From Tulsa World...
You probably won't spy Carrie Underwood eating a fried Twinkie at the Tulsa State Fair this weekend, even though she's psyched to be back in town while it's going on.
"I would love to!" she said wistfully, during a recent phone interview. "But I kind of wonder, if it's like your memories as a child - like how the Christmas tree gets smaller every year ... So the Tulsa State Fair, I just remember it being like the biggest thing ever - it seemed so huge."
Huge to a girl from small-town Checotah.
Maybe not as much to an "American Idol"-turned country superstar who's racked up a pile of No. 1 hits, top awards and will headline Sunday night at Tulsa's BOK Center.
But she fondly remembers seeing Kenny Chesney at the Tulsa State Fair when she was 15, and Alan Jackson when he came in 1996. Little did she know she would meet both eventually.
And then it hits her - something different about the fair, the smaller Christmas tree.
"Where do they do the fair now?" she wonders.
The same place, at the fairgrounds near 21st Street and Yale Avenue.
"But they don't have Bell's anymore, do they? How do they have rides?"
There's genuine concern in her voice (her mega-platinum second album was named "Carnival Ride," don't forget). She's been home often enough to know that Bell's is long gone, after the fair board decided not to renew the amusement park's lease in 2006 and the rides were dismantled.
They bring in all the rides now,
roller coasters and high-flying swings that arrive in pieces on tractor-trailer rigs. There's no more Zingo, no permanent monolith to the cotton candy-fueled mayhem and spectacle.
Not that she could go to the fair - she'd likely get mobbed out on the midway.
Also, she's been a little busy lately. Touring, collecting hit songs and videos, becoming Carrie Fisher.
In July, she married Ottawa Senators hockey player Mike Fisher - and yes, she realized the joke of her married name early on in their relationship.
"I think it's impossible not to think about it when you're dating, to try out the potential new name," she said. "So yeah, pretty early on I realized, 'Oh ... Carrie Fisher - wait a minute, it's even spelled the same.' But she had it first.
"No matter what, I'll always be Carrie Underwood."