By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Other | Issue: August 2010
The Branen sisters show the steers they are entering in the livestock competition of the Collinsville Tri-County Fair.
The Collinsville Tri-County Fair is the oldest free fair in Oklahoma – it is 65 years in the making. “At the time it began, Collinsville was the ‘Dairy Capital of Oklahoma’ and hosted the agricultural fair for three counties – Tulsa, Washington and Rogers Counties. The fair’s participants are now from about a 60-mile radius, but the name has remained the same,” explains Carolyn Smith, fair coordinator. “Our main goal is to support the agricultural youth, including FFA and 4-H members. We also want to uphold the tradition of providing a fun, free event for locals.” This year’s Tri-County Fair takes place August 19 through 22 in downtown Collinsville.
Steve Branen, vice president of the fair board, says the fair focuses on tradition and good old-fashioned family fun. Both Steve and Carolyn have fond childhood memories of the fair. “Our grandparents and parents were a part of it, and now we are sharing it with our families,” says Steve. His three daughters are showing steers in the Beef Show.
The fair’s primary event is the Livestock Show, open to registered 4-H and FFA members; it includes beef, rabbits, sheep, goats and swine. Showmanship contests follow, and winners receive ribbons and cash.
Livestock won’t be the only animals around during the event. On Thursday, the fair kicks off with the Dog Show and Pet Fair. Categories include best costumed dog, best dog trick, shortest dog, tallest dog, best groomed, long hair, short hair and obedience. Two age groups compete in showing dogs – 5 to 12 year olds and 13 to 18 year olds. “The Ward Wiseman Animal Haven also participates and will have a booth with information on adopting animals,” says Carolyn. On Saturday the 21st, don’t miss the Diggity Weenie Dog Race and the Turtle Race.
For those who enjoy checking out informative booths, head over to the American Legion Building, where you will find a variety of 4-H indoor exhibits. Here you’ll also find the Arts & Crafts Show, where commercial booths will be set up, as well as those offering unique gifts and handmade goodies.
Saturday will be filled with fun activities for the whole family. At 10 a.m. is the annual Parade. “This is really popular with the kids because they can ride their bikes in the parade,” says Steve. The Tractor Driving Contest begins at 9 a.m., and the winner goes on to compete in the state competition held at the Tulsa State Fair. “Ours is the only local fair where you can compete to go to the state contest,” adds Carolyn.
At 2 p.m. on Saturday will be the Lawn Mower Races, which also includes a push mower race for children. The Antique Tractor Pull, sponsored by CASA, begins at 7 p.m., followed by the Kiddie Pedal Pull at 7:30. The good times continue with a Street Dance from 8 to 11 p.m. in the American Legion parking lot. In addition, the Collinsville Round Up Club will host a rodeo that evening.
In conjunction with the Tri-County Fair, the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce will be hosting several activities and games on Main Street, and the Nazarene Church will have a Kid’s Zone.
“The Tri-County Fair is a great way to spend the day doing something fun and different without spending a lot of money,” says Steve. “Collinsville has redone Main Street to make it as easy to access and as user-friendly as possible. Come join in our tradition!”
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.