A tradition as old as the state itself, the Oklahoma State Fair is open now through Sunday, Sept. 23. Less than 30 minutes away from Oklahoma Christian University’s campus, the fairgrounds are home to a host of food vendors, exhibition halls, carnival rides and events.
Junior Madi Hermes said attending the fair is a great way for students to get connected with the local community. It offers opportunities to learn about the state of Oklahoma through up-close-and-personal animal exhibits, genuine country music and creatively fried foods.
Oklahoma Christian’s Student Government Association (SGA) also wants students to get involved in the Oklahoma City community by attending the fair. Last Friday, they offered half-price tickets to the student body, free tickets for freshmen who attended the Lady Eagles soccer game and even hosted a ticket giveaway on Twitter.
Hunter Cabe, the executive treasurer for the SGA, said there is an important reason to incentivize students to go to public events, especially freshmen.
“Having been a freshman once, I know it’s sometimes difficult to get involved in off-campus activities,” Cabe said. “Since the Student Life Office knows this, they decided to buy 50 discounted tickets from the SGA to sell to the freshmen for free, which was ultimately meant to be a way to get the freshmen to see beyond the campus and to get comfortable with the area.”
Getting students active outside of campus is a long-term goal for the SGA, according to Cabe, and it also helps develop a community among students.
“Being well-adapted to a community is very important in life, and SGA knows that offering any event to help students become adapted to their community will not only benefit the student now, but also hopefully in the future,” Cabe said.
Every year at the Oklahoma State Fair, a creative arts competition is hosted for adults and youth, which provides a way for students to showcase their talent. Only Oklahoma residents are allowed to enter, but entries will be on display to the public throughout the fair.
Senior Laura Smethers, a gaming and animation major, has entered her art in the competition since eighth grade and has the awards to prove it.
“I’ve never gotten best in show, sadly, but I’ve got a lot of first, second and fourth place ribbons,” Smethers said.
For any student thinking about submitting their art, Smethers said it is a great way to gain exposure.
“You get a chance to go to the fair, the awards are pretty nice and just walking around you get to hear regular people’s critiques of your artwork,” Smethers said. “You hear people telling you how good your artwork is. People will badmouth art, and I’m standing right behind them. They don’t even know it.”
While the competition for this year is already underway, registration for next year’s art contest will open July 2019. For those interested in attending the fair, tickets can be purchased at the gate or online.