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Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair kicks off in Fort Smith

The state fair is back with more activities than ever before including free live music.

FORT SMITH, Ark — After being canceled last fall because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair is back in full swing at Kay Rogers Park.  

People can expect to see more food vendors and rides at this year’s state fair. Fair chairman, Kelly Clark says a new attraction this year is Rocketman which is a man that crawls into a rocket and shoots up in the air. He says there is more going on day by day than they’ve ever had. 

“After sitting out a year, the kids are ready to come back. Livestock exhibits are all up. Our commercial buildings up. I think everybody is ready to get out and have a good time and gosh what beautiful weather for tonight’s first kick-off,” said Clark. 

Clark says he’s very happy to report that 98% of carnival employees are fully vaccinated. He says they take COVID-19 very seriously and will be following all the CDC guidelines including wiping down touchpoints. 

Over in the livestock exhibition cows, pigs and sheep are getting ready to be shown after missing out last year. Lauren Massey is a senior in the Paris High School FFA and is grateful to be back at it this year. 

“Not showing last year was obviously so devastating even though it was my junior year," said Massey. "I’m so thankful I get to show this year because it is my last year to show. It’s just so exciting to be here, especially with my two lambs and I have a steer over there in the cattle barn and I'm, so excited to have this opportunity.”

Greenwood native Jeff Godfrey owns Poppin’ Johnny Ice Cream. He turned a 1945 John Deere tractor into an ice cream mixer and will be serving homemade ice cream at the fair. He’s the only local food vendor at the fair. 

“It’s going to be good for the community. I’m sure everybody has not had anything they could go do of this size and magnitude, so it’s going to be good to get people out,” said Godfrey. 

The schedule of events for the fair are as follows: 

Monday, September 27

  • 8:00 a.m.: Junior Market Goat Show - Harper Stadium
  • 3:00 p.m.:Release Market Goats at conclusion of Goat show
  • 4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.: Independent midway, Old McDonald’s Farm, Expo Center open
  • 4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.: Mighty Thomas Carnival open “Buddy Night” Buy one armband get one free
  • 4:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 6:00 p.m.: Junior Livestock Auction - Harper Stadium
  • 6:00 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 7:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 8:00 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 9:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races

Tuesday, September 28

  • 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.: Open and Junior Dairy in place
  • 1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Check-in all Open Beef
  • 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.: Independent midway, Old McDonald’s Farm, Expo Center open
  • 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Dairy Check-in
  • 5:00 p.m.: Deadline for required exhibits
  • 4:00 p.m.- 11:00 p.m.: Mighty Thomas Carnival open - Discount Coupon Day – Rides require only 1, 2, or 3 coupons (2 ticket discount)
  • 5:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 6:00 p.m.: Expo Center: Live on stage "Front Porch Playboys”
  • 7:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 7:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 8:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 9:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia

Wednesday, September 29

  • 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.: 40/29 & the Arkansas CW Feeding Hope Day – Gate admission is only $1.00
  • 8:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.: Independent midway, Old McDonald’s Farm, Expo Center open
  • 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.: Mighty Thomas Carnival opens
  • 8:30 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.: Kids Day! Rides require 2, 3, or 4 tickets (1 ticket discount)
  • 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.: Open and Junior Poultry Check-in
  • 9:00 a.m.: Registration for Educational Youth Day activities (4H & FFA)
  • 10:00 a.m.: Educational Youth Day activities (4H & FFA)
  • 10:00 a.m.: All livestock events - Harper Stadium
  • 10:00 a.m.: All plant events - Hugh Hardin Arena
  • 11:30 a.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 12:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Release horticulture exhibits (fruits & vegetables)
  • 2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Check-in floriculture exhibits (flowers & plants)
  • 2:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 4:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 5:00 p.m.: Open beef judging - All breeds - Harper Stadium
  • 6:00 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 6:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 7:30 p.m.: PRCA Xtreme Bulls - Harper Stadium - FREE with paid gate admission
  • 8:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races

Thursday, September 30

  • 9:00 a.m.: Open and Junior Ayrshire judging
  • 10:30 a.m.: Open and Junior Milking Shorthorn judging
  • 1:00 p.m.: Open and Junior Brown Swiss judging
  • 2:00 p.m.: Open and Junior Jersey judging
  • 3:00 p.m.: Open and Junior Holstein judging
  • 4:00 p.m.: Junior Dairy Showmanship followed by Senior Dairy Showmanship - Harper Stadium
  • 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.: Independent midway, Old McDonald’s Farm, Expo Center open
  • 5:00 p.m.: Supreme Champion Dairy Cow
  • 5:00 p.m.: Waterfowl in place deadline
  • 4:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.: Mighty Thomas Carnival open - Discount Coupon Day – Rides require only 1, 2, or 3 coupons (2 ticket discount)
  • 6:00 p.m.: Release Open Beef
  • 6:00 p.m.: Expo Center: Live on stage "Page One”
  • 6:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 7:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 8:00 p.m.: Rock and Roll Over the Ultimate KISS Tribute - Hugh Hardin Arena - FREE with paid gate admission
  • 8:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 9:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races

Friday, October 1

  • 8:30 a.m.: Open and Junior Sheep Judging - Show Barn B
  • 8:30 a.m.: Release Open & Junior Beef - 1 hour at conclusion of show.
  • 9:00 a.m.: Open and Junior Poultry Judging - Barn #5
  • 12:00 p.m.: Release All Dairy Cows upon Superintendent approval
  • 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.: Check in Open Dairy Goat & Junior Dairy Goat
  • 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.: Check in Junior Commercial Heifers
  • 4:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.: Independent midway, Old McDonald’s Farm, Expo Center open
  • 4:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.: Mighty Thomas Carnival opens
  • 4:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 4:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 6:00 p.m.: Expo Center: Live on stage "MT Glass”
  • 6:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.: KISR NIGHT - Discount gate admission - $2.00 off for adults and $1.00 off for seniors and kids (ages 4-11)
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 8:00 p.m.: Colt Ford - Hugh Hardin Arena - FREE with paid gate admission
  • 8:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 8:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia

Saturday, October 2

  • 9:00 a.m.: Open Dairy Goat & Junior Dairy Goat Judging
  • 9:00 a.m.: Dairy Goats released 1 hour after show - Show Barn B
  • 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Weigh commercial Heifers
  • 11:00 a.m. -10:00 p.m.: Independent midway, Old McDonald’s Farm, Expo Center open
  • 11:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.: Mighty Thomas Carnival open - Unlimited Ride Armband Day
  • 12:00 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 1:00 p.m.: Junior Commercial Heifer Judging - Hugh Hardin Arena
  • 1:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 2:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 3:00 p.m.: Arkansas Oklahoma State Fair Pageant - Expo Center
  • 3:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 4:00 p.m.: Release Open and Junior Poultry
  • 4:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 6:00 p.m.: Release Junior Commercial Heifers
  • 6:00 p.m.: Mrs. Senior Teen and Queen Pageant - Expo Center
  • 6:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races
  • 6:30 p.m.: The Rocketman Valencia
  • 7:30 p.m.: Antique Tractor Pull - Harper Stadium
  • 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. - Educational exhibits released (livestock exhibitors)
  • 8:30 p.m.: Hot Dog Pig Races

State fair organizers say they had lots of pre-sale tickets that were bought online, so they are expecting a big turnout. The fair runs until a week from Saturday. 5news is a proud weather sponsor of the Arkansas-Oklahoma State Fair. 

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