The Cleveland County Free Fair has been going strong for over a century. For nearly four decades, the Free Fair existed without an actual fairgrounds. For years, the Free Fair was held between Carey Lumber and the old feed store on Comanche Ave, in Norman.
One year, a large wind storm swept through the Free Fair and picked up a large tent containing both livestock and fairgoers inside. The storm flattened the tent, but fortunately there no injuries. It was at that time that the community rallied together for more adequate facilities.
The following year, a Fair Board was established with 3 members: Walter Williamson, Ken Poynor and Herb Mackey. Then the county commissioners called for a vote to purchase nearly 15 acres to establish the Cleveland County Fairgrounds. This site at 615 East Robinson has been home to the fair ever since.
As the fair has grown, so have the facilities at the fairgrounds. The first fair building was built with a kitchen for fair meals. Since then the fairgrounds have grown to include a full arena with concession area, an exhibit hall and auditorium, a tractor pull arena and many other amenities. In 2018, an extension to the arena was completed to house additional livestock and poultry for the Fair.
The Fair has not grown without help. The Cleveland County Free Fair has had many wonderful people thru the years who have devoted long hours, sweat and hard work to make this one of Oklahoma’s largest county fairs.
The fair has also grown with great food vendors, exhibitors, demonstrations and entertainment!
A lot has changed in Cleveland County since the 12,000 member community decided to build the Fair a permanent home. We now have over 250,000 who call Cleveland County home with multiple municipalities including Norman, Moore, Oklahoma City, Lexington and Noble. One thing that has never changed though is the welcoming spirit and energy of the fair! It is an experience you will never forget!!