The Newkirk Kay County Fair was organized in 1896. Five dollar shares were sold in order to purchase property for the facilities, build a race track, grand stands and sheds. The share also gave free admittance to all shows and fairs for three years. By 1905 the fair was in full swing. A new barn, 320 feet long containing eighty stalls, had been built along with grand stands that seated 600 people. The fair lasted five days with a schedule that included stock racing, automobile racing, a gentlemen's driving race, a ladies' driving race, balloon ascensions, a merry-go-round, and a ferris wheel.
In addition to the usual exhibits, races, and rides at the fair, early day airplanes were also a source of excitement. Many Newkirk citizens saw their first airplane at the Newkirk fair.
One of the more unusual races was Black Diamond, the famous trotting ostrich, which was hitched to a four wheel cart instead of a racing cart and raced against a horse around the track. Of course, the ostrich won.
For a number of years the fair alternated between Ponca City, Blackwell and Newkirk before its permanent home was established in Blackwell in 1923. The Newkirk Fairgrounds were located a few miles north and east of Newkirk.