Oklahoma State Fair opens this week

Hannah Wager

Contributing Writer

A view of a ferris wheel reminiscent of the one at the Oklahoma State Fair. (Provided/Suliman Sallehi)

The Oklahoma State Fair will open this week for its 112th season, welcoming guests with a variety of food, exhibits, and activities for all ages.

According to the Oklahoma Historical Society, the Oklahoma State Fair has been opening its gates since October 1907, one month before Oklahoma was granted statehood. The original fair invited guests to explore agriculture exhibits and competitions, as well as enjoy carnival acts and midway games. 

Although much has changed over the last 116 years, the purpose of the fair remains the same — to bring people together to explore and have fun. This year, the theme is “The place to be in 2023,” and the time to be there is Sept. 14-21, with public activities beginning at 10 a.m. daily. 

Tickets can be purchased at the gates and for a discounted rate online before Sept. 13, and there are discount days on the schedule, including “Thrifty Thursdays,” “Military Monday,” “Pepsi Triple Shot Tuesday,” “Senior Day,” and the first ever “College Day.”

This year, “College Day” is on Sept. 21, and offers students $5 general admission with their student ID. According to Scott Munz, executive vice president of marketing and sales with the Oklahoma State Fair, this day has been in the works for a while. He said the fair has been working with colleges to create an opportunity to engage with students more. 

This year will see the Sooner Schooner and Pistol Pete near the entertainment stage before performances by country music artist Kolby Cooper, who performed in Stillwater’s Calf Fry music festival last year, and Oklahoma native Cam Allen. 

Additionally, different musicians will be playing every evening on the Chickasaw Country Entertainment Stage, and this year, there will be over 70 food venders with a variety of sweet, savory, and deep-fried offerings, ranging from taffy and cheese curds to pickle pie and snakebite nachos. Some of the new food this year includes Korean corn dogs, a mochi donut, freeze-dried Jolly Rancher cotton candy, and donut chicken sandwiches. 

The Oklahoma State Fair also boasts a large carnival with midway games and rides, including North America’s largest traveling Ferris wheel, which requires around 10 trucks to transport. 

Many activities are also offered throughout the buildings and outside. Some of the new highlights, according to Munz, will be the Laser Light Extravaganza, a light show choreographed to music; and Raminator, a monster truck that will be crushing cars three times a day. However, some classic attractions will also be present, such as GASCAR, in which a variety of farm animals race against each other, and AGtropolis, the indoor agriculture area that features various animals and farm processes to explore.

“There is something here for everyone,” Munz said. “But what really makes the fair the place to be in 2023 is the memories that will be made. Everyone can come out here and have a good time and leave with memories you couldn’t make anywhere else.”

For more information about tickets, hours, and offerings, visit okstatefair.com.

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