By R. COLE PERRYMAN
HAPPY LEADERS: Community leaders were present to celebrate the completion of the new state of the art, 125,000 square-foot livestock complex at Expo Square earlier this summer. Pictured from left are Tulsa County Commissioners Wilbert Collins, Sr. and Randi Miller, Friends of the Fairgrounds President Jono Helmerich, Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor and Tulsa County Commissioner Robert Dick.
GTR Newspapers photo
Tulsa County’s Expo Square is becoming one of the leading facilities of its kind in the nation thanks in part to various taxpayer initiatives, including the “4 to Fix the County” and Vision 2025 campaigns.
Visitors to this year’s Tulsa State Fair, to be held Sept. 28-Oct. 8, will see the many improvements, including the seventh and final barn of the state-of-the-art livestock complex, shown in part in the photo to the right.
The seventh barn, dedicated earlier this summer, has been called a “super-barn” and is the largest barn on the property, boasting a climate controlled show arena and housing the birthing center and petting zoo during the Tulsa State Fair. Thanks to the new, 125,000 square-foot facility, Expo Square is now home to many of the nation’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows.
The Tulsa Convention and Visitors Bureau estimates that Expo Square brings in over $130 million to the greater Tulsa community each year. Considering the magnitude of the new additions both completed and in the works at the fairgrounds, this number is expected to rise in the coming years.
The economic impact the Tulsa State Fair has on the community is no doubt immense, especially when one considers that in recent years the fair has drawn hundreds of thousands of people to the Tulsa area. Consequently, there remains little doubt that the improvements made to and around the fairgrounds will help attract even larger crowds in the future, greatly benefiting the Tulsa community.
The Tulsa State Fair has always been an important and fun event for the people of the region. This year’s Fair will be the 103rd, with the first one being held in 1903.
Expo Square stays busy year-round, with 30 percent of the people living in Tulsa County attending at least three events there each year.
Expo Square events are attended by 3.5 million people from all over the nation each year.
Seventy-five percent of the people living in Tulsa County attend at least one event at Expo Square each year, and all 77 Oklahoma counties have exhibitors at the Tulsa State Fair.
The Tulsa State Fair is the 18th largest in North America and runs the fourth Thursday after Labor Day through the second Sunday of October each year.