‘Cornado’ coming to Canadian County Free Fair

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Ken Carpenter

By Cara Pattison
Contributing Writer

There’s a ‘cornado’ coming to El Reno, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it – at least, not if the Canadian County Free Fair has anything to do with it.

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The fair is jazzing things up a bit this year with the addition of a Cornhole Tournament, Canadian County Fair Board Secretary Brad Tipton said.

“We have a cornhole tournament that is ‘open to the world.’ There will be piped-in music, a breeze and an asphalt covered arena with wind blocks. People can bring their own chairs if they’d like.”

Bags will fly at 4 p.m. on Aug. 27 in the Canadian County Expo Pavilion, 3001 Jensen Road East in El Reno. To eliminate any cornfusion, the tournament will include a blind partner draw, meaning participants will be randomized and assigned a partner. Cost to enter the tournament is $20 per person.

Cornhole has become an ever-popular activity at events across Oklahoma, including in Mustang, where it drew crowds during the 2021 Western Days celebration. (Photo by Traci Chapman)

A team that has a low score isn’t necessarily shucked out of the game. Teams that play 0-2 will go to a drop-down tournament where they get a second chance for a pay-out. Prizes will be awarded to first through third place in the main bracket and first and second place in the drop-down bracket.

With the addition of an event sponsor, winners of the tournament will be proclaiming, “Holy moly triply cornholy!” Local auctioneer and realtor Ken Carpenter is so excited about this tournament that he has decided to donate $1,000 to the pay-out pot.

“I love the family atmosphere at the fair,” Carpenter said. “Traditionally, family night is a Saturday night, so I am donating extra prize money to the game in hopes we get a huge turn-out of families wanting to spend some time together.”

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The event is being run by the experts: state-wide cornhole club, the H2O Baggers. The club is run by President Cody Dooley and his uncle, BJ Carter.

“Basically, the H20 Baggers are just a group of us that started in Hydro,” Dooley said. “When we first started, there were 10-15 of us and we’ve grown over the last year. We joined the Oklahoma Cornhole Association and have gone from a regional club to a state club. Usually, there are 35-40 players at a weekend tournament. We run a Friday night blind draw every week and have had up to 60-70 people at our events. With the added money and as close to Oklahoma City as it is, we anticipate this to be a large tournament.”

Whether participants are novices or expert cornholers, the basics of the game are simple, Dooley said.

“Cornhole is a bean bag toss game where two teams compete for the most points.

Cornhole games play to 21 points. The first team that plays to 21 points or over wins. A bag in a hole is worth three points, a bag on the board is worth one point.”

Players can pre-register online or register the day of the event from 2-4 p.m. For more information about the tournament call 405-422-5400.

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