Stillwater continues to be developed around a history rich in various forms of agriculture. A few years after the Oklahoma Land Run in 1889, locals celebrated the dedication of the first building on the campus of Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. At the time, the land grant college focused primarily on agriculture, science, military science, and engineering.  

Today the campus has grown substantially, areas of study have expanded, and agriculture remains a primary industry represented at Oklahoma State University. Agriculture also continues to be a primary market for visitor development efforts.

The Payne County Expo Center hosts thousands of visitors annually who would not otherwise stay in our hotels, dine in our restaurants, attend locally held community events, or shop in our retail stores. 

It is not unusual to host a variety of community, county, state, and national events that include weddings, banquets, conferences, exhibitions, or just about anything in between at the Expo Center. And often these various events will occur simultaneously.  

The Payne County Expo Center features 85,000 square feet of versatile meeting and event space, an outdoor arena, thirty-five RV hook-ups, commercial kitchens, a substantial amount of dedicated parking, and is probably most widely known as the home for the Payne County Free Fair. 

The 108th Annual Payne County Free Fair will be held from August 22-27, 2022. The exhibits at the fair are intended to be representative of the agricultural enterprises found in Payne County, and the three major components should be education, competition, and entertainment. 

The Payne County Free Fair is one of the largest agricultural activities of the year. It brings together individuals and families representing all of the communities in the area who will show off their hard work, check out the exhibits, dine with family and friends, attend the evening entertainment, or enjoy the rides and carnival games.   

  • Wednesday, August 24 – Sunday, August 28: Weee Entertainment Amusement Rides 
    • Wristband promotions each evening from 6-10 p.m. for $30.
    • $4 for a single ticket
    • $35 for a family pack of 10 tickets
    • $100 for the super-saver pack of 30 tickets 
  • Thursday, August 25:   Pet Parade & Show – Indoor Arena

    Horse and Mule Team Performance Contest – Outdoor Arena

    Barnyard Olympics – Indoor Arena

    Draft Horse Pulling Competition – Outdoor Area

  • Friday, August 26:        Lawn and Garden Tractor Pull – Outdoor Arena
  • Saturday, August 27:   Cattle Dog Event – Outdoor Arena

To learn more about the Payne County Expo Center, utilize their facility to plan an event, check out the calendar of events hosted there, or to see a schedule of events and download flyers and forms for the upcoming Payne County Free Fair, go to

For the most current and up-to-date information regarding the Stillwater hospitality industry, go to, and follow Visit Stillwater on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter at @VisitStillwater. Cristy Morrison, Visit Stillwater President and CEO, can be reached at or by calling 405-743-3697.