Fair to Bring ‘11 Days of Awesome’
By EMILY RAMSEY
ONGOING PREPARATIONS: Tulsa State Fair Manager Amanda Blair and Expo Square President and CEO Mark Andrus stand at the RiverSpirit Expo next to artwork depicting the 2014 Tulsa State Fair’s theme: “11 Days of Awesome.” Various artwork is displayed on the building, highlighting various activities found at the fair.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
Every year, Tulsa State Fair Manager Amanda Blair and her team endeavor to choose a theme that will highlight the unique appeal the Tulsa State Fair will bring for that specific year.
In previous years, fair organizers have used the fair’s annual theme to highlight its entertainment offerings, animals, rides and mascot: Dizzy.
For the 2014 Tulsa State Fair, which will run Sept. 25–Oct. 5, the chosen theme will highlight all of those offerings with the theme “11 Days of Awesome,” an “appropriate, catchy theme that captures all of the excitement going on,” says Blair.
That excitement includes activities that fairgoers have come to anticipate and return for year after year and new attractions, such as a bird show, trampoline stunt show, bike stunt show and chainsaw carvings.
“We like to find different and unique shows that Tulsans don’t get to experience often,” Blair says.
The bird show, called the Raptor Project, will take place on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Stage.
Performances of the Flippin’ Out Trampoline Show will occur outside to the north of the RiverSpirit Expo and will feature two trampolines with a see-through wall between them, says Blair, which performers will jump on and over.
With the local and national popularity of trampoline gyms, the choice to bring this show to the fair was pretty easy, Blair comments.
Due to popular demand, the Perondi Dog Show will return from last year’s fair. Attendees may remember the Great Outdoor Fishing Experience, which came to the fair a few years ago. It gives children the opportunity to learn how to bait a fishing pole and catch a fish, “something kids don’t often get to experience,” says Blair.
The butter sculpting activity, the Butter Experience, will also return from previous years. A sculptor will create a giant fair-themed butter sculpture depicting the “11 Days of Awesome,” to take place in the lower level of the RiverSpirit Expo.
Music and other entertainment will be plentiful during the fair, as is always the case.
The Oklahoma Main Stage will feature national acts Eric Paslay, Thomas Rhett, Christian Pop Rock band Newsboys, Bridgit Mendler, Jon Pardi, rocker Bret Michaels, hip hop trio Naughty by Nature, Halestorm and more.
“We try to be broad with our music lineup and acquire different genres that everyone will enjoy,” she says.
However, because of Tulsa’s country roots, the lineup certainly includes a number of country acts, she says. That includes the two acts that will perform after the Rodeo, Oct. 3-4.
The rodeo will take place at the Pavilion, and the stage will be lowered onto the dirt after the rodeo both nights. Jerrod Niemann will perform Oct. 3 and the Casey Donahew Band on Oct. 4, both will begin at 7 p.m.
The rodeo consists of six events, as well as the Grand Entry, Priefert Texas Thunder Hitch and the Calf Scramble. Each evening, the events will take place starting with Grand Entry, followed by Bareback Riding, Priefert Texas Thunder Hitch, Steer Wrestling, Saddle Bronc Riding, Tie-Down Roping, Barrel Racing and ending with Bull Riding.
Tickets go on sale Aug. 1 and cost $30 per night. Gate admission is included in the ticket price.
Mega Ride Pass tickets go on sale Aug. 1. They cost $70 until Sept. 15, when they increase to $75. Tickets can be purchased at the Expo Ticket Express, located on the southwest side of the Expo Square Pavilion, and at the Mega Ride office, on the south side of Fair Meadows, 4609 E. 21st St.
Sept. 30 will be Family Fest day where admission is $5 per person all day, and, new this year, seniors ages 62 and older will receive free admission until 2 p.m.
As preparations continue, Blair reflects on the two things she is looking forward to the most: one, like most individuals, the food. Besides the deep fried twinkies, funnel cakes and turkey legs that fairgoers have come to expect, Blair says the most unique item this year is deep fried olives.
Secondly, like every year, Blair anticipates the final result, “seeing everything come together and putting on a good show for the community.”