County Fair

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“Cleveland County held its first annual fair in Norman in November 1893,” according to the Oklahoma Historical Society. 

Other noteworthy events along the timeline outlined by the historical society includes:

  • 1907 statehood — agents worked with Oklahoma's Farmers' Institutes and rural boys' and girls' clubs, including 4-H, to prepare crop exhibits and livestock for county fairs
  • 1914 Smith-Lever Act — established the Cooperative Extension Service  to give agricultural research information directly to farmers and their families through interaction with county extension agents
  • 1915 — Rep. Paul Nesbitt of McAlester presented a bill to allow county commissions to operate "free fairs" and use tax money to pay the event's expenses
  • 1917 Smith-Hughes Act — provided funding for Extension Service personnel to work closely with 4-H (and later, Future Farmers of America and Future Homemakers of America) clubs. As a result, fairs increased in importance as an educational tool for rural youth

“No matter the size of the sponsoring community, the typical twentieth-century fair has usually been made up of two kinds of activities. Educational offerings included livestock and crop exhibits and competitions; arts, crafts, and homemaking competitions; and youth and vocational activities. General entertainment included midways, rides, food, shows, and special events. All of those elements have been present in greater or lesser degree in the Oklahoma fair scene since the region was Indian Territory.”

Learn more about the history of county and state fairs at:

Today's County Fairs

See photos and memories from the 2022 Cleveland County Fair

See photos and memories from the 2021 Cleveland County Fair