Vendors Feel ‘Devastating Blow’ After Most Of Tulsa State Fair Canceled

Tuesday, August 11th 2020, 9:22 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

Many people were holding out hope the Tulsa State Fair would happen as planned this year, but on Tuesday those in charge announced most of the fair, including the food, rides and indoor booths, is canceled.

Organizers said they have met with health officials for the past few weeks but could not figure out a way to safely hold the fair and keep people healthy.

A big hit for businesses that rely on the fair, vendors said it’s a devastating blow.

Related Story: Update: Tulsa State Fair Canceled Due To COVID-19 Pandemic Concerns

Stephanie Layson owns Party Pro Rents and provides a lot of the tents, tables and chairs for the Tulsa State Fair. She said this decision is a big financial blow.

"It's very devastating,” Layson said. “We have a whole team that works this event every year. We are already short staffed as it is just because events are down all the way around.”

Her business is already suffering because this is normally the time of year for tailgating parties, school events and fundraisers.

She said even though it's a tough one, she agrees. Other Tulsans we spoke to said it's a smart move as well.

"You know, this virus is a lot more serious than a lot of Oklahomans believe I think, so it's probably for the best," Andrew Martin said.

The Tulsa County Public Facilities Authority voted unanimously to cancel most of the fair because of fears COVID-19 could spread.

"In an agriculture sense, it's almost like me standing in the middle of a hay meadow in August, with a 30 mile an hour wind and a match in my hand. If I drop that match, the whole thing is going to go on fire," Tulsa State Fair Trustee Mike Spradling said.

The board is working on a plan to still allow the youth livestock show in a modified format, which is not open to the public. If the county sees a spike in cases closer to October, that could be canceled too.

"I'm sad for the community, a lot of vendors that annually, we all kept together to bring the fair and get it ready for the public,” Layson said. “So this is really a sad day for our community.”

The board said the 2021 Tulsa State Fair is scheduled for September 30 through October 10.