Tulsa State Fair
|Tulsa State Fair|
The Tulsa State Fair is a fair and exposition in Tulsa, Oklahoma that operates during an 11-day span starting at the end of September and ending early in October. Of Oklahoma's two state fairs, it had the larger annual attendance by a small margin in 2013. It attracted about 1,100,000 visitors compared to the Oklahoma State Fair's 900,000.
There are many different attractions at the Tulsa State Fair, which include thrill rides on the Midway, agricultural exhibits located in the Built Ford Tough Livestock Complex, grounds entertainment, educational exhibits and more.
The largest facility at the fairgrounds is the newly renovated River Spirit Expo (formerly: "Exposition Center" and "International Petroleum Exhibition (IPE) Building"). Inside, vendors and exhibit booths line the entire floor, providing both educational and money-saving experiences (many vendors offer special "state fair" pricing in order to attract customers).
An article in Urban Tulsa Weekly states that the first fair in Tulsa was held in 1903, at a baseball park on Archer Street. In 1926, the Tulsa fair moved to today's fair grounds. A bond issue passed in 1931 improved the fair grounds and enabled it to gain state fair status in 1935.
The Tulsa fair was not held from 1941 through 1943, because of World War II. It resumed in 1944, featuring a livestock show but no carnival rides. Bell's Amusement Park became a popular feature of the fair in 1951. However, its lease was cancelled before the 2007 fair.
Fair without Bell's Amusement Park
The 2007 Tulsa State Fair, held following the close of Bell's Amusement Park, saw a 7% drop in attendance and a 29% drop in midway ticket sales, according to preliminary figures released soon after the end of the fair's annual run. Vendors told the fair board that it was their belief that the board's decision not to renew Bell's lease was the reason for the drop. The Fairgrounds CEO said that they did not have any theories at the time to account for the drop. Urban Tulsa Weekly stated that many Tulsans were angered by the fair board's eviction and planned to stay away in protest. In 2007, the midway for the Tulsa State Fair was provided by Jerry Murphy, Bell's main competitor. Murphy also owns Big Splash Water Park which is also located on the Expo Grounds.
- "2012TOP 50 FAIRS". CARNIVALWAREHOUSE.COM. 2012. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
- Urban Tulsa Weekly. "Tulsa's Fair Play." September 23, 2009. Accessed January 31, 2011.
- "Fair Attendance Down, Preliminary Figures Show". KOTV (Griffin Communications, LLC). 2007-10-08. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- "State Fair Revenue Down". KOTV (Griffin Communications, LLC). 2007-10-04. Retrieved 2007-08-11.
- "A River Tax for Whom?". Urban Tulsa Weekly (Renegade Publishing, Inc.). 2007-09-19. Retrieved 2007-10-09.
- 0 "State Fair midway operator gets 10-year deal". Griffin Communications, LLC. 2008-02-29.