Dog Show

Forget milk, soy, eggs and power bars. The real perfect food is the corn dog. One dog has a serving of protein (from that sweaty, shriveled chunk of meat in the middle) and a serving or two of carbohydrates (the lovely, chewy, crispy--when cooked the correct way--batter outside). For herbivores, the veggie version has about a fourth of that daily, hard-to-get protein requirement (like you can eat just one). And they're frequently and traditionally served with a splat of yellow mustard. That counts as a vegetable, right? Plus it's on a stick made of wood--one of the five basic components of the physical universe. It's portable, protein-packed perfection.

It's no wonder that there's a cult of the corn dog or that the members worship the weekend when the State Fair of Texas opens. After all, that's where the corn dog originated, where it gained its fame and where people try to stuff as many as possible down their gullets during competitive eating contests. But this alternate fest, this Christmas of the corn dog devotee, is more about paying tribute to the truly American food source and honoring the many-faceted creature that is the corn dog than eating till you puke.

This year, the 11th annual Corndog Festival is bigger and cornier and doggier than ever. The celebration's been best known for the CornBall's corn dog styling competition where people dress up corn dogs as people, create puns and scenes in dioramas (think Vincent Van Dough and The Texas Corndog Massacre) and create art using corn dogs as part of their mixed media or simply as a muse. But it expands this year with the Doggie Style Pet Parade, which starts at 3 p.m. at Lakewood Furniture, 2225 Abrams Road, and the Cornival, a street festival in the Lakewood Shopping Center. The gala follows at the Lakewood Theater with doors opening at 8 p.m. Celebrity judges will choose the top dogs from the styling contest, plus there will be food, drinks, live music, dancing and the Corndog Boutique, which offers "haute dog couture." The Corndog Festival proves that besides being portable, protein-packed perfection, corn dogs--and the people who love them--are also pretty punny.


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