OKMULGEE, Okla.- The annual Muscogee (Creek) Nation Christmas Carnival took place at the Claude Cox Omniplex on Dec. 8. The event featured many vendors, arts and crafts, carnival games, a cookie contest, concessions and raffle drawings throughout the event. Families and community members were seen enjoying their time with family and friends while exploring the different activities offered by the event.
According to MCN Director of Marketing and Tourism Ryan Logan (Mvskoke) the Christmas Carnival has been hosted by the Nation somewhere between 6-10 years. While planning this event, organizers try to involve as many reasonably-priced activities as possible. Many activities were free including face paint, photos with Santa, and hot chocolate.
“It’s mostly for our families and communities, it’s just a way to bring them Christmas joy. This is a friendly family event,” Logan said.
The event offered different activities including a cake walk, make-and-take ornaments and a selfie station, along with different vendors. This event even included two reindeer for visitors to see up close and learn more about. These activities were chosen based on the infrastructure capacity of the MCN dome.
According to Logan, the cookie contest is a carnival staple that has always been a success. It is a contest where anyone with baking supplies and an oven can try their hand at.
“It’s a time for everyone to dust off their baking pans and try out to see if they have the best Christmas cookies, so it’s a friendly competition,” Logan said. The first place winner was able to take home $200 and the second place winner received $100.
The MCN Marking and Tourism Department has always seen a great turnout for this event. One of Logan’s favorite aspects is seeing visitors laughing and having a fun time engaging with the holiday activities.
“It is literally the joy that we bring into the children’s faces and I get to watch so many kids go around the corner and was just so excited to see Santa Claus and just going towards him. They were so excited that they got to see the grinch and then saw our Mvskoke Santa as well. I just love seeing the joy we bring to peoples faces, that’s what this is all about for our communities and for our people,” Logan said.
Logan grew up going to different carnivals in his community, like the one held in his hometown of Wetumka. This gave him a good perspective of what others enjoy doing and seeing at carnivals. For Logan, bringing the joy of the holidays to others through the Nation’s Christmas carnival is a gift unto itself.
Cookie Contest Results:
1st place: Jeroline Roberts
2nd place: Victoria Tiger