Since 1913, the annual Osage County Free Fair has been a staple and go-to affair for the people of Osage County. The 2018 Fair runs Sept. 12-15. The event is sponsored and promoted by the Osage County Commissioners. The current commissioners are — Jerry Howerton, District One Commissioner; Kevin Pasley, District Two and Darren McKinney, District Three.


Each commissioner appoints three people to represent their district to serve on the fair board. These fair board members must then seek re-election every few years. Registered voters from the county are also eligible to run for the fair board as positions expire. The 2018 Osage County Fair Board consists of Dee Chambers, Macy Strom, Cyndi Rasberry, Karen Miller, Margie Ford, Sarah Landsaw, Becky King and Johnna Huddleston. Planning for each fair begins immediately following the fair each year. This group has met 10 times for formal meetings along with several work days getting ready for your Osage County Fair.


This year, beginning on entry day, Sept. 12, Osage County residents can enjoy four days of fun, competition and entertainment, re-acquaint themselves with neighbors and friends and meet newcomers to the county. There will be contests for the best of everything produced in Osage County, from garden produce and crops to crafts and handiwork, the best livestock and pets, even the most talented vocals. And don’t forget the fastest turtle. There are no admission charges at the fair, and it doesn’t cost a thing to enter.


For a copy of the Osage County Fair Book go to the Osage County Extension office at the Fairgrounds or download a copy from the “Osage County Free Fair 2018” Facebook page or on the OC Extension website: http://oces.okstate.edu/osage.


Bring your produce


All Osage County residents are encouraged to bring samples of their garden and orchard produce to the Osage County Free Fair. Entry day is on Sept. 13 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be entry categories for every type of fruit and vegetable grown in the county. There are even classes for hay, grasses, legumes and houseplants and cut flowers.


Emergency responders


All Osage County fire departments, rural volunteer fire departments and first responders are invited to display their newest trucks and equipment at the Osage County Free Fair, especially for Sept. 13-14, the school days at the fair and Sept. 15, family day. Equipment is constantly changing and improving and area departments, and the cities work hard to keep their equipment up-to-date in the effort to serve community and rural needs. Call Macy Strom at (918) 440-0785 for more information.


Mid-West Ranch Horse Association competition and show


The Osage County Free Fair will once again be the sight of the Mid-West Ranch Horse Competition and Show at 1 p.m. Sept. 15. Note the time change from what was earlier announced.


Ranch horse riders from across the area will show off the training of their horses doing events utilizing everyday skills of a ranch horse and their riders. The event is open to the public. Entry and admission is free.


Flea market and craft fair


This year, fair goers can enjoy a flea market and craft fair during all three days of the county fair. The KanOkla 100 Mile Yard Sale is coming to Pawhuska this year for the first time. The Pawhuska Merchants group has “gotten on the map” and hopes to bring many shoppers to the Pawhuska area. The KanOkla is in its tenth year and grows larger every year. Not only will there be booths in downtown Pawhuska, the Women’s building has been set aside for vendors to set up and sell their wares. There will also be space for some outside vendors too.


Fair booth set-up begins on Sept. 12 with the sale beginning at 9 a.m. Sept. 13 and running through 8 p.m. Sept. 15. Doors are locked at the fair on Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Vendor booths in the Women’s building can be new or used, homemade or hand crafted. There will be no vendors in the Agriculture building selling used wares.


The cost for an 8’ by 10’ booth for the flea market in the Women’s Building will be $20,paid in advance of sales. Just as in the Agriculture building, two chairs will be provided. Six foot long tables are available for rent at $5 each. If more space is needed than the size allotted, multiple spaces are available, but there are a limited number of spaces. Outside spaces are handled just the same. The signup sheets are available on the “Osage County Free Fair 2018” Facebook page. It is advised to sign up now. Search the right-hand column for downloads. Print and send the form along with the $20 booth fee to the address listed on the form: Osage County Free Fair, P.O. Box 1342, Pawhuska OK 74056.


For more information about the Osage County Free Fair and all of the contests, activities, events and fun, or to get a schedule, go to the Facebook page or contact the Osage County Extension office at (918) 287-4170.


Chili and salsa contests


On Sept. 15, the Agriculture Building at the Osage County Fairgrounds will once again be the sight of a salsa making and chili cook-off. These contests are open to anyone from Osage County.


Sign up for the events will be at 9 a.m. Saturday with the judging of both beginning at 1 p.m.


The chili and the salsa must be prepared “from scratch” at the event during the allotted time. Contestants will need to prepare at least two gallons of chili and salsa. Entrants must prepare one gallon of salsa. Contestants must provide their own ingredients, equipment and method of cooking. Tables and electricity will be provided. Prize monies range from $100 to $25. Trophies will also be awarded. The chili cook-off winner will also receive a $20 beef certificate from an Osage County CattleWomen.


Fair goers will be included in the tasting and judging of the finished products along with two judges. The rules for the cook-off are available on the Osage County Free Fair 2018 Facebook page. Just download and print. For more information about the contests, please call the OSU Extension office of Osage County at (918) 287-4170.


Beginning at 9 a.m. Sept. 13,the Osage County Fair will open its doors to the public. This year there will actually be two school days at the fair. In an effort to better serve area schools, the fair board is offering Thursday and Friday for county schools to bring their students out to the fair to see what Osage County residents are producing in their county and to have a little fun too. There will also be vendors of every type and fun and informational booths set up for the kids and educators to see.


A magician will be there both days, inflatables, a petting zoo, rides and more will be set up and free of charge. There will also be prizes and refreshments for fairgoers those two days.


Schools will be allotted space for educational exhibits for showing items produced by students of their school. Exhibits should have been produced this year. Each class from the school may have one poster size exhibit, no larger than 24” by 36.” Items should be strongly affixed to the poster board with student names visible on the front. One poster-sized exhibit per class. Each class showing at the fair will receive $20 for creditable exhibits. There is limited space available for each school. Each class actually attending the fair will also receive a monetary award for participation in the fair. Teachers are responsible for completing the attendance form upon arrival.


Schools bringing buses to the Fair will be awarded $25 per bus for those traveling less than 10 miles, $50 for each bus traveling 10 to 25 miles and $75 for buses traveling more than 25 miles.


School bands, cheerleading squads and vocal music participation awards are available to all schools in the county that appear and perform at the fair as follows — bands, $100; cheerleaders, $100; vocal music, $100. A set amount is budgeted and may be disbursed for those groups that participate. Bus reimbursement is the same as listed above.


— Osage County Free Fair Board