OKEMAH, Okla. – The Annual Pioneer Day celebration on the Mvskoke reservation filled Okemah’s Business District on Main Street the last weekend of April.
Entering the south side of town Saturday afternoon, traffic flowed toward the downtown district where a ferris wheel could be spotted towering the various carnival rides.
On a stroll down Main Street, you could find rides that turn, twist and catapult high into the air along with classic favorites like the carousel and teacups.
Kids stood at each line checking their heights to make sure they could ride the attractions.
Passing through the rides, food was frying and lemonades were squeezed fresh. Vendors were running out of crowd favorites by the early afternoon. No more turkey legs or walking tacos were available, but funnel cakes and hotdogs were.
Moving through the abundant food choices, vendors in small tents sold items varying from handmade soaps, candy, wood-carved decor, Native American crafts and food vendors.
All of this was to celebrate what made the city of Okemah what it is today.
Friday celebrations started late in the day with the street dance that was moved indoors to the Corral on Main Street due to weather. Barbecue was served while attendees booted, scooted, and boogied to the country music.
The real fun began early Saturday morning with a 5K run, then on to the “Pioneer Day Games” that included turtle racing, balloon stomp, hula hooping, three legged race, kids relay race and an adult tug of war.
Car show registrants parked hotrods for judging along Main Street. After the judges tallied their scores, the cars lined up for the parade along with floats from local businesses, and other other organizations who joined.
Families lined up along the street ready to gather candy being thrown by participants.
Muscogee (Creek) Nation Lighthorse Police led the parade with several different units throwing out candy with the Okfuskee County Sheriff following behind.
The Seminole Nation Honor Guard followed behind demonstrating their colors with veteran motorcyclists following behind.
The parade went on with firetrucks, police officers, the car show vehicles, bands, and Netflix themed floats. Awards were given to the American Exchange Bank for “Gillian’s Island”, Farm Bureau Women’s Group for “Green Acres” and the Okemah Marching Band.
The annual Pioneer Days Rodeo was a huge hit for the weekend-long event with several opportunities to win a little extra cash.
Carnival rides operated into the late evening and even began back up Sunday morning for a short time.
The Okemah Chamber of Commerce Facebook page kept guests updated on events throughout the weekend.
The next big event for the small town is the Woody Guthrie Festival, which is set for July 12-16.
According to Okemah Chamber of Commerce Director Shannon Speir, the festival is their bigger attraction.
For more information call Speir at 918-600-2023.