The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 22, 2013

Carnival returns to the county fair

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — The thrill of spinning rides, the lure of midway games and the taste of cotton candy once again will be part of the experience of going to the Garfield County Fair.

Lewellen Amusements is bringing two midway games, seven rides and one food booth to the fair. The carnival will be open Sept. 5-8, and $20 pay-one-price wristbands can be purchased on Thursday and Friday evening, Saturday afternoon and evening and Sunday afternoon.

Rex Lewellen, one of the owners of Lewellen Amusements, said there’s a reason it’s getting harder and harder to have a carnival at an event like a county fair.

“There’s only 177 carnivals left in America as of July, and in the late ’70s, there were over 1,200,” Lewellen said. “We’re a dying breed. In 10 years, only state carnivals will have rides.”

Lewellen Amusements runs a clean show, with carnival employees randomly checked for drug use, Lewellen said.

Enid Speedway’s second and third races also are scheduled for fair weekend.

Promoter Justin Bingham said events for the weekend still are being added, but definitely will include bicycle races, car races, driver autographs and race car rides.

Races will begin at 8 p.m. Sept. 6 and 7 p.m. Sept. 7. Admission will be $8 for adults, $6 for kids 6-12, and kids 5 and under will be admitted free.

Sheri Baumgardner, one of the coordinators of the Garfield County Fair, said the deadline for written fair entries will be Wednesday.

“For those that have not entered the fair before, we will be more than glad to let them know what is available and help them with their entries,” Baumgardner said. “Anyone that is a resident of Garfield County can enter the fair.”

Baumgardner noted the livestock schedule has changed from what was printed in the Premium Guide. The amended schedule is:

• All exhibits will be open for public viewing 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Commercial booths will be open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

• Sept. 4, all exhibits are to be in place by 6 p.m., except Departments P, O and L. Gift basket, table setting contest and scrapbooking contest entries must be set up by 6 p.m. in the Coliseum. Late entries will not be accepted.

• Sept. 5 schedule is judging Department Q, 4-H and FFA at 9 a.m.; judging Department M and Department N at 10 a.m.; Departments L, O and P must be in place at 11 a.m.; judging begins in Departments L, O and P at 1 p.m.; swine, sheep and goats are weighed at 4:30 p.m.; chocolate dessert contest at 7 p.m.

• Sept. 6 schedule is swine judging begins at 8 a.m., followed by sheep, then goats; pie baking contest at 10 a.m.; weighing steers and checking heifer papers begins at 4:30 p.m. Steers and heifers must be in barns by 6 p.m.

• Sept. 7 schedule is heifer judging, followed by prospect and market steers at 8 a.m.: horse show at 9 a.m.; Oklahoma Wheatheart bread baking contest at 1 p.m.; Insect Adventure hands-on activity and display, 3:30 p.m.; frog and turtle races, 4 p.m.; Ice Cream Crank-off, 6 p.m.                            

• Sept. 8, exhibits will be open for viewing 1-4 p.m., and will be released 4:30-6 p.m.

For information, call the fair office at (580) 237-0238.