Weather May Have Influenced Tulsa State Fair Attendance This Year

Sunday, October 11th 2009, 9:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Anyone who attended the final day of the Tulsa State Fair had to deal with another afternoon of dreary, chilly weather, and they didn't have to navigate through the usual massive crowds.

Many people who did show up, stayed inside the QuikTrip Center.

The lack of sunshine may have affected business. In fact, revenue from ticket sales ended up down when compared to last year.

Weather was the story of the fair's 2009 edition. Outside, vendors struggled to sell products that are less appealing when it's 50 degrees.

"It's cold and everybody's like, ‘iced tea?' and we're like, ‘yeah,'" said Amanda Lusk, Ice Tea Spot.

"We take what we can," said Patrick Dennis, Sweet Time Kettle Corn. "And everyone enjoys what they can because it won't be around for another year, right?"

But it wasn't all bad news for vendors. Those inside the QuikTrip Center said business was brisk.

"They love us, and we love them. We've been flooded with folks and we enjoy the people who have been coming out," said Micah James, Southside Auction Company.

Joe Mathys, a veteran of more than 30 fairs, said that is simply the way his business works. Some years, ideal weather lures fair-goers to the midway, but during years like this one, there's more time for fudge.

"In any situation, what's bad for somebody else, is often times good for the next person," said Joe Mathys, Copper Kettle Fudge.

The worst day for business was this past Thursday during the torrential downpour. Gate sales were down 83 percent that day when compared to 2008.

10/11/2009  Related Story: Tulsa State Fair Security Reports Quiet Year