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Flock Party

You are hereby invited to be spectacularly amazed and delightfully entertained during the 11 days of “go time” showcasing agriculture, entertainment and plenty of food during the Tulsa State Fair.

John Tranchina
August 28, 2018

There will be many intriguing attractions, new and old, on hand at the Tulsa State Fair this year, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 7.

“It’s 11 days that we pack a bunch into,” says Sarah Thompson, event relations manager of the Tulsa State Fair. “This year, our theme is, ‘It’s Go Time.’ This year, the Oklahoma stage will have a new look and feel, and we’re really excited to have that project completed and ready for the Tulsa State Fair.”

At various times throughout the fair, different music acts will play on the Oklahoma stage, including Colt Ford, Easton Corbin, Black Stone Cherry, Everclear, Casting Crowns, Seether and a handful of others.

“Those shows are free with your gate admission, but we also do have a VIP section with limited seating in front of the stage available for purchase,” Thompson says.

The usual collection of rides will be available for kids (and adults) of all ages, with over 50 different rides dotting the grounds, as provided by North American Midway Entertainment.

There will also be a special production of Disney On Ice the first weekend (Sept. 27-30) in the Pavilion, with the theme Dare to Dream, featuring Disney characters such as Moana, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Anna and Elsa from Frozen, Cinderella, and other favorites.

The usual collection of rides will be available for kids (and adults) of all ages, with over 50 different rides dotting the grounds.

The following weekend, Oct. 5 and 6, the PRCA’s Red Dirt Rodeo will be on hand to delight spectators.

“We build an ice sheet in the Pavilion [the first weekend], and then as soon as Disney moves out on Sunday, we tear the ice sheet out, bring in dirt, and we’ll host the Red Dirt Rodeo,” Thompson says. “It is PRCA cowboys; they will earn points that accumulate for their end-of-the-year finals. And at the rodeo, each night is followed by a concert by a Red Dirt artist. Friday night is Stoney LaRue and Saturday night is Kevin Fowler.”

Other special attractions during the State Fair include the Sea Lion Splash — a fun, high-energy sea lion show for the whole family; the All-Star Stunt Dog Challenge, which features dogs doing tricks such as handstands, jumping and Frisbee catching; Kachunga the Alligator show; the Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show, which displays amazing, artistic renditions of wedding cakes; Pogo Fred, who performs stunts on a pogo stick; and Farmer Phil, who will be providing agricultural education as comedy.

As usual, surrounding all the festivities will be a lot of different livestock animals that are on display and in competition with each other.

“We have probably one of the premier livestock shows in the state,” Thompson says. “We have 4H and FFA events as well as open classes. We have grown to the point where some of the shows take place before the start of the fair and they run through the end of the fair. We have around 28,000 entries each year, participants from all 77 counties in Oklahoma and then some out-of-state participants as well.

“A lot of it’s just ribbons [for the winners] but there are opportunities for kids to win scholarship money and their goal, if they have a market animal, is to win and be part of the junior Livestock Auction. They will auction their animals and receive that money as scholarship money. The Grand Champion Steer usually sells between $30,000 and $40,000, so there’s a lot of money involved if your animal does well.”

And of course, the other thing that the State Fair is famous for is crazy experimental food options. Well, this year is no exception, as Thompson rattles off a list of several new delicacies that will be offered.

“We have the bubble waffle wrap, which is an egg waffle that puffs up — they have to use a special waffle iron, and then it will be topped off with fresh fruit, Nutella, some savory items, and whipped cream,” Thompson says. “We’ll also have a grilled cheese doughnut. When I think of weird, quirky fair food, that definitely hits the mark. Cinnamon roll fries, which is just cinnamon roll dough fried and topped with cinnamon and sugar and I think the icing as well for dipping. The double chocolate funnel cake, which will be a chocolate batter with chocolate chips and then chocolate syrup on it. And the last one is the bacon onion bomb, which will be an onion wrapped in bacon and then fried. I’m thinking it’s not the whole onion, but it is the fair, so I don’t know.”

Overall, about a million guests are expected to show up over the course of the fair, although that number is sometimes dependent on the weather.

Tulsa State Fair
4145 E. 21st St. | Tulsa
Sept. 27-Oct. 7