Earl and Bonnie Arthur

Claremore couple, Earl and Bonnie Arthur, went on their first date at the Rogers County Fair and haven’t missed a year since.

They had their first date at the Rogers County Fair in 1973 and haven't missed one since.

Earl and Bonnie Arthur met through mutual friends and found themselves at the county fair for their first date on Sept. 14.

"I remember she was kind of nervous," Earl said. "But I wasn't. I wasn't nervous at all."

The couple said they walked through all the exhibits—from livestock to baked goods—and were sure to ride the Scrambler.

They've been married for 45 years but as of Saturday they will have known each other for 46.

Three kids, two grandkids, and countless blue ribbons later, they still make it out to the fair every September.

"We haven't missed one yet," Bonnie said, adding that it's not many couples who get to re-live their first date year after year.

"And I just like the exhibits, seeing people we haven't seen. That's a lot of why we go back, see people we haven't seen and get to visit with them," she said.

"It's a social time. We get to see a lot of people we haven't seen in a long time. We usually have a lot of entries, too. Antiques and birdhouses," Earl added.

This year the couple entered a few antiques, Earl entered some handmade birdhouses, crafted from material he makes himself after cutting down his own trees, and Bonnie entered a few crocheted items. Once again, the couple is bringing home a few blue ribbons.

And Earl is no stranger to fair entries.

"I showed a mule when I was younger," he said. "I stayed in the stall with the mule for the couple days I showed. You don't see that much anymore."

Over the years their kids entered exhibits into the fair and now one grandchild is doing the same.

"And the other grandkid just turned one, so we'll give that some time," she laughed.

While it all started at the fair, the couple quickly realized they had a few things in common.

"Our dads worked together, which we didn't know until later," he said. "And, turns out to be that she's 14 hours younger than I am."

"Fourteen hours, 20 minutes and 30 seconds," she was quick to add.

He was raised in Sequoyah and she was raised in Catoosa so when it came time to settle down and start a family, they met in the middle and called Claremore home.

Recommended for you