Tulsa State Fair's attendance is down heading into the weekend

Thursday, October 6th 2005, 2:43 pm
By: News On 6

Some say the cooler temperatures might be cooling off attendance at the Tulsa State Fair. The numbers are down some from last year, but organizers and vendors are hoping for a big surge this weekend.

News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims says attendance at the fair is down about 5 percent from last year. But some vendors say they're still making money.

Fair attendance may be down, but you wouldn't know it from hanging around some booths. At the White River Fish Market, the fryers are bubbling, the fish baskets are overflowing, and they've even got a line going. "We're up from last year." Neoka Anderson says they're pretty busy. She says they've got a good location, near an expanded food court, and the weather may actually be working for them. "If you think about it if it rains they come into the buildings if it’s cold they come into the buildings so they're going to be milling around eating so they can go back outside."

Outside and in, the fair foot traffic is slightly down, about 5 percent less than last year, but organizers say revenue is up. Inside Expo Square, some say business is heating up. But once you step outside the temperature drops off and some say so does business.

At the spud shop, home of the world famous spiral spud, they sold a ton of potatoes in just one day last year. But this year, spud selling is slow. “It’s down quite a bit." Peggy Fritts blames the chilly weather and the recent tragedy in the gulf for the slowdown. But she says they've got a good product in this deep-fried concoction that she describes as either the freshest potato chip or the skinniest French fry. And she hopes a big weekend will have the spuds flying off the shelf. “I think it will be a lot better, parents will bring their kids especially the school kids and I think it'll be a lot better than Saturday."

Typically, the last weekend is the busiest and in the end, fair organizers say they think attendance will come in right on target.