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Archive for the ‘State Fair of Oklahoma’ Category

What’s Going on in Oklahoma: September 22nd- September 25th

Happy Fall to All!!! Hopefully this hot summer has now come to an end. Lots going on this weekend. Last weekend of the Oklahoma State Fair, pumpkin patches are opening, and my favorite car show, Old Volks Show in Mustang. Try to get out and enjoy the events going on this weekend.

Autumnal Equinox Walks- Spiro Mounds Archaeological Center – Sept 22nd

Fall Festival Art Walk- Pryor- Sept 22nd

Territorial Tunes and Tasting- Edmond- Sept 22nd

VIP Grape Stomp- Lexington Canadian River Winery- Sept 23rd

National Public Lands Day- Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge- Sept 24th

Oklahoma Iris Society iris Sale- Oklahoma City Will Rogers Park- Sept 23rd– 24th

Oklahoma Historical Societies Annual Ice Cream Social Fundraiser- Hominy Fred and Addie Drummond Home- Sept 24th

28th Annual Down Syndrome Festival- Oklahoma City Myriad Botanical Gardens- Sept 24th

Tinkerfest- Oklahoma City Science Museum Oklahoma- Sept 24th

National Cavalry Competition- El Reno Historic Fort Reno- Sept 21st– 24th

Mahogany & Chrome Boat Show- Afton Arrowhead Yacht Club & Marina- Sept 22nd– 24th

Banjo Fest- Oklahoma City American Banjo Museum- Sept 22nd– 24th

Skiatook Pioneer Day Festival- Skiatook Central Park- Sept 22nd– 24th

Greek Street Drive-Thru- Tulsa Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church- Sept 22nd– 24th

Ponca City Arts Crawl- Ponca City- Sept 23rd– 24th

Route 66 Cruisers Cruise-In & Car Show- Claremore Lake- Sept 23rd– 24th

Ponca City Fine Arts Festival- Ponca City Cann Memorial Garden- Sept 23rd– 24th

Vision Eufaula’s Art Walk- Eufaula- Sept 23rd– 24th

Gospel Fest- Eufaula- Sept 23rd– 24th

Illinois River Jam- Tahlequah Peyton’s Place- Sept 23rd– 24th

Major County Historical Threshing Bee & Two-Cylinder Show- Fairview- Sept 23rd– 24th

Red River Ranch Round-Up Rodeo- Duncan Claud Gill Arena- Sept 23rd– 24th

Standing Bear Powwow- Ponca City Standing Bear Park- Sept 23rd– 24th

Fall Fest Craft Fair- Duncan Simmons Center- Sept 23rd– 24th

PRCA Xtreme Bulls & Broncs- Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Fair Park- Sept 23rd– 24th

Brickfest- Pauls Valley Downtown- Sept 24th

Mufflers on Main- Blanchard Downtown- Sept 24th

Old Settler’s Day- Perkins- Sept 24th

Fling at the Springs Music Festival- Enid Government Springs Park- Sept 24th

Okeene Germanfest- Okeene- Sept 24th

The Blue Whale’s 50th Birthday Bash- Catoosa- Sept 24th

Battle on the Blacktop Street Race- Muskogee Okie Raceway Park- Sept 24th

Art for All Festival- Eufaula- Sept 24th

Cow Thieves & Outlaws Reunion- Bartlesville Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve- Sept 24th

Algonquian Language & Cultural Convention- Oklahoma City First Americans Museum- Sept 24th

Festival in the Park- Cushing Memorial Park- Sept 24th

Wheels-N-Deals Car Show- Poteau- Sept 24th

Cleveland Pioneer Day- Cleveland- Sept 24th

Empire Car & Motorcycle Show- Duncan- Sept 24th

Jim Bob & Big Willie Poker Run- Okeene- Sept 24th

Guided Walking Tour- Oklahoma City Myriad Botanical Gardens- Sept 24th

Chuck Wagons for Heroes- Stillwater Payne County Expo Center- Sept 24th

Old Volks Show- Mustang Wildhorse Park- Sept 24th

Make Ready Market- Oklahoma City- Sept 24th

Sucker Day Festival- Wetumka- Sept 24th

Rock Creek Festival- Sapulpa Kelly Lane Park- Sept 24th

OKC Pagan Pride Day- Oklahoma City Wiley Post Park- Sept 24th

SKC Fall Festival & Car Show- Snyder- Sept 24th

Old Settlers Day Celebration- Wakita- Sept 24th

Open House at Oklahoma Contemporary- Oklahoma City Oklahoma Contemporary- Sept 24th

Clinton Arts & Crafts Festival- Clinton- Sept 24th

Theatre Crude Fringe Festival- Oklahoma City Jewel Box Theater- Sept 15th– 24th

Eufaula Mural Festival & Art Walk- Eufaula- Sept 17th– 24th

Creek County Fall Free Fair- Kellyville- Sept 22nd– 25th

International Festival- Lawton Elmer Thomas Park- Sept 23rd– 25th

Oklahoma Born & Branded Festival- Stillwater- Sept 23rd– 25th

Red Dirt Treasure Shootout Metal Detecting Festival- McAlester Southeast Expo Center- Sept 23rd– 25th

Fin & Feather Fall Festival- Gore Fin & Feather Resort- Sept 23rd– 25th

Pioneer Days at Har-Ber Village- Grove Har-Ber Village Museum- Sept 23rd– 25th

Roman Nose Hills Trail Ride- Watonga Roman Nose State Park- Sept 23rd– 25th

Bedouin Shrine Circus- Muskogee Civic Center- Sept 24th– 25th

Oklahoma City Spirit Fair- Midwest City Reed Conference Center- Sept 24th– 25th

Shriner Circus- McAlester Southeast Expo Center- Sept 24th– 25th

Alpaca Farm Days- Newcastle Magnolia Blossom Ranch- Sept 24th– 25th

Oklahoma Derby Day- Oklahoma City Remington Park- Sept 25th

Czeck-Slovak Royalty Pageant- Yukon Czech Hall- Sept 25th

Oklahoma State Fair- Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Fair Park- Sept 15th– 25th

Chickasaw Nation Annual Meeting & Festival- Tishomingo- Sept 23rd– Oct 1st

Okie-Tex Star Party- Kenton Camp Billy Joe- Sept 23rd– Oct 1st

OKC Ghost Tour- Oklahoma City- Now- Oct 28th

Downtown Norman Ghost Tour- Norman- Now- Oct 29th

Annabelle’s Fun Farm- Welch- Sept 24th– Oct 30th

Cross Timbers Farm Pumpkin Patch- Harrah- Sept 24th– Oct 30th

Lil Gladys’ Farm & Pumpkin Patch- Stigler- Sept 24th– Oct 30th

 Fright Fest- Oklahoma City Frontier City- Sept 24th– Oct 30th

The Country Bumpkin Pumpkin Patch- Bartlesville- Sept 24th– Oct 30th

Wicked Forest of Terror- Oklahoma City- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

The Hex House- Tulsa- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

Pumpkin Patch- Stillwater- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

Chester’s Pumpkin Patch- Piedmont Chester’s Party Barn & Farm- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

Jahn’s Pumpkin Hill- Cyril- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

Carmichael’s Pumpkin Patch- Bixby- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

Oklahoma Heritage Farm Fall Festival, Maze, & Pumpkin Patch- Ramona- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

Pumpkin Town Farms- Tulsa- Sept 24th– Oct 31st

Sunshine Shelly’s Pumpkin Patch- Shawnee- Sept 17th– Oct 31st

P-Bar Farms Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch- Hydro- Sept 17th– Oct 31st

Pumpkin Festival at Shepherd’s Cross- Claremore Shepherd’s Cross- Now- Nov 5th

Oklahoma Senior Games- Oklahoma City- Sept 3rd– Nov 5th

Guthrie Haunts- Guthrie- Sept 16th– Nov 5th

Rustic Roots Pumpkin Patch- Lamont- Sept 24th– Nov 6th

Fall Festival at the Orr Family Farm- Oklahoma City Orr Family Farm- Sept 24th– Nov 12th

Daze in a Maze- Marshall- Sept 17th– Nov 27th

Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch- Arcadia- Sept 22nd– Nov 13th

What’s Going on in Oklahoma: September 15th- September 18th

Lots going on again this weekend, more car shows, a couple more county free fairs, and of course, the Oklahoma State Fair started today. Weather should be a bit cooler than last weekend, so get out and enjoy.

Yukon Cruise-In- Yukon- Sept 15th

Art Awakening- Oklahoma City Northcare- Sept 15th

Central 4D Barrel Racers- Chickasha Grady County Fairgrounds- Sept 16th

Atoka County Free Fair- Atoka County Fairgrounds- Sept 13th– 16th

Pushmataha County Free Fair- Antlers Pushmataha County Fairgrounds- Sept 14th– Sept 17th

Osage County Free Fair- Pawhuska Osage County Fairgrounds- Sept 14th– 17th

Coweta Fall Festival- Coweta- Sept 15th– 17th

Cherokee Strip Celebration- Enid Downtown- Sept 16th– 17th

Tahlequah Rock & Mineral Show- Tahlequah Cherokee Community Building- Sept 16th– 17th

Cherokee Strip KPRA/IPRA/ACRA Rodeo- Perry Cherokee Strip Riding Club Arena- Sept 16th– 17th

Cherokee Strip Cook-Off- Ponca City Lake Ponca- Sept 16th– 17th

Perry Cherokee Strip Celebration- Perry Historic Downtown Square- Sept 17th

Guthrie-Edmond Regional Airport Community Day- Guthrie- Edmond Regional Airport- Sept 17th

Black Buggy Day- Chouteau Guy Williams Park- Sept 17th

Green Country Classic Mustang Round-Up- Tulsa Little Lighthouse- Sept 17th

Blue Moon Car Show- Ada North Hills Shopping Center- Sept 17th

BBQ Showdown- Duncan Fuqua Park- Sept 17th

Los Festivales y Mercados: Dia de Independencia de Mexico- Tulsa- Sept 17th

Gore Cruise Night, Car Show, & Burnout- Gore- Sept 17th

The Market Craft Show- Enid Stride Bank Center- Sept 17th

AdaFest- Ada East Central University- Sept 17th

Shawnee Trading Post & Flea Market- Shawnee- Sept 17th

Touch a Truck- Norman Cleveland County Fairgrounds- Sept 17th

India Food & Arts Festival- Oklahoma City Myriad Botanical Gardens- Sept 17th

Family Day at the Birthplace Ranch- Oologah Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch- Sept 17th

Will’s Cowboy Trader Days at the Ranch- Oologah Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch- Sept 17th

Heard on Hurd- Edmond- Sept 17th

Cruise in for Coffee- Midwest City- Sept 17th

Woolaroc Fall Trail Ride- Bartlesville Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Preserve- Sept 17th

Chillin & Grillin BBQ Festival- Sand Springs- Sept 17th

Butterfield Biker Bash- Wilburton- Sept 17th

Glencoe Motorcycle & Car Show- Glencoe- Sept 17th

Tecumseh Frontier Days- Tecumseh Downtown- Sept 17th

Wiley Post Festival- Maysville- Sept 17th

First Day of Fall Hike- Norman Lake Thunderbird State Park- Sept 17th

Arts ‘N Action Festival- Frederick Tillman County Courthouse Square- Sept 17th

Glencoe Founder’s Day Celebration- Glencoe Main St.- Sept 17th

Owl Fest- Fairland City Park- Sept 17th

5th Annual Cancer Carnival- Oklahoma City Encore Dance Centre- Sept 17th

6th Annual Faith Clinic Car Show- Yukon- Sept 17th

Music in the Park- The Village Duffner Park- Sept 17th

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day- Oklahoma City Oklahoma History Center- Sept 17th

September Coffee and Cars Yukon- Yukon- Sept 17th

Ballet Under the Stars- Oklahoma City Scissortail Park- Sept 17th

Cruis’n Oklahoma- Apache- Sept 18th

Guymon Fiesta- Guymon- Sept 18th

Mesta Festa- Oklahoma City Perle Mesta Park- Sept 18th

Fiestas Patrias Festival- Oklahoma City Community College- Sept 18th

Oklahoma Anthropological Society Fall Dig- Muldrow-  Sept 15th – 18th

Kay County Free Fair- Blackwell Fairgrounds- Sept 13th– 18th

Nowata County Free Fair- Nowata County Fairgrounds- Sept 14th– 18th

Rogers County Free Fair- Claremore Expo Center- Sept 15th– 18th

The Big Cruise & Car Show- Alva- Sept 16th– 18th

ScotFest- Broken Arrow Event Park- Sept 16th– 18th

Eastern Shawnee Tribal Powwow- Wyandotte- Sept 16th– 18th

Born & Raised Music Festival- Pryor- Sept 16th– 18th

Elk City Fall Festival- Elk City Convention Center- Sept 17th– 18th

2022 Nitro Nationals- Tulsa Osage Casino & Hotel Tulsa Raceway Park- Sept 16th– 17th

American Miniature Horse Registry National Show- Tulsa Expo Square- Sept 8th– 17th

Theatre Crude Fringe Festival- Oklahoma City Jewel Box Theater- Sept 15th– 24th

Eufaula Mural Festival & Art Walk- Eufaula- Sept 17th– 24th

Oklahoma State Fair- Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Fair Park- Sept 15th– 25th

Sunshine Shelly’s Pumpkin Patch- Shawnee- Sept 17th– Oct 31st

P-Bar Farms Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch- Hydro- Sept 17th– Oct 31st

Oklahoma Senior Games- Oklahoma City- Sept 3rd– Nov 5th

Guthrie Haunts- Guthrie- Sept 16th– Nov 5th

Daze in a Maze- Marshall- Sept 17th– Nov 27th

Arrow from the Past

Arrow

UPDATE:  As of November 9, 2018 the current Space Needle that took the place of this arrow is being torn down.  It was badly damaged after a flood in June 2010.  Some believe that the fairgrounds administration never intended to fix the space needle and wanted to demolish it.  No I’m not happy to see more of Oklahoma’s history being destroyed.  Hopefully something will be saved from the space needle.

I spend a lot of time driving the back roads of Oklahoma and while out in the country southwest of Yukon, I found something that really intrigued me- a big arrow.  Just sitting in this field, rusting away.  Odd, definitely not something you normally see so I had to learn more about this strange sight.  Turns out it is quite important to the history of Oklahoma and the state fair.

In 1957, the state of Oklahoma held its Semi-Centennial Exposition at the new State Fair Park.  The fairgrounds had only recently been moved from its location around NE 10th and Douglas to the home we know now at NW 10th and May.  This celebration, held June 14th- July 7th, was a big deal.  Not only did the fairgrounds stay open 24 hours a day, but well- known performers of the time such as Patti Page and Mickey Rooney made appearances.  The Today show from NBC hosted by Dave Garroway broadcast live so the whole country could see the excitement of the crowds.  As a center piece to this great celebration was the Arrows to Atoms tower.  A 200 foot tall red and white arrow with an atom just below the tip, I have been told that you could see it for miles even at night when the point was illuminated from inside making a red glow.  This tower had been dedicated at few months before on April 22, 1957 and represented the progress Oklahoma had made in 50 years.

This tower stayed in the middle of the fairgrounds until 1967 when it was deemed structurally unsound and was removed.  It was replaced the next year by the landmark we all know now as the Space Needle.  What many do not know is that after removal, the arrow was cut down to about 80 feet and placed on land owned by an employee of the Utility Tower Company (who had originally built it) near SW 59th and Frisco Roads.  Even though the property (called Odd Acres by some locals) has changed hands a few times, that arrow still sits on the side of the road.  It’s no longer red and white and the atom is long gone (even though I’ve heard the rumor that it was placed on top of the current space needle, I can’t confirm this), it provides a great nesting place for birds.  Just a piece of Oklahoma history, sitting in plain sight and unfortunately rotting away.

Arrow Point

Originally red, the arrowhead is 15 feet tall and lit from the inside.

Arrow bottom

The tail section was 26 feet tall.  You can still just make out the red on the outside panels with white down the middle.

 

The (Used to Be) Great State Fair of Oklahoma

OKC from space needle 3

View from the Space Tower in 2006, at the time I didn’t realize how much of this history would be gone.  You can see the Grandstand in blue on the left, the old Travel and Transportation Building and Clock Tower in the middle, and the B-52 on the right.

Every fall in Oklahoma means that not only has football season started but that it will be fair time in Oklahoma City.  I used to love going to the fair, it was like going to a special playground once a year with lights and food.  As I got older I loved going to see those old landmarks that brought back great memories, riding the monorail and the space needle.  Now almost everything is gone; the monorail, the grandstands, several buildings, the waterfall in the flower building, and even though it’s still there, the space tower sits empty and broken.

Let’s start at the beginning, the first “fair” in Oklahoma City was in 1889 a few months after the land run.  A small group of residents, with the names of Charles Jones, Ed Overholser, H. G. Trosper, and D. F. Stiles, organized the first Oklahoma Territorial Fair.  They bought some land on the northeast corner of Santa Fe and Reno Avenues, then built some buildings, such as a racetrack.  This fair was successful for a few years until the economy started to fail and the population dropped, so it was discontinued in 1894.

Every once in a while for the next few years there would be various street fairs but nothing like an official fair with a designated time and location.  This changed in January of 1907 when Jones along with Charles Colcord organized a state fair association.  A new location was chosen for the fairgrounds at the southeast corner of Eastern Avenue and NE 10th Street.  The first fair was held on October 5th of 1907, just a month before statehood.  There were of course the usual farming and agriculture exhibits, carnival attractions, but the biggest draw was the horse racing on a half-mile track.  Even though the racing stopped in 1913 when the state legislature banned it, there was still plenty to do such as watch car races, ride hot air balloons, or enjoy an air show.  Of course there were lean times during the great depression but the fair still went on.  There was talk of moving the fairgrounds, the location was too small, not enough parking, and at times problems with flooding.

OKC from space needle

Another view from the Space Tower in 2006, on the left near the bottom of the pic is the old Goodholm Mansion and behind that the Flowers and Garden Building.

These issues were finally addressed in 1951 when the city acquired land between Reno Avenue and NW 10th Street west of May Avenue, which had been the old Sandlot Baseball Park.  The new location hosted its first fair on September 25, 1954.  This is when the grandstands were built with an oval racing track and just south, a drag strip which hosted the National Championship Drag Races in 1957-1958.   Many other buildings were built around this same time such as the 4-H and FFA buildings, the Made in Oklahoma Building, Women’s and General Exhibits Building (now known as Modern Living and Creative Arts Building), Appliance Building (now known as the Kitchen’s of America or Centennial Building), and some of the agriculture barns.  In 1964 the monorail makes its first trip around the fairgrounds and a year later the State Fair Arena (also known now as Jim Norick Arena or “the big house”).  1968 is the first trip into the air on the Arrows to Atoms Space Tower with the Travel and Transportation building to follow the next year after being built around Santa Fe engine #643.    In 1977 the Clock Tower is built from an old oil derrick, in 1978, the Flowers and Gardens Building opens with its waterfall over the doors.  The Goodholm Mansion is moved to the grounds in 1979 after being saved from the wrecking ball.  In 1984 is when we got the big “balloon top” building called the International Trade Center, leaving us all to go in through doors that helped regulate the pressure inside and make our ears pop.

Fair Train 2

Santa Fe steam engine #643 sitting in the courtyard of the Travel and Transportation Building in 2004.  It was built in 1879, given to Oklahoma City and placed at the fairgrounds in the 1950’s.  It is currently being cleaned by volunteers at the Oklahoma Railway Museum.

So many of these landmarks are now gone- the B-52 is gone, the big slide is as well, the log plaza has disappeared.  Some have been saved and moved, the planes are all over the country, the Goodholm Mansion is out near Choctaw, and just this summer the Oklahoma Railway Museum got the old steam train.  Even the cow barns smell fresh instead of like cow poo mixed with hay.  You can still get a good corn dog or cotton candy, but so many of the foods have just gotten wilder just to see what you can deep fry next.  So I still pay to go to the fair, it’s just not a fun as it once was, back when it really was a Great State Fair.

dr pepper sign 2

Even this cool old Dr Pepper sign on the back of the Made in Oklahoma Building is gone, 2011.

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