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  1. #176

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    Quote Originally Posted by whorton View Post
    Dave spells it out below. . HOWEVER, I am still dismayed about it. Thinking seriously about putting a bug in a few state senators and representatives ears to MOVE THE STATE FAIR TO TULSA. . .

    Maybe that would wake up the OKC bunch about what they are loosing.
    Tulsa already has a fair that's probably as much "The State Fair" as ours is.

  2. #177

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    Grandstand, cottonwood fort, monorail (even the last of it) , lights from the NY worlds fair, the metal FFA and 4H buildings (blue and green), B-52 (etc), cannas, BSA headquarters, doughnut-shaped art institute, steam locomotive, planetarium, ride operators with slicked-back hair and the cigs rolled up in their t-shirt sleeves, 89ers ballpark, old mansion. Where are the fair grounds of my youth? Is the "space tower," circa 1967 still there?
    Last edited by Tritone; 09-17-2016 at 01:45 PM. Reason: errors

  3. #178

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    In the late 70's early 80's, I worked for Liebman Ice Co and we had an Ice dock just south of the speedway grandstands. We used Craftsman lawn tractors to pull trailer loads of ice, and deliver to vendors all over the fair. I miss trying to fish my way through the crowded rows with the Sears & Roebuck powered rig and getting spit on and slapped in the head. One time, I was trying to get past some people and drove right in front of a carney's booth when he jumped over the counter of his booth and grabbed me, and tried to pull me off the tractor, all the while cussing me for driving in front of his booth and threatening to kick my ass.

    ....... Ahhh the good old days.

  4. #179

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    Quote Originally Posted by papaOU View Post
    I found out that the large home that was on the fairgrounds was removed because the maintenance and upkeep was too expensive (sound like urban renewal). Now I have two stories as to the home itself. I always thought it was the "Shepard's" home. From the area where Shepard's Mall is and the surrounding area. Were the last survivors two sisters, twins?

    The other building was moved from N.E.4 and Walnut. I remember it being moved but not sure where to.

    The building, whichever is located out on N.E. 23 in Nicoma Park. It sits upon the north side of 23 on top of a very large hill.

    I am speculating about which building is which.
    The Building which was at The fairgrounds & now sits vacant in the Harris House moving lt on NE 23rd is The Goodholm Mansion https://caddopubusa.wordpress.com/20...ahoma-city-ok/
    http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ok...olm_family.htm

  5. #180

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    The Goodholm mansion, that now sits on the property out on NE 23rd was moved by there by a house moving company who now owns the house and the property where it sits. They litterally saved the house from being demolished at the fairgrounds.

  6. Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    Quote Originally Posted by rezman View Post
    The Goodholm mansion, that now sits on the property out on NE 23rd was moved by there by a house moving company who now owns the house and the property where it sits. They litterally saved the house from being demolished at the fairgrounds.
    The DAR used to offer the tours of Goodholm mansion back in the day, and I believe they coordinated a lot of the refurbishment and repairs that went into fixing up the first floor. What one DAR lady told me was that the structure of the upper floors was so poor that the required modifications and repairs were too extensive and too expensive for them to support on the strength of the tour tickets. And when ol Skip stuck his dagger in the fair a few years back, Goodholm *sure* wasn't the kind of crowd they wanted to attract, so it died on the vine.

    I have noticed arguably the most aggressive "interior" marketing of the Fair in OKC through local media that I have noticed over the last several years...eg having one of the pretty local meteorologists out there as a food judge and pushing out a lot of Twitter and Instagram pics of her eating funnel cakes...lots of remote stories, etc etc

  7. #182

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    Went to the fair last night... First time I had been in 30+ years.

    We didn't stay long because just as Dennis DeYoung (formerly of Styx) started to play, the storm blew in and they had to shut down after only two songs.

    It's too bad because 1) he sounded pretty darn good and 2) there was a really good turnout. I like the setup they have for that free, large stage which is north of the new expo building.

    Then, we sat in a horrific traffic snarl as everyone attempted to leave at the same time.

    Looking forward to going back with the new building opens for next year.

  8. Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    So, this thread is about my(our) memories of the state fair. Well, I was four or five and we went to the fairgrounds at 10th and Eastern where Douglas high school is now and two things really stand out. First, my mother, aunt, and sister got lost early in the afternoon, so I had a lot of fun exploring. I didn't have any money, so rides and attractions were out of the question. Then I ran onto a couple of police officers that said with my help, we could probably find my "lost" family. Sure enough, we found them. Of course at my age, I didn't realize that they had reported that I was lost and they were at the place where parents and/or children were supposed to wait when separated from family members. The second item I will always remember was about the performance at the grandstands. They had a real live bear and asked for a volunteer to ride on the bear. My sister (eight years old) caught their attention and they took her to the stage and she rode the bear in front of an audience of several thousand people. A pretty exciting day for a kid my age. A third thing that just came to mind was riding the street car from downtown to the fair and then back downtown at the end of the day.
    C. T.

  9. #184

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    Went to the fair last night... First time I had been in 30+ years.

    We didn't stay long because just as Dennis DeYoung (formerly of Styx) started to play, the storm blew in and they had to shut down after only two songs.

    It's too bad because 1) he sounded pretty darn good and 2) there was a really good turnout. I like the setup they have for that free, large stage which is north of the new expo building.

    Then, we sat in a horrific traffic snarl as everyone attempted to leave at the same time.

    Looking forward to going back with the new building opens for next year.
    We were there too. Mainly for the concert. Really only for the concert and something fair-food to eat first. Storm seemed to hang out west all day until about 7:00 then started sliding east. Just as they turned the stage lights on blue I saw the flag on the Space Tower change direction and it got colder. It wasn't going to be long. Bummer. Especially for the wife who looked forward to it for weeks.

  10. #185

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    Quote Originally Posted by ctchandler View Post
    So, this thread is about my(our) memories of the state fair. Well, I was four or five and we went to the fairgrounds at 10th and Eastern where Douglas high school is now and two things really stand out. First, my mother, aunt, and sister got lost early in the afternoon, so I had a lot of fun exploring. I didn't have any money, so rides and attractions were out of the question. Then I ran onto a couple of police officers that said with my help, we could probably find my "lost" family. Sure enough, we found them. Of course at my age, I didn't realize that they had reported that I was lost and they were at the place where parents and/or children were supposed to wait when separated from family members. The second item I will always remember was about the performance at the grandstands. They had a real live bear and asked for a volunteer to ride on the bear. My sister (eight years old) caught their attention and they took her to the stage and she rode the bear in front of an audience of several thousand people. A pretty exciting day for a kid my age. A third thing that just came to mind was riding the street car from downtown to the fair and then back downtown at the end of the day.
    C. T.
    Fantastic experience ctchandler.


    Definitely remember my parents talking about the old fairgrounds and the Eastern Avenue bridge that overlooked the fair. I attended Douglass High School when the football stadium was the old Grand Stands; they removed the canopy top, then retrofitted it for football.

  11. Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    My family went to the state fair as a group for the first time in probably five years - perhaps more. I don't even remember exactly the last time we did that.

    The first thing I remembered as we drove in the north side was the lack of cars. I remember going on a Saturday was always a dicey proposition because you'd typically find yourself in a loooong line of cars exiting the expressway to go into the parking areas. Not on this Saturday. We parked as close as the free parking would allow and had a leisurely stroll to the entrance. I think that, more than anything, belies the overarching issue with fairs like these, is that they're just not as popular as they once were. So, in that vein, I'm an old fogey.

    I already knew that most of the things I remembered and loved about the Fair were gone, and nothing was done to dispel that - as a result, some of my observations may well be old news. I notice that OPUBCO no longer sponsors the booth at the NW corner, and they always ran presidential straw polls there during election years. Sometimes, they gave away state county jigsaw puzzles, Oklahoman memorabilia, just miscellaneous but fun stuff. To see that place basically just a blank building now (for whatever reason) is just another sad piece of fair history lost.

    The other thing I notice is that there's not even the fiction of allocating vendors to the themed buildings. It's just a flea market. I bet Mattress Firm (and its variations) rented out at least 20-30% of the floor space in the buildings we visited. We don't have "Kitchens of America" or the "International" building anymore; its just cram the booths into whatever is around. It's all so haphazard.

    And as I always lamented the fact that the first wave of changes at the Fair resulted in the cannas being ripped out and the various fountains being turned off, I see those changes have been "cemented" into place as the fountains have, well, been permanently cement-filled. Nice touch. And we don't even get the little commemorative piece of the monorail that use to sit just outside the Made in Oklahoma building, which I blame cynically on the fact that reminding people of its presence simultaneously reminds them that TPTB tore it down in the first place.

    The very last vestige of the Fair I remember so fondly was the "Wonder Bar," where the ladies at the Dairy Council booth in the Made in Oklahoma building would hand-dip the blank vanilla ice cream sticks into a vat of milky delicious chocolate as they were ordered - and I noted it was gone. There was a canned, manufactured clone in its place, and the booth isn't run by those same people anymore. C'est la vie.

    The strange part for me was as we strolled down toward the midway at the end of the main line of mostly food booths was how the absence of the speedway and the monorail made orienting oneself at the east side of the grounds a strange mixture of confusion and vertigo. It just seemed like a random splattering of midway rides.

    I hate to resign myself to it, but I have to: the fair has just been killed, and I finally got to the point where I just enjoyed the fact I was able to spend part of the day with my family (so small feat these days), helped chow down on a surprisingly good $10 turkey leg, and chug part of a jug of really good root beer. And lament what's been taken away, realizing it will never, ever return. While I realize the Fair needed to modernize, I'll always, always believe there was an alternative to the scorched earth approach they've taken, which convinces me that, at some point, they'll simply stop having it at all, all in the name of better horse barns and progress.

    Whatever.

  12. #187

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    "the fair has just been killed". Agree with you 100%. It is dead in the water. No longer worth the time, effort, or gas to drive the 8 miles or so out there. Very sad.

  13. #188

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    We went last Saturday at about 6PM. I don't like the changes any more than anyone else. But lack of crowds was not an issue. We first went down 10th and decided to go around to the south because cars were parked clear to the 10th street curb. We ended up going in from Reno and parking way out near the ball fields. Once we got in it was extremely crowded going through the food area. Every vendor had lines. As crowded as I ever remember it. I hate the "new" fair but to say that no one is attending is a huge stretch.

  14. #189

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    We went last Saturday at about 6PM. I don't like the changes any more than anyone else. But lack of crowds was not an issue. We first went down 10th and decided to go around to the south because cars were parked clear to the 10th street curb. We ended up going in from Reno and parking way out near the ball fields. Once we got in it was extremely crowded going through the food area. Every vendor had lines. As crowded as I ever remember it. I hate the "new" fair but to say that no one is attending is a huge stretch.

  15. #190

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    There was a unique flavor to the state fairs back in the 60's. I think most of my memories are from about 65 to 70, and such things as the monorail, The grand stand and the car races, the space needle and the luminaries from the '64 world's fair. (all gone now except the feckless space needle.)

    I think what made it so unique was that it had an otherworldly feel to it . . at least to a small kid between the ages of 5 and 10. There were the carnival barkers, each one yelling at YOU personally. . challenges! Come on's everywhere. . Even Bozo hurling insults at you as you left!

    But to a young boy, there was also that feeling of forbiddenness, The apparent "nudie" shows. . . Wow, if I could only get a look under that curtain. Drag lines, with what seemed EXPENSIVE and exotic gifts. Years later, I realize the real life camera's were cheap plastic junk, as were the nice watches, and I am sure the girls never got a real diamond!

    The oddness of the carnival folk . . .They were from a totally different world, and unlike anything my parents wisely kept me away from. . Tattoos, strange music, . . . dare I say . . . drugs?!

    You always wondered if one would grab you and spirit you away to behing a myriad of rapidly changing canvases, and back alleyways to be sold into slavery in some mysterious foreign country!

    The first time you had the freedom to "Meet" your parents in front of the grandstand at 8:00 sharp! Heaven knew you would be grounded until you were 23 or spanked really really bad if you weren't . .

    But there were lessons. . like the spin the needle game, where there was a prize every other space that the clock like needle could land on. . .! But after the first loss, he put down a marker where the needle had landed and and encouraged another spin. . ."You'll" hit it NEXT Time FOR SURE". . . Think I gave that bum $5.00 that day for a nothing, but an expensive lesson in carnival barking!

    When you got tired, it was time to walk into the cool exhibit halls and see things you would never, or find things for sale from forbidden and dangerous countries. . .or look at cook ware that held zero interest. . But you always knew where to look to find a company that did siding or a "Florida room!"

    Or win a free yard stick from OG&E and if you were lucky, a GOLDEN foot ruler! (I still have mine today!) But did you ever wonder how they got ALL those people in those buildings. . If you were not claustrophobic, you would be by the time you reached the end!

    I was never interested in winning most of the prizes until 7th grade in '72, when I had a girlfriend I had to impress! Walked away with a 1' high stuffed (cheaply) dog . . or a stupid inflatable light bulb. . GE no less. . Talk about rampant consumerism!

    After the fair board found a new BIG CHEESE, who elected to dismantle the fair grounds, sell the carriage collection (we had one?) make the midway smaller and less seedy. . took down the monorail (The best way to end the fair experience, especially when you got free tickets at school!!). . The whole fair event lost its appeal. . I only returned once many years later, after having moved to Tulsa for years and acquiring a family. . I wanted to bring them down and show them what the the epitome of cool when I was a kid. . .

    As with the spin the needle game, I was sorely mistaken.

  16. #191

    Default Re: The Great State Fair:....what do you remember???

    I mostly remember the rowdy crowds and loud-mouthed carnies. The Midway rides were so much better than the kiddy rides today. The helicopter rides. The roar of the grandstand. The risqué (mostly posters) prizes you could win for popping a balloon. Who didn't love riding the Space Needle? Everything was loud and actually FUN at the Oklahoma State Fair in the early 80's. Today it's just too ... bland, boring and bare. It went from a soft rated R to a rated G attraction. No thrills anymore.

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