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The Pronto Pup Celebrates 65 Years At The Fair

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(credit: CBS) Rachel Slavik
Rachel Slavik joined the WCCO team in October of 2010 and is thrill...
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FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — It’s an iconic food at the State Fair — the Pronto Pup. For many of us, it is one of the must eat items at the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

This year, the pronto pup is celebrating its 65th year at the fair. The pronto pup made its debut in 1947 and the rest, they say, is history.

At the Minnesota State Fair, there are more than 500 food choices. But only a chosen few are the crowd favorites. There is a reason why the line is always long at the Pronto Pup stands.

A tasty treat that dates back to 1947 when Gregg Karnis’s dad had an idea for fair food.

“My dad used to say, if I can find some way to give them my food and let them keep walking, let them see the fair, I think we’ll have a winner,” he said.

Enter the Pronto Pup — a hot dog, dipped in batter and put on a stick. The recipe has not changed in its 65 years.

There’s been a few cosmetic upgrades but the big difference now is the quantity. Karnis oversees eight booths on the fairgrounds, leaving his staff with the challenge of keeping up with demand.

“We go through 25 tons of hot dogs, about 115 tons of batter,” he said.

Among those behind the scenes — the third generation of the Karnis family legacy.

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