right. In the first five years, he has developed 300 new, funky flavors.
He may have just come up with the most unusual ever by watching what his fellow vendors were doing.
"I saw them dipping bacon in chocolate, and saw them putting it in lemonade, and said I can make bacon ice cream if they can do the other," Gillette told FOX 13.
His new concoction, which officially premiered this week, is called "Pig in Mud" because the bacon ice cream is topped with chocolate syrup.
Although it may sound pretty wacky, the fairgoers who tested it for us gave it a thumbs-up.
"You wouldn't think it would be good, but it is," said Meredith Moyers of Pinellas Park.
THE DUNK TANK
On the other side of the fairgrounds, is another guy who came up with a great moneymaking idea. His name is Jim McCready.
Back when he was 17 years old, in the late 1950's, his shop teacher told his class to make something.
Most kids went for something that was tried and true, a coffee table. Not McCready. He wanted to build a dunk tank, and he did. As a matter of fact, he was one of the first guys around to have one. He was been working the fair circuit with one ever since.
"Did you ever think that the run would be 50-plus years?" FOX 13 asked.
"No. Not at all," he replied.
He has made his living off that one idea for decades, which is just fine by him.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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