(OKLAHOMA CITY) —More than 900,000 visitors are expected to attend the 116th annual Oklahoma State Fair which started on Sept. 14 and runs through Sept. 24.
Visitors to the OKC Fairgrounds may notice architectural developments along with new attractions and food in the midst of cooler weather.
Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Scott Munz calls the fair a “slice of Americana” that offers something for “everyone from 8 to 80.”
This year’s new attractions include Paul Bunyan’s Lumberjack’s Show, the Laser Light Extravaganza, and an esports tournament, all happening within a short walk of construction on the new fairgrounds arena.
Some of this year’s new food options range from meat candy on a stick to piña colada Palmers and Korean corn dogs.
“There’s a lot to see and do there. We think that there’s something at every corner of the fairground that we can entertain you for just the price of admission for 5 or 6 hours,” Munz said.
Construction on the new OKC Fairgrounds Coliseum began in February, according to Munz. The new building will have upgraded amenities and cost upwards of $126 million paid for by the city’s tax-payer-funded MAPS 4 program. The current Jim Norick Arena is more than 55 years old.
“The reality of it is, it just needed to be replaced. It holds a lot of memories for a lot of people, which we understand,” Munz said.
Attendance has been steady in recent years. The Oklahoma State Fair closed only one year due to the coronavirus pandemic and “came back strong” in 2021, according to Munz. The Journal Record reported that with a nearly $104 million dollar economic impact, it is one of the state’s largest events.
This year, Oklahoma was under a heat dome from mid-August until after Labor Day. The day setup began on Sept. 5, the high was 104 degrees. However, rain came the next week and brought temperatures down into the 70s in time for opening day.
Fair patrons should plan for more time to walk from the south parking lot around the construction grounds. Work will continue through summer, 2025, according to Munz.
After months of preparation, Munz is looking forward to the fair itself.
“I love to sit at the gate on my golf cart and watch the smiles on the faces of the people when they walk in the gate,” he said.
Find a map, daily activity schedules, and more at okstatefair.com.