A Celebration of Heritage and Tradition
The Tulsa State Fair, a highly anticipated annual event held at Expo Square in Tulsa, Oklahoma, has become an essential part of the city’s culture.
As the city’s most prominent family event, the fair is dedicated to providing educational experiences, quality entertainment, and celebrating heritage and family values.
With an incredible attendance of over 1,182,000 people in 2021, the fair remains a popular attraction for locals and visitors.
A Brief History
The Tulsa State Fair has a rich and fascinating history dating back to the late 1890s. It began as a street fair and later transformed into the “Tulsa County Free Fair” in 1903. The event initially occurred at the Western Association baseball park in downtown Tulsa, at Archer Street and Boston Avenue.
In 1913, the enactment of the Oklahoma Free Fair Act and the establishment of the International Dry Farming Congress in Tulsa led to the fair’s relocation to a 16-acre tract of land north of Archer Street and Lewis Avenue.
The fair remained at this location for 13 years before moving to a 240-acre lot in midtown Tulsa in 1923, donated by Tulsa oilman J. E. Crosbie.
Over the years, the fairgrounds have seen many changes and improvements, including constructing the art deco-style Tulsa Fairgrounds Pavilion, a $500,000 bond issue in 1931, and the 1935 legislation that elevated the fair to state fair status.
The fair’s growth continued with the 1949 merger with a spring livestock show, the 1966 construction of the International Petroleum Exposition (IPE) Center, and the renaming of the fairgrounds to Expo Square in the 1970s. Since 1983, the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority has overseen the fair.
Despite its long history, there were years when the fair did not take place due to external factors, such as World War I (1917-1918) and World War II (1942-1945).
The fair was also canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with only junior livestock shows and certain vendors allowed.
Attractions and Entertainment Galore
Visitors to the Tulsa State Fair can expect an array of exciting attractions and entertainment options. Some of the fair’s most popular features include:
- Thrill and kiddie rides on the Midway
- Agricultural exhibits at the Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex
- Grounds entertainment
- Educational exhibits
The largest fairground facility, the SageNet Center, houses numerous vendors and exhibit booths offering educational experiences and money-saving deals.
With its focus on preserving heritage and creating an enriching educational experience while providing fun family entertainment, the Tulsa State Fair remains an unmissable event for the community.
A Gathering Place for All
The Tulsa State Fair is more than just a collection of attractions and entertainment options. It’s a gathering place where people from all walks of life can create lasting memories, share experiences, and learn from one another.
A Taste of Oklahoma
One of the fair’s highlights is indulging in various delicious food offerings. From classic fair favorites like corn dogs, funnel cakes, and cotton candy to unique Oklahoma specialties, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds.
Live Performances and Concerts
The Tulsa State Fair hosts a diverse lineup of live performances and concerts annually, showcasing local and international talent.
These shows cater to a wide range of musical tastes, ensuring that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. In addition, fairgoers can also experience various cultural performances, dance troupes, and theatrical acts.
Competitions and Exhibitions
The Tulsa State Fair offers numerous opportunities for people to showcase their talents, creativity, and hard work through various competitions and exhibitions. These events include livestock shows, creative arts contests, horticulture displays, and cooking competitions.
Family Fun and Activities
At the heart of the Tulsa State Fair is its commitment to providing wholesome, family-friendly entertainment. Plenty of activities exist for children of all ages, including petting zoos, interactive exhibits, and educational displays.
With something for everyone in the family, it’s no wonder that the Tulsa State Fair has become a cherished annual tradition for many.
Giving Back to the Community
The Tulsa State Fair provides entertainment and educational opportunities and supports local businesses, nonprofit organizations, and community initiatives.
By hosting various fundraisers, awareness campaigns, and events, the fair gives back to the community and helps positively impact its residents’ lives.