By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A 19,000 square foot expo center at Canadian County’s newly opened fairgrounds’ facility has provided ample space for hundreds of exhibits made by Canadian County residents.
Entries were accepted on Monday, Aug. 23 in categories ranging from clothing and crafts to educational displays and art exhibits as the 67th Annual Canadian County Free Fair kicked off at the new Canadian County Expo & Event Center, 2310 Jensen Road East in El Reno.
The expo center was closed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24 for judging of the open and 4-H exhibits. The center reopened to the public at 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Canadian County residents showed off their talents and skills in many other exhibit categories, such as photography, science and technology, fashions, food preservation, wildlife, baking, and much more.
“This is a great place for our exhibitors,” said Donna Jung, general superintendent of the open class exhibits. “We have much more space than we had before, all under one roof.”
For the past 66 years, the Canadian County Fair had been presented at the old fairgrounds’ site on N Country Club Road.
Coming Monday night to enter her exhibits at the expo center was none other than Yukon children’s author Una Belle Townsend. Her featured entries were a home-baked butter pound cake and fruit cake.
“I should have brought one of my photographs,” said Townsend, who won awards at this year’s Yukon Senior Games for her pictures. “There are so many great photos entered this year!”
Jung, Canadian County’s extension educator for Family and Consumer Sciences, encouraged fairgoers to enter a drawing for an impressive, colorful handmade quilt to be auctioned off Saturday during the Family Night Awards ceremony.
FAIR ENDS SATURDAY
The 67th Annual Canadian County Free Fair opened Monday and runs through Saturday.
The open and 4-H exhibits were among highlights of the fair’s first two days.
Jung encourages Canadian County residents to return Thursday night and Friday morning to enter their pies, floriculture, crops, and horticulture exhibits.
Pie contest judging will be 11:30 a.m. Friday followed by horticulture, crops and floriculture judging at noon.
Joining Jung as general superintendents for the county fair exhibits are Debra Stevenson (Oklahoma Home and Community Education division), Alexis Graham and Todd Branson (4-H division) and Courtney Keck (horticulture).
The Canadian County Fair’s new Kids Zone is open 6-9 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday in the pavilion. A kiddie tractor pull is 5 p.m. Saturday.
The ever-popular midway/carnival opens at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; and 2-5 p.m. and 6-10 p.m. Saturday.
Other county fair highlights include youth livestock competitions Monday through Wednesday, a stick horse rodeo Thursday night, a rodeo Friday night and horse show and barrel racing Saturday in the 46,000 square foot indoor arena.
Family night awards will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday inside the expo center. Highlight will be the announcement of Outstanding Canadian County Citizen.
Live entertainment by El Reno’s Hunter Thomas will follow at 8 p.m.
Canadian County Fair Board Secretary Brad Tipton predicted 15,000-20,000 people would attend the 2021 county fair to check out the new fairgrounds’ facility near Jensen and Alfadale roads in southeast El Reno.
“This place is fantastic,” Tipton proclaimed. “Come on out. We’re here all week!”
For the complete schedule and entry information about the 67th Annual Canadian County Free Fair, visit www.canadiancountyexpo.org or call (405) 422-5400.