McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 31, 2013

Pittsburg County Free Fair kicks off on Tuesday

By Jeanne LeFlore
Staff Writer


More than 2,500 different exhibits, carnival rides, and a horse show, chili cook-off and magic show are just a few of the attractions that will be at the Pittsburg County Free Fair which starts Tuesday and ends Saturday.

The fair showcases 4-H and FFA exhibits including livestock, art, photography and others as well as exhibits from the public in the Open Class Division, which includes cake decorating, pie making, quilting, knitting, crochet, leisure and cultural arts divisions — which include paintings drawings and ceramics — and horticulture.

The Pittsburg County Free Fair will be open to the public Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m. and from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday. There is no charge for admission.

Pittsburg County residents who aren’t involved in 4-H or FFA but want to compete in the Open Class are encouraged to bring their entries to the Southeast Expo Center, site of the annual county fair, on Tuesday between noon and 7 p.m., according to LaDell Emmons of the Oklahoma State University Extension Center.

She said exhibits will be judged on Wednesday and will be displayed from Thursday at 8 a.m. through noon Saturday, when they will be available for pick-up.

On Tuesday and Wednesday nights the Annual Horse Show starts at 6 p.m. The show features timed events, barrels, poles and stakes on Tuesday and Performance Classes, Halter and Western Classes on Wednesday.

Two new competitions this year will be the Wilton Decorated Cake Division and the Ball Fresh Preserving Award. The Ball Adult and Youth Food Preservation divisions will be judging the best entries in fruit, vegetable, pickle and soft spread categories. First- and second-place awards will be given to individuals in each category. Wilton Cakes will have awards for adult and youth divisions in decorated cakes and cupcakes.

Thursday, the Marty Westerman Magic Show will be held at 5:30 p.m. in Room 101 of the Expo Center, and Friday at  9, 10 and 11 a.m. outside of the Expo, Emmons said.

Students entered into the fair will compete for ribbons in the livestock show for their rabbits, goats, swine, sheep, pigeons, cattle and chickens.

 The winning poultry, pigeons, rabbits and goats will be available for viewing Friday morning until 1 p.m. The winning cattle, sheep, and swine will be available for viewing on Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.

 Saturday, the Annual Chili-Cook Off will be held  in Expo kitchen at 10 a.m., Emmons said.

“You will need a copy of the recipe and a crock pot of chili (2-4 pounds) from three categories; Traditional (meat and seasoning only), Specialty, and Fire Alarm,” she said.

 The entry fee for the chili event is $10 per entry and the divisions are by age: 9-18, and 19 and older. Individuals may enter in more than one category and top winners will receive trophies and a cash prize. On Saturday at noon, the chili will be available for sampling by the general public.

The Pittsburg County Fairgrounds and Southeast Expo Center are west of McAlester on U.S. Highway 270.

For more information, call the OSU Extension Service at 918-423-4120 or visit

Contact Jeanne LeFlore at


Pittsburg County Fair Schedule #Tuesday

12 p.m. — Fair opens

6 p.m. — Horse Show begins


8 a.m. — Fair opens

5 p.m. — Expo building open to the public


8 a.m. — Fair opens

9 a.m. to  8 p.m. — Exhibit Hall open

9 a.m. — Tractor Driving Contest (written portion)

9:30 a.m. — Land Judging Contest

12:30 p.m. — Tractor Driving Contest

4 p.m. — Barns open

6:30 p.m. — Talent Show — room 10, Expo building


8 a.m. — Fair opens

9 a.m. to 8 p.m. — Exhibit Hall open


7 a.m. — Livestock Bars open

8 a.m. — Fair opens

9 a.m. to 4 p.m. — Exhibit Hall open

10 a.m. — Chili Cook-off Contest

10 a.m. — Ugly Chicken Contest

4 p.m. — 4-H Best All Around Contest followed by the Awards Program