The days are getting shorter, the air a bit cooler and the trees are starting to show their colors; time to start planning for the State Fair. For the Apex Lions club the fall brings to life a great tradition of team work and community service. 2013 marks our 70th year serving food at the N C State Fair. It is hard to estimate just how many bowls of soup, ham biscuits, hot dogs, hamburgers and P i i i E that have been served in those 70 years. One thing is for sure, the friendly service and good food continues to be the one thing that remains the same.
Back in 1943, when the booth first opened, the floors were saw dust which came from one of members saw mill most likely. You ate on wooden picnic table in a screened in room. There were no ceiling fans or heaters, as we have today, nor did the benches have comfortable backs. One thing does remains the same, the food is prepared by folks from Apex who want to make it taste just like homemade. Sure the menu has expanded but our signature “Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits” and “Vegetable Soup “ remain as tasty today as they did on our very first day at the fair.
Today we offer a full breakfast with eggs, grits, gravy, ham, sausage and of course our signature butter milk biscuits. In the early days our business really got started about mid morning. Now the booth is a packed house from 8 am until closing. Fair Goers eat with us year after year as they know our food is always the same. Quality and service is what people expect and that is what the Apex Lions Club strives to deliver.
Our “Pie Man” has become the voice of the fair as he nonstop reminds folks to “ come in and try a piece of our P i i i i E”. Horace has been working at the fair booth since 1982. Before he became the booth manager he was the man on the microphone. “What I most enjoy about the food concession” says Horace, “is seeing all the people who come back every year to eat and visit with us. That is how I judge if we are doing a good job.” Young couples who tell us their Mom’s and Dad always came to the Apex Lions to eat and now they are bringing their kids. “How cool is that, to be a part of a family tradition, asks Horace?
People also want to be a part of something that does good. The profits that the Apex Lions Club derives from the fair booth go to a very good cause. Over 90% of the funds raised by the Lions Club go to support numerous community activities. With a focus on the sight impaired and diabetes the club also sponsors Boy Scout Troop 209, Cub Pack 312, an Apex Explorer Post, high school scholarship, Western Wake Crisis Ministry and many other needs that come to the attention of the club. The Club feeds all blind persons who come to our booth during the fair, free of charge. On Wednesday of the fair, the Club provides a meal to all Governor Morehead students and staff. This is a long standing tradition that confirms Lions commitment to help the sight impaired. “During the course of the fair we will feed close to 200”, said Horace.
Each year the kids from the Governor Morehead School For The Blind wait in anticipation for their day at the fair and their meal at our booth. The smiles, joyful sound along with the cards and letters they send us makes for a great reward. The Lions Motto, “We Serve” and that is what is most rewarding to those who work at our booth.
Last year we introduced a new item at our Fair Booth and it was an instant success. Come by and try one of our Sweet Potato Biscuits. With a piece of country ham it becomes a “ Yamie Hamie Biscuit” it is to die for.
Regardless of what you want, be it a hot dog, fries, cheese burger, barbecue, anything on our menu, know we will give you a great meal with friendly service and do our best to make you feel right at home with us. We look forward to seeing all our old friends and making new ones. If we are not part of your fair tradition, then it is time for us to start one with you. We are located on the North side of Dorton Arena in the row of restaurants with all the churches but we are the APEX LIONS.
Come join us at the fair.