Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oklahoma Centennial - Celebrating 100 Years of Statehood

Oklahoma celebrates its 100th anniversary of statehood on November 16, 2007, and all across the 46th state, communities and organizations in preparation. According to the state's Centennial web site, many are creating monuments, fountains, parks or cultural facilities that reflect local or state history, while others are restoring historical sites and structures. Most are planning special commemorations or are enhancing traditional festivals and annual events.

Libraries, museums, historical societies, cultural venues and schools are also preparing for 2007. And Oklahoma's rich and diverse heritage will be highlighted with American Indian, African American, Latino, Asian American and European American customs, traditions and artifacts on display throughout the year. While festivities have been underway all year, it's not too late to join in the celebration.

The Centennial year kicks off November 9-19, 2006 in Tulsa with concerts, expos, exhibits, a parade and eye-popping fireworks and laser displays. Then the Macy's 2006 Thanksgiving Day Parade will provide a preview of things to come when the Centennial float, Oklahoma Rising, makes its way (loaded with Oklahoma celebrities) down New York City's famed Broadway Avenue. Oklahoma rings in the New Year as the state leads the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2007, and marches onto television screens around the world with two magnificent floats.

Oklahomans and visitors to the state will traverse Oklahoma in 2007 as hundreds of towns and cities offer up Centennial celebrations, commemorations and dedications. Two major events in 2007 will encourage both Oklahomans and visitors to gather to celebrate Oklahoma history and heritage: The Centennial Expo, September 13-23; and the Centennial Parade on October 14, 2007.

Statehood Day, November 16, 2007, will begin with historical reenactments in Guthrie, the state's first capitol. Activities will include the presidential proclamation of statehood, the inauguration of the first state governor, the ceremonial wedding between the two territories, and an inaugural parade. The day will conclude with festivities in the capitol city, Oklahoma City, including The Spectacular, which will feature live entertainment by internationally recognized Oklahoma performers. To learn more and see a calendar of events, visit the Oklahoma Centennial web site.

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