Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

A Big Idea: Little Sahara

Grace Ward Smith’s vision for the desert



 



Grace Ward Smith had a vision for northwestern Oklahoma. It involved camels, a pageant, some sheiks … and a harem.
 

Raised on the old Cherokee Strip by a family steeped in showmanship, Smith knew how to sell an idea.

Her father, Harry C. Ward, was one of five pioneering brothers who staked farms in Woods County, north of Freedom. In the early 1900s, after planting crops, the Ward Brothers would travel the show circuit, offering “lantern-lighted literaries” in entertainment-starved towns of the High Plains. Ohio-born Harry was billed as an Irish comedian, guitarist and fiddler, and later found his niche as an Alva auctioneer.

Baby Grace joined the family of showmen-farmers on Jan. 8, 1911. Sixteen years later, at the height of the Roaring Twenties, she signed to tour with her brother Johnny’s spin-off show. She soon wed Ray “Flapjacks” Smith, who performed with her uncle George’s tour.

The newlyweds went on to found Keen-O-Tone, a medicine show offering free entertainment and bargain cures for ailments from colds to cancer. In its heyday, Keen-O-Tone toured with a cast of 32, including an orchestra. Smith mostly worked the business side, arranging for permits, advertising and publicity as the show rolled into town.

Changing tastes and times ended the business in 1951, and the Smiths returned home. On April 14, 1953, she was hired for a six-month trial to head the Chamber of Commerce in Alva.

Grace Ward Smith offered her hometown a bold plan: Instead of bringing a show to an audience, as her family had done for years, why not bring the audience directly to the show? The attraction to promote: the people and places of Woods County, Oklahoma.

She was specific about her goal: “New dollars are what we need, and I believe our biggest untapped source [is] tourists.” To those who doubted that anyone would travel to the sparsely populated region so far off the beaten path, she invoked Proverbs 29:18, saying, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”

She had vision enough for the entire county.

With fresh eyes, she envisioned Alva as the gateway to the region’s Wild West history: outlaw hideouts, a dude ranch, Alabaster Caverns and the Great Salt Plains. She gave speeches and knocked on doors to increase membership in the Chamber of Commerce, organized civic groups to help entertain bus tours and attended conferences throughout the state to extol the virtues of Woods County.

But what she really wanted was another big attraction.


Her imagination was sparked by the dunes south of Waynoka, a sandy patch that had been ignored for decades, save for school field trips and adventurous picnickers. The fine quartz sand had been deposited by the Cimarron River over centuries, stretching uninterrupted for more than two square miles.

The dunes were an annoyance to most, creeping north and east as much as a foot every year in grainy drifts encroaching on Highway 281, causing the road to be rerouted time and again.

Grace Ward Smith, however, saw the sand as an answered prayer, and a sure bet to gain more traction in promoting Woods County.

First, the dunes field needed an inspiring name. Something evocative, yet familiar. Something she could sell. Her idea: “Little Sahara.”

Not everyone was impressed. Longtime Waynoka resident Rosalie Walker recalls, “We don’t want to be ‘little’ anything. I favored ‘Golden Sands.’” Decades later, she admits that Little Sahara was the best choice.

Smith recruited riders from the Waynoka Saddle Club to guide visitors through the new city-owned park of Little Sahara. She lined up townsfolk to dress as outlaws and stop incoming buses, presenting surprise gifts to the tourists. She orchestrated Indian smoke signals to be sent from hill to hill, and organized square dances, cave tours and chuckwagon feeds.

A 1956 report in The Daily Oklahoman noted Smith was “‘on stage’ practically 24 hours a day promoting Alva in a ‘show,’ which may equal the long run of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma … Alva’s first woman chamber of commerce secretary-manager may give business-like reports on projects to the board of directors at a night meeting, serve them pie and coffee, then show up at the office early the next morning to sweep out and wash the coffee cups before first callers appear.”

By 1958, she upped the ante, spearheading the purchase of two camels from the Al G. Kelly-Miller Brother Circus, which was wintering in Hugo, for $2,300.

“Once Grace has those camels, there’ll be no stopping her,” a contemporary said, in awe.

Local ranchers donated feed as the camels were kept in the Little Sahara’s “Oasis Pasture,” ready for photos. Tours by train and bus continued, including nearly 1,000 students from Oklahoma City and Tulsa in a single weekend.

Picnic tables were added around the park, and 20 students from Northwestern State College were paid $5 per performance to cavort in “colored pajamas, bathrobes, sheets and towels for the sheiks” and “sheer pajamas over shorts for the harem girls.” Plans were tossed about for a luxury hotel near the dunes with a desert theme, turquoise pool and a courtyard open to the night sky for star-viewing parties.

The camels – Susie and Nellie – continued to draw crowds, and garnered even more excitement when Nellie was about to give birth. A zoo veterinarian was flown in from Oklahoma City, and contests were held to guess the baby’s birthdate and time. The tiny camel arrived safely; she was named Gracie, in honor of Smith.

Alva proposed having some of the dunes designated a state park, and state lawmakers Lute Morrow of Dacoma and Ben Easterly of Alva promised to help. The Oklahoma Legislature earmarked $12,500 to purchase a parcel from the state Land Commission and develop the park, acquiring the 339-acre Little Sahara in September 1960. Restrooms were installed, along with 21 picnic tables and a water system.

The camels were exhibited at Little Sahara and were the star attraction in Waynoka’s first Christmas pageant in the dunes, held on Dec. 22, 1960, before a crowd of more than 4,000.

In 1961, an estimated 50,000 visitors made the trek to Waynoka to see the wonders of Little Sahara State Park.


By then, the extraordinary Smith had pulled up her tent stakes and moved on to head the Elk City Chamber of Commerce. The story goes that she ran for mayor of Alva and lost by six votes.

By November 1961, The Daily Oklahoman noted “credit for the plan to transform the Woods County dunes into a state park belongs to the county Chamber of Commerce, with individual laurels going to Ralph Sharp and Ike Ashpaugh, Waynoka businessmen.” Any mention of Smith and her inspired campaign had been erased as quickly as the shifting sands.

The park had momentum now, and could not be stopped. An observation tower was built, and adjoining acreage was added, bringing the total to more than 1,600 acres.

In the spring of 1963, Waynoka auto dealer Phil Middleton showed up in the dunes wearing goggles and an old aviator helmet, driving a makeshift steampunk vehicle with wide rims and balloon tires, topped by hay-rake wheels serving as roll bars.

By the end of the year, dozens of Mad Max-style vehicles took to the sand, tackling dunes reported at the time to rise more than 100 feet. Riders and spectators arrived from across Oklahoma, and from neighboring states. Local businesses popped up to offer rentals, repairs and rides.

The camels were eventually sold to a place in Arkansas, far from the whine and hum of the machines that are allowed to run the dunes 24/7.

Although the population of Woods County has declined – from 17,500 residents in 1910 to 9,304 in 2015 – Little Sahara State Park’s crowds continue to rise. On a good weekend, the numbers of those camping near the dunes and staying in nearby motels surpasses Waynoka’s population of 944.

The park’s Buttercup, Cowboy and Golden Sands campgrounds now offer 86 RV sites with water and electricity, 143 tent sites, pay showers, picnic areas and a colony of roadrunners.

Little Sahara took in more than $1.28 million in admission in 2015, when 128,397 riders paid $10 each for entry to the dunes. Their patronage boosted local businesses through sales of food and fuel, equipment rentals and lodging.

Sixty-five years after Smith vowed to inspire travelers to set their sights for the wonders of Woods County, visitors outnumber county residents 14-to-1.

In the end, the hometown girl who learned her craft in a traveling medicine show – and who insisted where there is no vision, the people perish – successfully sold Little Sahara as a cure for what ailed.

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Running to Remember

The new addition to this year’s Memorial Marathon  

Cork & Canvas 2017

Positive Tomorrows gets a fundraising boost from the hundreds of guests and supporters visiting Science Museum Oklahoma for an evening of fun.

Historic Organ Plays Again

After 20 years of silence, the 80-year-old Kilgen Theatre Organ will sound again.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Friends to Follow

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

April 2017

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

Specializing in rhythmic alternative rock/pop, Eric Dunkin's music can best be described as something familiar but also fresh within the Oklahoma music scene. His set consists of a mix of...

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Think The Music Man with a more evangelical bent - traveling preacher Jonas Nightengale gets stucks in a Midwestern town and starts scamming the locals, until a possible Ms. Right looks to get him...

Where:
UCO Mitchell Hall Theater
100 N University
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.974.3375
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The story of a planned flop that turns out to be a smash hit, Pollard is hoping for a much more straightforward success in this relentlessly comic Brooks adaptation.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Memphis.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Say hi to Bali Ha'i as Jewel Box belts out a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

A fairy tale filled with beauty both visual and musical - the OKC Ballet is ready to weave an enchanting evening for audiences with Mendelssohn's music and inspired by Shakespearean romance.

Where:
OKC Civic Center
201 N Walker
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.848.8637
Website »

More information

OCU School of Music students sing the story of lovers, gangsters, gamblers and a surprisingly eventful ocean voyage.

Where:
OCU Kirkpatrick Auditorium
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.208.5227
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Memphis.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Play ball! OKC's warriors of the diamond get set to host Memphis.

Where:
Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
2 S Mickey Mantle
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.218.1000
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The lunch hour sounds better than ever with a free acoustic set from local musicians and an appearance by The Loaded Bowl food truck.

Where:
Kerr Park
102 Robert S Kerr
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.3500
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Crank it up on the south side with a high-energy show.

Where:
Diamond Ballroom
8001 S Eastern
OKC, OK  73149
View map »


Telephone: 866.977.6849
Website »

More information

Catch a masterpiece you missed the first time around or just want to re-experience on the big screen.

Where:
Harkins Theatres
150 E Reno
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.321.4747
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

Music, music and more music - more than 300 bands of every description unite for a sonic tsunami to please the ears of tens of thousands of listeners in this free annual treat.

Where:
Downtown Norman
101 E Main
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The Paseo gallery hosts a visually arresting show featuring new works in acrylic by Jon Clarke.

Where:
In Your Eye Gallery
3005 Paseo
OKC, OK  73103
View map »


Telephone: 405.525.2161
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Armstrong closes out its performance season on a high note thanks to the much-sought-after special guest stringsmiths.

Where:
Armstrong Auditorium
14400 S Bryant
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.285.1010
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Nearly 100 performers strong and impressively sonorous, the community band is tuning up to resume its concert schedule - join them!

Where:
Yukon Fine Arts Center
850 Yukon
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

Say hi to Bali Ha'i as Jewel Box belts out a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

The downtown concert hall keeps pounding out the hits with a return from the energetic rapster.

Where:
The Criterion
500 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.406.7484
Website »

More information

The story of a planned flop that turns out to be a smash hit, Pollard is hoping for a much more straightforward success in this relentlessly comic Brooks adaptation.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

The diriving force behind podcast Never Not Funny and a veteran presence before and during Conan, Jimmy Pardo is one excellent comedian.

Where:
ACM@UCO Performance Lab
329 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Website »

More information

Free lunchtime serenades to sonically spice up your Thursdays.

Where:
Downtown Library
300 Park Ave
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.231.8650
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

A mix of '90s and 2000s rock n' roll and some killer originals. Baker is an engaging, talented singer and guitarist!  No cover, smoke- and vape-free!

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The Paseo gallery hosts a visually arresting show featuring new works in acrylic by Jon Clarke.

Where:
In Your Eye Gallery
3005 Paseo
OKC, OK  73103
View map »


Telephone: 405.525.2161
Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

The writers of Chicago and Cabaret take a stab at a musical whodunnit, as OU theater students embroil themselves in the mayhem.

Where:
Elsie Brackett Theater
600 Parrington
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.4101
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Say hi to Bali Ha'i as Jewel Box belts out a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The story of a planned flop that turns out to be a smash hit, Pollard is hoping for a much more straightforward success in this relentlessly comic Brooks adaptation.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

Broadway performer and man of many talents Todrick Hall shares a personal spin on the land somewhere over the rainbow - don't miss it!

Where:
OKC Civic Center
201 N Walker
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.297.2264
Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

The FAI hosts a collection of beauty from painter and instructor James Coplin.

Where:
Fine Arts Institute of Edmond
27 E Edwards
Edmond, OK  73034
View map »


Telephone: 405.340.4481
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

Hearty food, heart-stirring music, plenty of games, competitions and feats of strength - highlights of Scotland's culture take center stage in this annual fest.

Where:
Kirkpatrick Family Farm
1001 S Garth Brooks
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Telephone: 405.834.1876
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Music, music and more music - more than 300 bands of every description unite for a sonic tsunami to please the ears of tens of thousands of listeners in this free annual treat.

Where:
Downtown Norman
101 E Main
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Internationally known multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson’s first Oklahoma solo exhibition will feature recent artworks that draw upon his Native American heritage (Choctaw and Cherokee) and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary
3000 General Pershing Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK  73107
View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma Contemporary
Telephone: 405.951.0000
Contact Name: Lori Brooks
Website »

More information

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum will host Power and Prestige: Headdresses of the American Plains. This original exhibition includes nine headdresses from Northern and Southern...

Cost: Admission

Where:
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
1700 N.E. 63rd St
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Telephone: 918-858-4680
Contact Name: Lacey Boone
Website »

More information

Saturday cartoons aren’t just for the children anymore. Share the classics with your crew every Saturday on an Oklahoma River Cruise. Kids 6 and under ride free.

Cost: $15 (free for kids 6 and under)

Where:
Exchange Landing
1503 Exchange Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Website »

More information

Jade Castle is a singer-songwriter from OKC, who started performing on stage at age 9 and has been obsessed with it ever since. She plays many shows around the metro and has started branching...

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

A mix of '90s and 2000s rock n' roll and some killer originals. Baker is an engaging, talented singer and guitarist!  No cover, smoke- and vape-free!

Cost: Free

Where:
NOIR Bistro & Bar
701 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.637.9389
Contact Name: George Adams
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

The OKC Museum of Art screens overlooked treasures and unsung independent films.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Self-billed as the best listening room in Oklahoma, it certainly has some of the best music - check online for updates.

Where:
The Blue Door
2805 N McKinley
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.524.0738
Website »

More information

The OKCMOA explores the enduring art of Japanese woodblock prints, or ukiyo-e, in this visually dazzling exhibition. Kampai!

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A trip to the amusement park becomes even more tempting with a shimmering set from For King & Country and Stars Go Dim.

Where:
Frontier City
11501 N I-35 Service
OKC, OK  73131
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2140
Website »

More information

He's quick with a quip or a song, and thoroughly entertaining overall in addition to being pretty funny - get tickets in advance so you don't have to improvise.

Where:
Riverwind Casino
1544 W Hwy 9
Norman, OK  73072
View map »


Telephone: 405.322.6464
Website »

More information

A three-mile run might not sound so very daunting, but this circuit traverses a grueling variety of obstacles - climbing, splashing, crawling and eventually partying with triumph.

Where:
Lost Lakes
3501 NE 10th
OKC, OK  73117
View map »


Telephone: 413.834.4498
Website »

More information

They made the West come to life on screen; this photography collection showcases more privtae moments in their lives off camera and behind the scenes. Subjects include John Wayne, Bing Crosby, John...

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

Gripping, dynamic, visually engrossing - the cover art of classic Western paperbacks isn't often found in museums, but this exhibition makes a case that perhaps it should be.

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
OKC, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Website »

More information

A slice of American (and Oklahoman) history retakes the spotlight in this exhibition of works created under the New Deal's Federal Art Project.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

A photographic collection that's deliberately a bit ... odd, it mines camerawork from the 20th century for images depicting the enigmatically uncanny.

Where:
OKC Museum of Art
415 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.236.3100
Website »

More information

Multimedia artist Jeffrey Gibson interweaves fiber art, ceramics, video and performance art, painting and elements and influences from his Choctaw/Cherokee heritage for this captivating exhibition...

Where:
Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center
3000 General Pershing
OKC, OK  73107
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0000
Website »

More information

The downtown concert hall keeps pounding out the hits with a crowd-pleasing show from the Texan post-rockers .

Where:
The Criterion
500 E Sheridan
OKC, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.406.7484
Website »

More information

The story of a planned flop that turns out to be a smash hit, Pollard is hoping for a much more straightforward success in this relentlessly comic Brooks adaptation.

Where:
Pollard Theater
120 W Harrison
Guthrie, OK  73044
View map »


Telephone: 405.282.2800
Website »

More information

Born in Alaska and a frequent world traveler, Tippeconnic's emphatic visual style is informed by but by no means limited to interpreting his father's American Indian heritage.

Where:
Kasum Contemporary Fine Art
1706 NW 16th
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.604.6602
Website »

More information

A veritable flood of creativity in many forms - paintings, sculpture, music, even food - fills downtown in this week of celebration; there's nothing else quite like it.

Where:
Bicentennial Park
500 Couch
OKC, OK  73102
View map »


Telephone: 405.270.4848
Website »

More information

The writers of Chicago and Cabaret take a stab at a musical whodunnit, as OU theater students embroil themselves in the mayhem.

Where:
Elsie Brackett Theater
600 Parrington
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.4101
Website »

More information

Hearty food, heart-stirring music, plenty of games, competitions and feats of strength - highlights of Scotland's culture take center stage in this annual fest.

Where:
Kirkpatrick Family Farm
1001 S Garth Brooks
Yukon, OK  73099
View map »


Telephone: 405.834.1876
Website »

More information

Students realize how much they miss their sweet teacher when they misbehave once too often and her substitute is a terror, in theis OK Children's Theatre production.

Where:
OCU Children's Center for the Arts
2501 N Blackwelder
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.951.0011
Website »

More information

Say hi to Bali Ha'i as Jewel Box belts out a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic.

Where:
Jewel Box Theater
3700 N Walker
OKC, OK  73118
View map »


Telephone: 405.521.1786
Website »

More information

The legacy continues as students from the OU School of Visual Arts present their creations in this show celebrating its 103rd annual iteration.

Where:
Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art
555 Elm
Norman, OK  73019
View map »


Telephone: 405.325.3272
Website »

More information

Music, music and more music - more than 300 bands of every description unite for a sonic tsunami to please the ears of tens of thousands of listeners in this free annual treat.

Where:
Downtown Norman
101 E Main
Norman, OK  73069
View map »


Website »

More information

A joint exhibition of Western portraiture and iconography from Oklahoma Hall of Fame artists Mike Larsen and Harold T. Holden.

Where:
OK Hall of Fame Museum
1400 N Classen
OKC, OK  73106
View map »


Telephone: 405.235.4458
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags