Fairgrounds Crews Practice For Quick Event Turnaround

Monday, October 8th 2007, 4:16 pm
By: News On 6

The Tulsa State Fair may be over, but there is still plenty of work going on at the fairgrounds. Cleanup is underway, but this year vendors, ride owners and exhibitors are being asked to really step it up with their cleanup. Next year, right after the fair, there will be a very quick turnaround before the much anticipated Arabian Horse Show begins. News On 6 anchor Craig Day reports this year, they're practicing to make sure everything goes smoothly when it's crunch time next year.

Gary Crutchfield and his crew are hard at work, packing up after a successful run at the Tulsa State Fair. Soon they'll head home to Paris, Texas.

"Well, you kind of get an adrenalin rush for tear down I think, kind of excited,” Tulsa State Fair vendor Gary Crutchfield said. “You're glad to see them start and glad to see them end."

Many of the other vendors, exhibitors and fair workers are also sweeping, cleaning and working to get the fairgrounds back to normal. But this year, they've been asked to do it in half the time. It's a practice run for next year, when the Tulsa State Fair will be quickly followed by the National Arabian Horse Show.

"We will have to literally convert the entire fairgrounds inside a time span of five days into the Arabian show and there can be no oops," Fairgrounds CEO Rick Bjorkland said.

Fairgrounds CEO Rick Bjorkland says it will be a total conversion from a location familiar to fairgoers, to one accommodating to horse owners.

"We're being very, kind of clinical about it as to what, what type of resources that we'll have to bring to bear to make sure it happens," said Bjorkland.

During the short span, all signs of the fair will have to be gone, and then lots will be added for the Arabian horse show, including loads and loads of dirt and more than 3,000 stalls. The Arabian Horse Show is a huge event, drawing 20,000 people for 18 days. It's expected to have an economic impact of $40 million on the Tulsa area. With so much at stake, the fairgrounds wants to be ready, so both events can be pulled off without a hitch.

The fairgrounds administrators will keep a close eye on how things go over the next few days. Then they'll have a better idea of what they'll be able to do next year with existing staff, and how many additional contract employees they'll need to make sure everything goes smoothly.

Watch the video: Practice Run For The Arabian Horse Show