NORMAN — The smell of Indian tacos and corn dogs will soon be wafting through the air at the Cleveland County Fairgrounds.
Complete with carnival rides and tractor pulls, the Cleveland County Free Fair is Sept. 5 to Sept. 8 with a horse show on Aug. 24 at 615 E. Robinson St.
Fair Board Secretary Andrea Earles said this is the first year the fair will run through Sunday.
“We thought, ‘everyone is here and the carnival remains set up so why not?’” Earles said.
With themed entertainment, like bluegrass and gospel, the Cleveland County Free Fair is exactly as it sounds: free fun.
“Friday morning really kicks it off,” said Earles, who normally works 16-hour days during the fair. “Then everything moves fast through the weekend.”
Earles stares at a dry erase board filled with dimensions, acronyms and plans for the fair like the one-day car show, food and free shows. She highlights some need-to-know information: Wristband night for carnival rides are Thursday and Friday night, allowing people to ride until the fair shuts down; the fair offers golf cart rides from parking spots for the elderly and disabled; and lastly, she emphasizes the fair is free fun for all ages, including small children.
“It’s just a weekend of fun,” Earles said. “Once upon a time the fair was more geared toward exhibitors. Now, it’s grown so much, we have a car show, free hay rides, public cupcake contests...events the fair never had.”
The craft fair is Board Member Carol Doner’s favorite event. She competes against her fellow Oklahoma Home Community and Education group members in several categories. Members of OHCE also work the Indian taco stand and concessions at the fair to raise scholarship money. Each year OHCE gives $1,500 to three high school seniors from the money raised during the fair.