Oklahoma County residents are invited to enter their photography, leather crafts, garden produce, homemade quilts, flower arrangements, woodworking items, home-canned jellies, agriculture, baked goods, and a long list of other handmade or homegrown items in the 98th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair, scheduled Aug. 23-25 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park.
“Our fair offers the residents of Oklahoma County a wonderful opportunity to take part in a friendly competition,” said Ray Ridlen, Oklahoma County OSU Extension Horticulture and Agriculture educator.
“Not only can people win cash prizes and blue ribbons for the things they make at home, but they can also see what others have entered in the same categories.”
The Oklahoma County Free Fair Book, which lists all categories in the fair along with a schedule of special events and contests, is available online at http://oces.okstate.edu/oklahoma, at some area libraries and also at the Oklahoma County OSU Extension office, located at 930 N Portland in Oklahoma City.
Exhibits entered in the fair must have been made, grown or constructed during the past year and should be entered during the first day of the fair on Thursday, Aug. 23, in the Centennial Building from 12 to 7 p.m.
“There’s no fee to enter anything in the fair or to take part in any of the special contests or events,” Ridlen explained. “This is just a wonderful opportunity for people in our county to compete in a smaller setting. Many of the people who enter items in our fair go on to enter them in the state fair.”
In addition to the exhibits, the Oklahoma County Free Fair will offer a number of special contests.
On Friday, Aug. 24, festivities include an “Ice Cream Freeze-Off,” where contestants can win prize money for the best homemade ice cream in several categories, and the “Saucy Salsa” contest, where homemade salsa is judged for taste by area culinary professionals.
On Saturday, Aug. 25, youngsters can take part in a sundae-making ice cream contest and the Kiddy Tractor Pull. Adults can enter their homemade pies in the pie contest and all families will enjoy the OSU Insect Zoo and Face Painting and Balloon Art from the clowns in the HoHo’s Central Oklahoma Clown Alley organization.
The Oklahoma County 4-H program will also hold its annual kick-off Saturday morning from 9 a.m. until noon with a special Indoor Carnival Fundraiser and displays from clubs already in the county.
“The kick-off is a good time for anyone who might be interested in 4-H to come out and see what it’s all about,” Ridlen explained.
Residents can come and see how their exhibits did in the fair on Friday night and Saturday morning and all exhibits are released around 12 noon on Saturday.
In addition to the exhibit fair, the Oklahoma County Free Fair Horse Show will get underway in Barn 8 Friday evening and the poultry and rabbit exhibits will also be judged in Livestock Barn 3 on Saturday morning at 9 a.m., though the rest of the Livestock Show will take place Sept. 6-7 at the Jones FFA Don Ramsey Livestock Facility at Jones High School
For more information about the 98th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair, contact the Oklahoma County OSU Extension Center at 713-1125.