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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Show off Oklahoma City to visitors

There’s plenty to do in Oklahoma City if you have friends and family visiting here from elsewhere. This week, The Better Life Blog is here for you so you can plan to show off the city and everything it has to offer. So come along and use their visit as an opportunity for you to explore the city yourself.

Want museums? Start with Oklahoma history at the Oklahoma History Center or the Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum. One of the city’s other premier museums includes the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, the place to learn about American West history and culture and see some of the top fine art of that genre. For art, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art is worth a stop, especially to see the impressive the Dale Chihuly glass art collection. The Science Museum Oklahoma has a lot of hands-on displays and activities for children.

But a fun tour of OKC might include some of Oklahoma’s more special-interest museums: Amateur Softball Association National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum; the 45th Infantry Division Museum; the 99s Museum of Women Pilots, the Museum of Osteology, which has more than 300 skeletons on display and other bones; the American Banjo Museum, the Oklahoma Railway Museum and more.

If you and your guests are still going strong, take them to the Oklahoma City Zoo. It is one of the oldest in the southwest, is spread over more than 119 acres and home to about 1,900 of the world’s most exotic animals, including 54 threatened or endangered species. It also features more than 500 species of animals, 117 species of birds, 153 species of reptiles and amphibians and 155 species of fish, aquatic invertebrates and marine mammals. And you wouldn’t want to miss the Lion Overlook or the Great EscApe.

For shopping, you can head over to one of OKC’s many shopping malls, like  The Outlet Shoppes, Quail Springs Mall, Penn Square Mall or Plaza Mayor at The Crossroads or any of Oklahoma City’s boutique shops.

And if the tips here aren’t to your liking, head over to Oklahoma City’s Convention and Visitors Bureau website, where you can find attractions and suggested itineraries. There’s a downtown walking tour, a Western heritage tour, a list of things to do with children and a must-see Oklahoma City tour.

arts and culture, attractions, family-friendly, kids, museums, shopping, western heritage, zoo, Adventure District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



A reference to take with you

Check out the Oklahoma City Visitors Guide, an essential guide to help you plan an itinerary when friends or family members visit OKC. The Visitors Guide is published each year, so it’s sure to include the latest attractions of our growing city.

You can view the visitors guide digitally or request a copy by mail. But in its 104 pages, you’ll be tempted by all that Oklahoma City has to offer – sports, recreation, nightlife, shopping, arts, dining, hotels, etc. It’s your ultimate guide. Be sure to take a look.

Learn more at visitokc.com.

publication
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Movies in the pool are cool Ė literally!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s post on The Better Life Blog is brought to you by our friends at the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau, which blogs regularly about “all there is to see, do, taste and experience in OKC.” Enjoy: 

What do sunscreen and a movie screen have in common
White Water Bay's Dive-In Movies!

Pull up a raft and get a front view of White Water Bay's Dive-In Movies all summer long.  Dive-In Movies are free with park admission and begin tonight and continue each Friday throughout the summer with exception of July 4. 

Grab your calendar: Here's a full list of movies that will be playing this summer:

June 27: Ghostbusters
July 11: Frozen
July 18: Catching Fire
July 25: Iron Man 3

These family-friendly movies take place around the 500,000-gallon wave pool but we suggest you arrive early because they are all extremely popular. And even though the majority of the park closes at 8 p.m., the Wave Pool, Bermuda Triangle and the two newest rides, RipQurl and Pipeline Wave, stay open until the movie begins at dusk.  To top it off, there are food specials, a local DJ and the aroma of popcorn in the air for all to enjoy.

Grab your swimsuit and SPF and we'll meet you at the wave pool this summer!

family-friendly, outdoor recreation, water sports, attractions
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Go West, young (wo)man!

While you’re in Oklahoma City, don’t miss the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. The museum bills itself as “America’s premier institution of Western history, art and culture.” You’ll realize the description is an accurate one as you wander through its multiple art and sculpture galleries, stand in front of the poignant 17-foot-tall “End of the Trail” sculpture by James Earle Fraser or explore a replica of a Western town for children, called Prosperity Junction, and the Children’s Cowboy Corral. You’ll learn about cowboy culture and gear, Native American history, Western performers, settling the frontier and more.

The museum has plans for its future, such as a seven-acre outdoor addition, but here’s a bit about its past.

It was founded as the National Cowboy and Hall of Fame and Museum in Oklahoma City in 1955, seven years after its founder Chester Arthur Reynolds envisioned a hall of fame that would honor cowboys, cattlemen and ranchers.

Governors from 17 western states, prominent cattlemen and leaders in rodeo were invited to serve on the museum’s board, and a 37-acre site at what is known as Persimmon Hill was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1955. And in 1960, the museum became the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. (It took on its current name, dropping the Hall of Fame part, in 2000.)

Although fundraising efforts stalled along the way, it finally opened in 1965. It fell into disarray in the 1980s but a $35 million capital campaign revived it. In 1993, President George Bush formally dedicated the site that had expanded to more than 230,000 square feet.

Since then it’s been host to numerous community events, collections and Museum events such as the annual Western Heritage Awards, honoring significant contributions to literature, music, film and television.

arts and culture, history, museums, western heritage, Adventure District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: June 24 - June 30, 2014

Tuesday, June 24
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Presents: Twelfth Night; 7 p.m.; Water Stage; 301 W Reno; 445.7080; general admission $15, students/seniors/military $10
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:45 p.m. – 6:45; Water Plaza Room at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Reno Ave.; 445-7080; $5 for Myriad Gardens members, $10 for nonmembers.
National Reining Horse Derby; event times will vary, State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 946-7400; free admission

Wednesday, June 25
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Presents: Twelfth Night; 7 p.m.; Water Stage; 301 W Reno; 445.7080; general admission $15, students/seniors/military $10
National Reining Horse Derby; event times will vary, State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 946-7400; free admission

Thursday, June 26
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
OKC Fest Outdoor Music Festival; event times will vary; Harvey Ave & Reno Ave; 235-3500; ticket prices vary
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Presents: Twelfth Night; 8 p.m.; Water Stage; 301 W Reno; 445.7080; general admission $15, students/seniors/military $10
National Reining Horse Derby; event times will vary, State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 946-7400; free admission

Friday, June 27
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
OKC Fest Outdoor Music Festival; event times will vary; Harvey Ave & Reno Ave; 235-3500; ticket prices vary
National Reining Horse Derby; event times will vary, State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 946-7400; free admission

Saturday, June 28
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Sandridge Energy Stars & Stripes River Festival; 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.; Boathouse District; 725 S Lincoln Blvd.; 552-4040; free admission
OKC Fest Outdoor Music Festival; event times will vary; Harvey Ave & Reno Ave; 235-3500; ticket prices vary
Hawkstock Music Festival; 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Hawkstock Amphitheater; 3700 N Walker Ave; 206-1253; free admission
National Reining Horse Derby; event times will vary, State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 946-7400; free admission

Sunday, June 29
OKC Fest Outdoor Music Festival; event times will vary; Harvey Ave & Reno Ave; 235-3500; ticket prices vary
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Omaha Storm Chasers; 6:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Devon Sunday Twilight Concert with Jeff Mims Band; 7:30p.m.; Band Shell, Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Sheridan; 445-7080; free admission

Monday, June 30
Make it Mondays; 10 a.m.-12p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 301 West Reno; 445-7080; free admission

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hey Boo Boo, Letís Go Get Us a Pic-a-Nic Basket

In Oklahoma, we love to spend our summers outdoors. It’s hard not to find a nearby lake, golf course or camping spot that is not packed with citizens enjoying the beautiful summers we get on the plains. If the sun is a shining we don’t need much of an excuse to head outside. Well, we’ll give you an excuse anyway: tomorrow is International Picnic Day.

You know it is serious, because it is an international holiday. You wouldn’t want to commit an international faux-pas right? So on the 18th, grab your friends, family or coworkers (heck grab them all and make it a party), head to the nearest city park and enjoy a relaxing al fresco meal. While you shouldn’t have to worry about scheming bears at a city park, make sure someone grabs the bug spray. Find a park near you.

food, outdoor recreation, parks, family-friendly
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Make it a Work Picnic

Work downtown and don’t have time for a glamorous, relaxing picnic on International Picnic Day? No worries. That doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the great weather and food on your lunch break. Head over to the Myriad Botanical Gardens, grab a bite to eat and break up the grind of the workday at the 17-acre park. A couple of restaurants have just opened at the gardens making it the ideal location for a quick picnic downtown.

Park House is open for lunch and dinner and serves contemporary American food with a stunning view of the gardens. There is even a bar if you would like to have an “after-work” picnic.

Open seasonally from March to November, the Ice House serves burgers, shakes and salads. These aren’t your run-of-the-mill burgers either, they are world-famous Nic’s burgers. We aren’t exaggerating when we say world famous either. Nic’s Grill has been featured on Food Network and has had visitors from across the globe. So, head over to the Myriad Gardens and snatch a burger without having to wait in the line that always goes out the door at Nic’s Grill.

food, Myriad Botanical Gardens, parks, restaurants, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A Myriad Gardens Primer

If you are a regular reader of our blog (or reading it for the first time) you realize we talk about the Myriad Botanical Gardens a lot. We have a soft spot for the 17-acre park as it serves as a nice getaway for downtown workers and a community gathering place for great festivals and concerts. Basically, it’s our little slice of relaxation in a bustling downtown. If you are new to OKC here is a brief (very brief) history of the gardens.

The first thoughts of the gardens came about more than 50 years ago in 1964 when world-renowned architect I.M. Pei was hired by city leaders to create a plan to revitalize downtown OKC. Oklahoma City pioneer Dean McGee (founder of Kerr-McGee Oil) became a champion for the park and continued that cause until his death in 1989.

In 1970, the name Myriad Botanical Gardens was adopted. Where did the name come from? If you are new to our city, across the street from the Gardens used to sit the Myriad, a 13,000-seat arena (the arena still exists as part of the Cox Convention Center).

The process was slow but in 1977 ground was officially broke on the Gardens. In March of 1988 the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory was opened to the public. More than 12,000 people visited the gardens in its opening weekend.

More recently (three years ago to be exact), the Gardens just completed a $10.5 million redesign that added features like the floating amphitheater, ice rink/reflecting pool and grand event lawn. The redesign also increased the horticulture of the park by 400 percent!

history, music, Myriad Botanical Gardens, Oklahoma City history, parks, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Oklahoma on the Cutting Edge

While June is a time for outdoor shenanigans in Oklahoma, it is also an important month for one of Oklahoma City’s fast growing industries, biosciences. Each June a delegation of around 80 people representing the industry in Oklahoma travel to the annual BIO International Convention. The purpose of this trip is to network and spread the gospel of the bioscience industry in our region.

The bioscience sector in Greater Oklahoma City is an underrated aspect of the region’s outstanding economic success. It’s estimated bioscience employment contributes $4.1 billion to our economy and employs more than 27,800 workers. In fact, the sector accounts for more than six percent of the total employment in our region.

Not only are the numbers staggering, but these companies are on the front lines of developing medicines and technologies that save countless lives. You can learn more about this exciting field at the OKBio website.

Oklahoma, bioscience
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: June 17 - June 23, 2014

Tuesday, June 17
Prix de West; through August 3; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m..; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 1700 NE 63rd St.; 478-2250; Exhibit included with regular museum admission.

Wednesday, June 18
Wild Wednesdays; 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.; Children’s Garden at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Reno Ave.; 445-7080; $1 for Myriad Gardens member child, $2 for nonmembers.

Thursday, June 19
Automobile Alley Shop Hop; 6 to 9 p.m.; Broadway between NW 4th & 10th streets; Free
IgniteOKC 6; 7 to 8 p.m.; (IAO) Gallery; 706 W. Sheridan; tickets are $15.

Friday, June 20
Bricktown Blues & BBQ Festival; 3 p.m. to Midnight.; Corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma Ave. in Bricktown; 236-4143; Admission is Free.
David Sedaris; 7 p.m.; Barnes & Noble Quail Springs; 13800 N. May; 755-1155; Admission is free.

Saturday, June 21
Bricktown Blues & BBQ Festival; 1 p.m. to Midnight.; Corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma Ave., in Bricktown; 236-4143; Admission is Free.
OKC Roller Derby vs. Central Texas; 6 p.m.; Cox Convention Center; 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices vary.
Eddie Izzaard; 8 p.m.; Rose State College, 6420 SE 15th St, Midwest City; 733-7673; ticket prices vary.

Sunday, June 22
USA Canoe/Kayak Canoe Marathon National Championships; All Day; Boathouse District; 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040
Oklahoma City Energy vs. Rochester Rhinos; 7:00 p.m.; Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School; 801 NW 50th St..; 235-KICK; ticket prices and availability may vary.

Monday, June 23
USA Canoe/Kayak Canoe Marathon National Championships; All Day; Boathouse District; 725 S. Lincoln; 552-4040

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Festivus for the Rest of Us

With the lazy, crazy, hazy days of summer comes festival season, and Oklahoma City has plenty of fun festival options for you to enjoy. Whether you are into art, music or food (and who isn’t into food?), we’ve got some great ways for you to spend your weekends. We’ve even thrown in some options that are outside the OKC metro. If you are up for more road trips across this great state, check out www.travelok.com/festivals_and_events for a complete festival and events calendar.

Blues & BBQ
Gone Country
Story Time
Jazz in June
Get Your Kicks
Catch a Flick

festivals, day-trip
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Blues & BBQ

What can be better than some soulful music and some finger-licking food? Oklahoma City’s Bricktown Blues & BBQ festival offers both on June 20-21 at the corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma avenues. Concerts begin at 4 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday, and the music and festivities last until midnight. View complete schedule.

festivals, food, music, Bricktown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Gone Country

Some of country’s biggest artists will be in Oklahoma City for OKCFest 2014, a brand-new music festival in the heart of downtown Oklahoma City. The main stage, which requires a ticket ($35 in advance, $40 at the door), will feature Dierks Bentley, Merle Haggard, Lady Antebellum and Scotty McCreery, to name a few. But even if you are “not into country,” this fest is still for you! There will be numerous musical events of all genres, and plenty of food, beverages and free family fun. Buy tickets or follow event updates on the OKCFest Facebook page.

family-friendly, festivals, food, music, downtown
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Story Time

We fully expect that you will spend a lot of time camping in the summer and fall months, so you might want to brush up on your story-spinning skills for those nights around the campfire. No better way to do that than by attending the Spirit of Oklahoma Storytelling Festival on the campus of Southern Nazerene University in Bethany.

The festival kicks off this Friday, June 13, and will feature story swaps, ghost tales, concerts and workshops so you can hone your own craft. The price of the events varies, so be sure to check out the event website for more information and for the full schedule.

music, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Jazz in June

For the past 31 years, local and national blues and jazz artists have brought their craft to Norman, Okla., for Jazz in June, which takes place at Andrews Park and Brookhaven Village from June 19-21. Best of all, this festival is free to the public, so you can jazz it up to your heart’s content.

In addition to the main stage acts, several artists will also teach music clinics on Friday, June 20. If you are feeling extra jazzy, you can also bring your instrument of choice and make your own music at late-night jam sessions on Thursday, June 17 and Saturday, June 21. View the complete schedule and location of performances.

music, Norman, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get Your Kicks

When Route 66 was established on Nov. 11, 1926, no one could have predicted that it would define a culture. Spanning from Chicago to Los Angeles, Route 66 became one of the most famous roads in America, and while it is no longer a part of the federal highway system, it has experienced a resurgence in public interest in recent years. Lucky for you Okies, Oklahoma has the nation’s longest drivable stretch of Route 66 and all the charm that the route entails.

Situated along the stretch of Route 66 between Oklahoma City and Tulsa is the wine and grape capital of Oklahoma, Stroud. On June 14, Stroud will honor both the Mother Road and its most famous libation in one festival. The Stroud Historic Route 66 Wine and Food Festival  offers the 21-and-over crowd samples from wineries from across Oklahoma, but all ages can experience gourmet food, a car and motorcycle show, vendor booths and live music.

food, music, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Catch a Flick

Kicking off this week in Oklahoma City is the 14th-annual deadCENTER film festival. deadCENTER has been named one of the “20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” and attracted 13,000 fans to downtown Oklahoma City last year. Get the full scoop on the film festival in a recent blog entry. Check out this year’s schedule here

film, movies, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: June 10 - June 16, 2014

Tuesday, June 10
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Salt Lake Bees; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:45 p.m. – 6:45; Water Plaza Room at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Reno Ave.; 445-7080; $5 for Myriad Gardens members, $10 for nonmembers.
Wild Tuesdays Story Time Safaris; 9:30 a.m. – 11 a.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo; 2101 NE 50th Street; 424-3344; free with zoo admission

Wednesday, June 11
deadCENTER Film Festival; Various locations around Downtown Oklahoma City; All-Access passes are $125, prices to individual events vary.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Salt Lake Bees; 11:05 a.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.

Thursday, June 12
deadCENTER Film Festival; Various locations around Downtown Oklahoma City; All-Access passes are $125, prices to individual events vary.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Salt Lake Bees; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Presents: Twelfth Night; 8-10 p.m.; Water Stage; 301 W Reno; 445.7080; general admission $15, students/seniors/military $10
The 55th Annual 101 Wild West Rodeo; 8 p.m.; 101 Rodeo Arena; Prospect and Ash; Ponca City; 580-765-2980; free admission
Authors in Focus; 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.; Simon Hurst Photography; 24B West Place Park; 204-0999; free admission

Friday, June 13
deadCENTER Film Festival; Various locations around Downtown Oklahoma City; All-Access passes are $125, prices to individual events vary.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Las Vegas 51s; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
The 55th Annual 101 Wild West Rodeo; 8 p.m.; 101 Rodeo Arena; Prospect and Ash; Ponca City; 580-765-2980; free admission
Heartland Cruise Car Show; 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Main Street and Rader Park, Weatherford; 580-772-0470; free admission

Saturday, June 14
deadCENTER Film Festival; Various locations around Downtown Oklahoma City; All-Access passes are $125, prices to individual events vary.
"The Movie" Memphis Belle Tour; 10 a.m.; Wiley Post Airport; 5901 Philip J Rhoads Ave; (918) 340-0243.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Las Vegas 51s; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Oklahoma City Energy vs. Sacramento Republic FC; 7 p.m.; Pribil Stadium; 801 NW 50th; 235-5425 (KICK); ticket prices and availability may vary.
The 55th Annual 101 Wild West Rodeo; 8 p.m.; 101 Rodeo Arena; Prospect and Ash; Ponca City; 580-765-2980; free admission
Heartland Cruise Car Show; 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Main Street and Rader Park, Weatherford; 580-772-0470; free admission
Frontier City Summer Concert Series: Zendaya; gates open at 6 p.m.; Frontier City Theme Park; 11501 N I-35 Service Rd; 478-2140; free with park admission

Sunday, June 15
deadCENTER Film Festival; Various locations around Downtown Oklahoma City; All-Access passes are $125, prices to individual events vary.
"The Movie" Memphis Belle Tour; 10 a.m.; Wiley Post Airport; 5901 Philip J Rhoads Ave; (918) 340-0243.
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Las Vegas 51s; 6:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Sunday Twilight Concert Series: The Wise Guys; 7:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.; The Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Reno Ave.; 445-7080; free admission

Monday, June 16
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Las Vegas 51s; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Red Earth Festival Returns

The 28th annual Red Earth Festival, celebrating Native American arts and culture, kicks off this week. This year, the festival will be held at Remington Park on Thursday through Saturday (June 5-7), with the traditional parade at 9 a.m. on Friday downtown. A full schedule of events including live music, dance competitions, an arts market, native food and more can be found at http://www.redearth.org/red-earth-festival/. Experience one of our state’s most unique and culturally vibrant events!

arts and culture, family-friendly, festivals, native american, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get Some Culture in Sulphur

A great way to learn about Native American culture in general, and the Chickasaw culture specifically, is to visit the aptly-named Chickasaw Cultural Center in Sulphur. The campus consists of an exhibit gallery with “Spirit Lesson Stations,” language learning stations and historical objects; a Stomp Dance interactive display; the “Removal Hallway” exploring the Chickasaws’ painful “Trail of Tears” experience; and even an historically accurate outdoor “Inchokka’” traditional village, among other exhibits. The center aims to “capture the essence of Chickasaw culture” as well as share the Chickasaw’s “unique culture with the world,” and is a can’t-miss stop.

“But wait,” you say to yourself. “Where is this ‘Sulphur’ of which you speak, and how do I get there? Is it a burdensome journey?” Easy there, Chief. Sulphur is less than 90 miles from OKC and makes for a quick and easy day-long or weekend escape. There are tons of other cool things about Sulphur – the Chickasaw National Recreation Area is one of the nation’s oldest national parks and has about 10,000 acres of pristine preserved flora and fauna to explore, the nearby Lake of the Arbuckles offers camping, boating, fishing and more, and popular Turner Falls features a 77-foot waterfall, hiking trails, sandy beaches, three natural caves, and even a rock castle(!), among other beachin’ items. Yep, sounds like a trip to Sulphur is the kind of cure you’re looking for.

For more info on Native American cultural attractions in our great state, check out http://www.travelok.com/article_page/top-native-american-attractions-in-oklahoma.

[Image via Chickasaw Nation.]

day-trip, museums, native american, outdoor recreation, water sports, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A Brief History of Tribes

Deeply and inexorably rooted in Native American culture and history, Oklahoma as a state proudly bills itself as “Native America,” with a statue called “The Guardian” depicting a Native American man with a spear and shield by former Seminole Chief and member of the Oklahoma Legislature (not to mention artist, obvi) Enoch Kelly Haney sitting atop the dome of the Capitol. The name “Oklahoma” even comes from two Choctaw words meaning red (“humma”) and people (“okla”).

A total of 67 Native American tribes have called Oklahoma home, and the state is currently home to 38 federally-recognized tribes producing an estimated $10.8 billion in economic impact. As with many indigenous cultures the world over that have been subject to the forces of imperialism or colonization, the history of Native Americans in Oklahoma is not only a source of pride for Oklahomans but is also complex, often tragic, and naturally difficult to sum up in a blog format. But, we endeavor to please, so here’s a brief sketch.

Prior to European contact, native tribes such as the Wichitas, Caddos, Apaches and Quapaws inhabited modern-day Oklahoma. As European influence and pressures elsewhere grew, other tribes migrated here including Pawnee, Osage, Comanche and Kiowa, in some cases displacing other native peoples. The Indian Removal Act of 1830 then forced all native peoples west of the Mississippi, and the “Five Civilized Tribes” (Choctaw, Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw and Seminole) were relocated to Oklahoma (the eastern half of the state was known as “Indian Territory”), along with several others (Kickapoo, Potawatomi, Shawnee, etc.).

After more post-antebellum resettlement due to stresses partially brought on by the expansion of rail networks through then-Indian lands in Kansas and Nebraska, The Dawes Act of 1887 (and other subsequent legislation in the case of the Five Civilized Tribes) then effectively ended communal land ownership, with the government ceding plots to individual tribal members. The “leftover” land was then allowed to be resettled, often via land run (the method by which a large portion of central Oklahoma was opened). The Wheeler-Howard Law or Indian Reorganization Act ended the practice of allotment and renewed tribal government and organization rights in 1934. After World War II, Congress then decided to end recognition of some tribes, resulting in land forfeiture in some cases.

From 1968 to the present day, Native Americans have been able to claim more sovereignty and take advantage of more of a stance of “self-governance” toward the tribes from the federal government, reestablishing themselves as cultural and economic forces.

For a bibliography/source info and more on this complex subject, please check out:
http://www.theamericanindiancenter.org/oklahoma-tribal-history
http://www.okhistory.org/research/oktribes
http://www.travelok.com/american_indian_culture
http://www.travelok.com/files/genealogy/origins_of_oklahoma_tribes.pdf
http://www.travelok.com/article_page/oklahomas-rich-indian-history
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Removal_Act
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawes_Act

history, native american, Oklahoma, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Take a Look at a Sequoyah Book

First awarded in 1959 and sponsored by the Oklahoma Library Association, the Sequoyah Children’s Book Award is voted on annually by Oklahoma’s schoolchildren in the 3rd-5th grades. The award is named after the Cherokee tribal member who developed the Cherokee writing system adopted by the Cherokee Nation in 1825 and who lived in Oklahoma from 1829 until his death in 1843. In 1988, the Sequoyah Intermediate Book Award was inaugurated (voted on by 6th-8th graders), with the Sequoyah High School Book Award added in 2010 (9th-12th graders). The Donna Norvell Award is voted on by Sequoyah Committee members and is awarded to an “easy reader” book aimed at Pre-K – 2nd graders.

Why are we telling you this? Because it’s a great time to get involved in the Metropolitan Library Association’s Summer Reading Program. Just 20 minutes a day can net you all sorts of great prizes, in addition to all the even greater benefits daily reading provides. Programs for all ages (yes, even you, adults) are ready to rock your reading habit, so sign up today, and get started on those Sequoyah winners!

Sequoyah Book Award Winners for 2014:

  • Children’s – Sidekicks by Dan Santat
  • Intermediate (Young Adult) – Michael Vey: Prisoner of Cell 25 by Richard Paul Evans
  • High School – Divergent by Veronica Roth
  • Easy Reader (winner for 2013) – Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin
family-friendly, kids, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: June 3 - June 9, 2014

Tuesday, June 3
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park; 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694; free admission.
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:30 p.m.; Water Plaza Room at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 301 W Reno Ave.; 445-7080; $5 for Myriad Gardens members, $10 for nonmembers.
2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series; game times will vary; ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; 2801 NE 50th; ticket prices and availability may vary.

Wednesday, June 4
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park; 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694; free admission.
2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series; game times will vary; ASA National Softball Hall of Fame; 2801 NE 50th; ticket prices and availability may vary.

Thursday, June 5
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park; 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694; free admission.
Acoustic Terrace Thursdays Presented by TEEMCO, LLC; 5–6 p.m.; Seasonal Plaza at Myriad Botanical Gardens; 1 Myriad Gardens; 445-7080; free (donations always welcome).
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Presents: Twelfth Night; 8-10 p.m.; Water Stage; 301 W Reno; 445.7080; general admission $15, students/seniors/military $10

Friday, June 6
Red Earth Festival; 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Remington Park; 1 Remington Place; 427-5228; adults $10, children $7.50, seniors $7.50, children under 6 free
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park; 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694; free admission.
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Presents: Twelfth Night; 8-10 p.m.; Water Stage; 301 W Reno; 445.7080; general admission $15, students/seniors/military $10
World Ocean’s Day; 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Noble Aquatic Center, Oklahoma City Zoo; 424.3344; free with zoo admission

Saturday, June 7
Red Earth Festival; 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Remington Park; 1 Remington Place; 427-5228; adults $10, children $7.50, seniors $7.50, children under 6 free
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park; 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694; free admission.
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park Presents: Twelfth Night; 8-10 p.m.; Water Stage; 301 W Reno; 445.7080; general admission $15, students/seniors/military $10
Wines of the West; 12-4 p.m.; Stockyards City; 1305 S Agnew Ave; 235.7267; $15
Hot Wheel Sensation Car & Bike Show; event times will vary; Thunderbird Casino; 15700 E Hwy 9; 360.9270; free admission

Sunday, June 8
Twilight Concert: KALO; 7:30-9 p.m.; Bicentennial Park; 500 Couch Dr.; free
Redbud Spectacular Horse Show; event times will vary; State Fair Park; 3001 General Pershing Blvd; 440-0694; free admission.
Grilling 101: Dinner on the Terrace; 7-9 p.m.; Meinders Garden and Terrace; 301 West Sheridan; 445.7080; adults $30, children $10 for Myriad Gardens members, adults $35, children $15 for nonmembers
Neil Diamond Tribute; 7 p.m.; UCO Jazz Lab; 100 E Fifth; 359.7989; $20

Monday, June 9
Oklahoma City Redhawks vs. Salt Lake Bees; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 2 S Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; ticket prices and availability may vary.
Make-it Mondays; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Children’s Garden; 301 W Reno and Harvey; 442.7080; free admission

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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