State fair a success, despite rain threats

Monday, September 22nd 2008, 12:09 am
By: News 9

By Jon Jordan, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The numbers haven't been tallied, but the 101st Oklahoma State Fair appears to have been a success. Despite the rain early on, fair officials said large crowds the last couple of days gave the fair a big boost.

For many business owners a successful fair is vital, and vendors were glad to see the fair's attendance increase dramatically over its final weekend.

Melanoe Jones runs the Two Sister's booth at the state fair, a small operation that relies on big profits from the fair.

"This is a big boost for us. This is like our bonus for the year," Jones said.

That's why a slow start to this year's fair had her and other vendors concerned.

"We were very worried," Jones said. "I spoke with different vendors that asked us how are numbers were because the sales were down so bad."

Jones, who blames the slow start on the weather, said the past couple of days were a different story.

"Since Thursday, it has really picked up and we got the numbers we're used to seeing out here, so we're really pleased with the end of the fair," Jones said.

In fact, the fair made such a turnaround, fair officials said the final weekend ranks near the top.

"Yesterday, Saturday was definitely one of our top three days we've had in the last 10 years," Oklahoma State Fair President Tim O'Toole said.

From food to clothing vendors, everyone was happy with the attendance.

"The fair's been as strong as it's been in the past. We've been here since 1986 and it's one of our better years," Campus Ragz vendor owner Curtis Dougherty said.

Fair officials contribute a large part of the success to a couple of new additions, including more parking spaces.