You’ve read (or should have) my early day State Fair post.

Above pic credit

This one is merely an incomplete graphic rendition of the 2006 State Fair, the 100th State Fair in Oklahoma City. The pics here are by no means comprehensive in the sense that “all” of the fair is graphically captured …it is not. At 63 years of age, I have less fancy for the Midway and rides than I once did and they are not shown at all since I did not go there this year. Instead, I looked at the new buildings and eventually found a few treasure troves, largely on the west side of the fair in the “Made In Oklahoma” buildings and vendors. If your choices are different than mine, the neat thing about the Oklahoma State Fair is that each can define their own “treasure troves” and eventually find them … if one’s feet can endure the ordeal of the “finding!” My wife and I arrived around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, the last day of the fair, and we left around 7:30. The pics below are during that zone … click on a pic for a larger image.


In this, I’ll focus on two … the Centennial Building and the Cox Pavilion.

The Centennial Building gets first focus. Around the exterior, you see very nice, but not yet “permanent”, relief graphics in the molding. If you look really really closely, you will see vinyl tie-downs holding the blocks containing the graphics in place, noticeable in the 3rd picture.

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Since 1928, the Oklahoma Heritage Association has sponsored and inducted Oklahomans into the “Hall of Fame”. Until this year, I had not realised that the “Hall of Fame” recipients’ names are carved into 22 granite monuments in the Oklahoma Heritage Plaza at the fair – each of them about 7-8 feet tall. I took pics of each, but only the entry marker and the earliest monolith is shown here – I’ll post all of them in a later blog post.

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Of all the buildings we ventured into, my wife and I are agreed that the one which was the most fun for us was the Made In Oklahoma Building on the west side of the fairgrounds. I took no pics of this unremarkable building, but it was in its innards that treasures were to be found. Of particular interest to me was the vendor booth of First Rate Company, Gerorge Verstraete, proprietor. His booth contained thousands of matted photos depicting Oklahoma history. Here are the two I purchased, neither of which I’d seen before – the Liberty Theater (c. 1926, before it became the Harber and still later the Cooper Cinerama) and the Warner Theater (c. 1956-57) after it became a cinerama theater with a Beverly’s next to it! Mr. Verstraete’s shop is located at SW 89th & Western (I think).


By the time we left the Made In Oklahoma building, we were pretty pooped out and intended to walk back to the car … but, wait! What is that gorgeous noise over there at the Oklahoman (OPUBCO) pavilion? It turned out to be our personal highlight of the 2006 State Fair – the performance was called, OKC Philharmonic Untuxed, a casual and fun subset of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.

These guys and gals were fantastic! I don’t know all the names, but the leader was Dr. Irvin Wagner, David Ross Boyd professor of music at the University of Oklahoma, and the trumpet player nearest him in the pics is Dr. Karl Sievers, also a professor of music at O.U. In the last pics below, Dr. Wagner was doing Bye Bye Blues with trombone and spoons. In the very last pic, he makes clever use of his toes to hold the end of his trombone while doing the spoons with his hands … he’d done the same much earlier as a contestant in Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour (for those of you who remember such a thing). The performance was totally a hoot!

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After that unexpected respite, we found enough energy to walk back to the car. Here are a couple of closing pics of the 2006 Oklahoma State Fair.

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Hope to see you there, next year!