Tulsa, OK -- 987,057 passed through the gates of the Rick Bjorklund-managed Tulsa State Fair Sept. 27 - Oct. 7. Fair officials attributed the slide to three days of rain that occurred during the fair's run. Ride coupon sales and Mega Ride Pass sales were also down on the Spectacular Attraction's midway 29% and 17% respectively.
Gate admission was $8 for adults, $5 for kids 6 - 12 and $4 for military and seniors. Children under 6 were admitted free.
Numerous promotions were implemented to drive attendance. The fair kicked off with a dollar day, offering $1 admission and $1 rides all day long. Oct. 1 and 2 were Mazzio Pizza's Ride-A-Thon Days. For $20 guests received gate admission and a ride wristband with a coupon from the pizza box top, a savings of $5. US Cellular offered a Buddy Day on Oct. 3 where a two
for one combo gate admission and ride wristband was offered with a coupon. The first 4,000 guests visiting on Oklahoma Day, Oct. 4th received a free souvenir photo from 2 to 7 pm and Coca Cola offered free T-Shirts to the first 4,000 guests on Oct. 5th. Most of the promotions were well received and boosted early day attendance at the fair.
Spectacular Attractions provided the midway again for the fair with rides supplemented from Reed Expositions. The fair boasted over $4 million dollars in new attractions and the largest midway ever at the Tulsa State Fair. New rides at the fair included the Extreme, Viper, Genesis and Wave Swinger. The 160' tall Sky Scraper added an extreme ride element to the midway. The list of rides for the fair:
Bumble Bees, Castle Mania, Century Wheel, Cliff Hanger, Clown Around, Dino, Dizzy Dragon, Double Shock, Drop Zone, Expo Wheel, Extreme, Flying Bears, Flying Clowns, Genesis, Grand Carousel, Himalaya, Hurricane, Kamikaze, Mini Jet, Orbiter, Rio Grande Train, Rock Town, Saucers, Scooters, Shocker, Sizzler, Sooper Jet, Star Command, Starship 2000, Super Loop, Swing Carousel, Tilt A Whirl, Viper, Zipper, Scooters 1800, Badlands, Big Trucks, Fun Slide, M.G.R., Rockin Tug, Are Town, Dragon Wagon, Hollywood, Lolly Swings, Raiders, Tea Cups, Wacky Worm, Jumpin Star, Pirate's Den, Space Odyssey, Tornado, Tornado, Spin Out, Footloose, Yo-Yo, Cliff Hanger, Zyclon, and the Persian Camel.
Jerry Murphy, Spectacular's owner was looking forward to some changes next year. "We'll have a whole new midway area in 2008. The midway is being completely resurfaced, with new underground wiring, etc. This will be the first change here in 40 years which will be phenomenal", said Murphy.
Murphy also said the show was working on some new events for 2008 and he would be making some announcements shortly.
With 158 food vendors and 526 non- food vendors, the fair had something for everyone. Many operators have multiple locations. New foods this year included deep fried bacon-cheddar mashed potatoes on a stick, cookie dough with fondue and deep fried ravioli. Food sales were also down, but only slightly at 4%.
On the grounds, dozens of free entertainers provided value for guests. Free grounds acts included Build-A-Bear Workshop, Hambone Express Pig Racing, Shenaniguns Wild West Show, Great American Duck Races, Extreme Canine Dog Show, Great Cat Adventure and Dance Heads.
Also included with ticketed admission were the headliners presented on the Oklahoma Stage. Performing live was Kansas, Keith Sweat, John Anderson, Air Supply, Tree 63, Johnny Rivers, Saliva, Switchfoot, Jordan Pruitt and Jason Aldean.
Another popular staple of the Tulsa State Fair is the annual Disney on Ice Show. This year's edition "Princess Wishes" was up 17% for the 4 day run in the Expo Square Pavilion. The three PCRA rodeo nights featured rodeo competitions and headliners Jo Dee Messina, Blake Shelton and Chris Cagle. Friday and Saturday's rodeos packed the house.
The 2008 Tulsa State Fair is scheduled September 25 - October 5, 2008.