By KYLIE HAMMACK
GTR Student Intern
Unfortunately, the Tulsa State Fair is one of the many events that had to be cancelled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Fair Grounds and Expo Square were not entirely empty this October. Both the Junior Livestock Show and Ford Family Food Court brought visitors from all over Oklahoma to the midway.
At their August meeting, the Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority (TPCA) Board voted to cancel this year’s Tulsa State Fair. However, one Konawa teenager was relieved to hear that The Tulsa Junior Livestock Show would continue.
Elisa Allen has been showing goats at livestock shows for about seven years and said that this year has been especially hard. While her preparations for showing have not changed with the pandemic, many of the competitions that she had planned to go to last spring were cancelled. Elisa showed three goats at this year’s competition and says, “each require daily feeding, exercise, clipping, and fitting.” Every goat is purchased well before competitions begin, so news of spring cancellations meant that the financial and time commitments from Elisa and her family went un-rewarded. “We are just really thankful to be in Tulsa this weekend” Allen said.
In addition to the Junior Livestock Show, the TPCA found another way to make sure that Tulsans could still get a taste of the fair: The Ford Family Food Court. With around ten vendors, the food court ensured that classic favorites such as steak sandwiches, corn on the cob, turkey legs, lemonade, funnel cakes and corndogs were available.
Just five dollars granted those from all over Green Country access to these flavorful fair classics, a D.J., and the livestock show. Turns out, this offer was just too tempting to pass up because outdoor benches were packed with visitors enjoying what fair atmosphere was provided. All guidelines set out by the CDC and Tulsa Health Department were followed and safety measures such as a mask requirement and hand washing stations were implemented.
The result was an enjoyable taste of a longstanding Tulsa tradition that allowed exhibitors like Elisa to actualize all their hard work. Despite this, many are wondering when they can see rides on the midway again. The dates for the 2021 Tulsa State Fair are set for September 30 through October 10, which means there are approximately 11 months left until Tulsans will be able to enjoy the ever-exciting 11 days of awesome once again.