Business View Magazine | June 2019

43 BUSINESS VIEW MAGAZINE JUNE 2019 F or 11 days every fall, the Tulsa State Fair is the premier attraction in the Sooner State. It began life as The Tulsa County Free Fair at a baseball park near downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1903. With the enactment of the Oklahoma Free Fair Act in 1915, a 15- acre tract of land was purchased a few miles east of that original site, in order to provide more suitable grounds. Then, in 1923, thanks to a land donation from J.E. Crosbie, the Fair was moved to a portion of its present site between 15th and 21st Streets. Passage of a $500,000 bond issue provided for the construction of the Pavilion, a 6,311-seat multi-purpose arena, which was completed in 1932. The Fair Board acquired another parcel of land adjacent to the gift acreage in later years, and the modern Tulsa State Fair was born. Funded by another bond issue in 1966, the 446,400-sq.-ft. Exposition Center was completed and became home to the International Petroleum Exposition (IPE), until the “oil bust” in 1980. The Golden Driller was added as a symbol of the IPE that year; weighing 43,500 pounds and standing 76 feet tall, the Golden Driller became the symbol of the Exposition Center. During the 1970s, marketing of the facilities for year-round usage was begun, and the fairgrounds was renamed Expo Square. Improvements during that time Expo Square Small but mighty