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  1. #101

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoonerDave View Post
    A few years ago, Skip Wegner was brought in by the Fair Board to "reinvent" it. In so doing, he destroyed our State Fair by trying to remake it in the image of the State Fair of Texas. Everything enjoyable, pleasant, unique, and distinctive about our fair has been ripped out and torn to shreds so we can have more "premium" parking and higher tickets with fewer eating choices, with traditional vendors forced out. He tore out the cannas that used to line the streets, concreted up the fountains, and shredded the Made in Oklahoma building with this Disney-On-Acid nightmare called "Agtropolis."

    I know our fair wasn't perfect; some upgrades and maintenance have desperately been needed, some of which have been implemented. But under that banner, we've thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

    I remember to this day someone in city gov't saying the Fair needed to shed its "funnel cakes and corn dog" image, which infuriates me still to this day. For Heaven's sake, they added a stinking Tea Room to the fair a few years ago, which was a flaming disaster (and fortunately, to my knowledge, wasn't repeated). Fairs are about showcasing works of a state and its people. I have no idea what the guys running it now are trying to do.

    With the shutdown of the space needle this year, they've finally worn me out. I'm done with the fair. Whomever is running the fair can plow it down and put up whatever elitist crap they have designed for it.
    This was the first post in this thread that I really agreed with. And I appreciate Frittergirl's comment a couple of posts below Soonerdaves as well.

    I moved here in September of 2004 and attended the OK state Fair for the first time. I enjoyed it a lot. I went back every year for a little bit and generally looked forward to it. Somewhere along the line it began changing and I assume this is when it was "reinvented" by suits.

    I have one specific example. There was a food vendor who sold delicious catfish run by a really sweet old black lady. I remember seeing her the first year in 04 and then maybe one or two years after that. But Last year I went and she was gone. This shocked me. I really enjoyed walking around the entire fairgrounds and scouting out which place to spend my precious money on. I don't have a lot to spend. Last year it was nothing but the same. Every 50-100 yards or so the same corn dog stand, same funnel cake vendor, etc and it all seemed to be run by one company. A couple of the old favorites were still there like the place that sells the mini jugs of root beer and the indian taco stands but even they had a generic feel about them. None of the food places had a genuine and independent feel to them. And this one example of the missed catfish house represents countless unique fair food vendors. I can't remember them all but then that's what happens when something disappears without any warning. It's a real shame.

    I contemplated going this year but knew that none of the vendors I missed would probably ever be back. I suppose I didn't really miss anything this year.

    Even the people watching seemed less interesting last year. I suppose if you "make it safer and cleaner for the kids" you end up taking a lot of the real grit and authenticity out of life. Seems bittersweet indeed.



    I loved this article you linked to as well bluedogok. My sentiments exactly I suppose.

    Quote Originally Posted by bluedogok View Post
    I had this blog post come in an email from Architect Magazine today. It is about the "changes" to Atlantic City and how the "corporatization" has profoundly changed what made the Boardwalk there The Boardwalk.

    Architect - Beyond Buildings: The Evil of Banality

  2. #102

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    How many times has the State Fair Board promise better parking? Each year, the muddy fields are used and have to walk two miles to the gate. I didn't go to the State Fair this year because after seeing it once - it's the same thing each time. The Space Needle won't be repaired anytime soon. It will sit silently and motionless like the monorail as a reminder of our failure to fix things.

    Back in the 80s, the Midway was a wild and crazy spot. Freakshows and cheap thrills. Exhibits were exciting too. All of that is gone. It's dull and uninspiring.

  3. #103

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Not sure which thread to resurrect for the state fair, so I figured this one would work.

    I went today with the family after work. Ate some overpriced food, checked out a few cars at the auto show, looked at some animals, and my daughter played a few games.

    Overall score was lame. The food options were not good as every other stand sold turkey legs, corn dogs, or funnel cake. Most of the exhibits are people trying to sell you stuff. I will go back in another four years to remind myself why I shouldn’t go.

    A big however, I do appreciate the true purpose of the state fair, which is agriculture competitions. In my opinion, the fair would be better if these competitions were a greater focus.

  4. #104

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Wbhat is sad is the State Fair of Texas has all those things. It hasvthe same food but there are places you can get independent food. Fletchers Corny Dogs are a tradition there. Outside the fair l cant tell you where you can get one and l lived there 13 years. They have entire buildings full of local vendors but they still have the agri -contests and cooking contests of small fairs.

    The OK State fair used to have a lot of these things but no more. It needs totally new management and a new direction but BACK to basics.

  5. Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    It's because they sold it to the horses. The carnival is just an after-thought. I bet if they could get away with it, the current leaders would not have the actual fair any more.

  6. #106

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Convinced myself to give it a try after not going for several years. I was hoping for better. The Oklahoma state fair is a JOKE. Texas and Kansas state fairs make Oklahoma's an embarrassment.

  7. #107

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    To expand on my earlier comment.

    A county or state fair is about showcasing the agriculture part of the state. Me as a city slicker enjoy seeing this and appreciating raising crops and animals for farming. I am sure many have the same feelings of going to check out what the rural folks are doing and their lifestyle. Kids love this stuff too....seeing the animals, watching a rodeo and stuff like that.

    At this point the fair would be better off in a more rural location and not so city like. It think it would still attract a good group of people and bring back the true purpose of a state fair.

  8. #108

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Quote Originally Posted by mugofbeer View Post
    Wbhat is sad is the State Fair of Texas has all those things. It hasvthe same food but there are places you can get independent food. Fletchers Corny Dogs are a tradition there. Outside the fair l cant tell you where you can get one and l lived there 13 years. They have entire buildings full of local vendors but they still have the agri -contests and cooking contests of small fairs.

    The OK State fair used to have a lot of these things but no more. It needs totally new management and a new direction but BACK to basics.
    the Oklahoma State fair still has cooking/ baking and creative arts contests. the problem is they don't showcase them so most people don't ever see or walk through those building. I think that needs to change and less focus on selling windows and hot tubs..

  9. #109

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bullbear View Post
    the Oklahoma State fair still has cooking/ baking and creative arts contests. the problem is they don't showcase them so most people don't ever see or walk through those building. I think that needs to change and less focus on selling windows and hot tubs..
    Cannot agree more. We stopped going about 5 years ago because we didn't need 32 mattress demos, 10 knife sharpenings, and too many window replacements.

  10. Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    I went this past Friday and agree that it's still just not as great as it used to be. I don't ride any rides and my kids are old enough to go with their friends so it was just my wife and I.

    The food was same as always, with a few new things. I enjoyed a cheese curd taco. My favorite food stop is the Bacon Habit. Always good stuff to be found there.

    It was pleasantly uncrowded - at least it seemed that way to me. Navigating the buildings was a breeze - none of the shoulder-to-shoulder shuffling I've experienced in the past. The buildings were generally lackluster with one building having a pickle ball court in it with a lot of kid-centric activity stations. Some board games as well. The car show seemed very small, featuring large Ford, Chevrolet and Toyota sections and small Volkswagen and Honda sections. A good-sized putt-putt course filled in the remaining space.

    The gigantic "new" building featured all the usual Windows/Hot Tubs/Pots & Pans/Mattress sales booths. My favorite stops were the Made-In-Oklahoma section and the wine-tasting section.

    That was about the extent of our visit. We left a bit early as we were kind of bored.

  11. #111

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    The cheese curd tacos were pretty legit.

  12. #112
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    It's turned into an oversized Flea Market.

  13. #113

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mel View Post
    It's turned into an oversized Flea Market.
    Without the used or reasonable crafty prices. In fact everything at the fair is retail price PLUS.

  14. #114

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    Its the snackoil salesman/saleswoman convention.A bunch of crap you don't need or can find a cheaper alternative at Walmart, Target or Amazon.

  15. #115

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    I was surprised to learn that the Colorado State Fair is based in Pueblo. Maybe Oklahoma State Fair would be better served in Stillwater, or Shawnee. I agree that state fairs were supposed to be about agriculture, livestock, home ec, etc. Upgrades in jacuzzi line not really the reason for a state Fair.

  16. #116

    Default Re: Where did our State Fair go?

    There was a time when over half the US population lived in rural areas and half the US work force was tied to agriculture. Livestock shows and farm equipment were once a big deal at the fair. Remember the 4H and FFA buildings and dormitories that used to be at the fairgrounds? .... Now long gone.

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