McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

August 28, 2012

County fairs offer family fun, learning opportunities

By LaDell Emmons
Special Correspondent

McALESTER — As the summer reaches its peak, county fairs are getting underway across the state. From now through September, Oklahomans once again will have a chance to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the annual tradition.

Fairs are a great way to have some fun with the family and soak up a lot of local flavor.

Pittsburg County will be having their county fair Sept. 4 - 8. This is a time for all residents to enter any entries in Horticulture, Quilting, Knitting or Crocheting, Leisure and Cultural Arts, Fabrics and Fashions, Photography, Food Preparation, and Food Preservation.

Horticulture includes house plants as well as fruits and vegetables. For the artist out there, we have metal crafts, leather crafts, and bead crafts and photography. We also have categories featuring scrap booking pages and rubber stamping. Paintings, ceramics and needlepoint are part of the competition just to name a few.

There’s definitely something for everyone at the fair. You’ll see everything from photography and woodwork to classic needlework and floral exhibits. Of course, there also will be interesting and educational 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education, Inc. displays. Not only is it a lot of fun for families, but you can learn a little something as well.

The animal exhibits are always among the most popular attractions. While that will certainly be the case again this year, you should click on to check out the 2012 Free County Fair Book to identify the best days and times to visit the animals because, in some cases, they may only be available for viewing on the days.

So just how does your talent compare to other residents in the community. Just bring your exhibit to the Expo on Sept. 4 from noon to 7 p.m. If you are an adult or are not in 4-H, you will be entering under the Open Class category. Exhibits will be judges on Sept. 5 and will be displayed through Sept. 8. They will be available to be picked up at 2 p.m. on Sept. 9.

Speaking of Sept. 9, the annual Chili Cook-off will be held in the Expo kitchen at 10 a.m. You will need a crock pot of chili from three categories — Traditional, Specialty and Fire Alarm. The entry fee is $10 per entry and the divisions are ages 9 to 18 and 19 & above. Top winners will receive trophies and a cash prize. The chili will be available for general public sampling at noon.

So, what are your memories of being at a county or state fair?

So folks, just how talented are you? Come join in the fun at the Pittsburg County Free Fair and find out. For a copy of the fair book, contact our office at 918-423-4120 or view a copy of the county fair book on our website. See you at the fair!

LaDell Emmons is the Extension Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for the Pittsburg County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service. Contact her at