Home > Community, Entertainment > Celebrating the 126th anniversary of the Land Run in Guthrie America

Celebrating the 126th anniversary of the Land Run in Guthrie America

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At noon on April 22, 1889 an estimated 50,000 people lined the boundaries of the “Unassigned Lands” hoping to make a new life on the prairies that we now know as Logan, Kingfisher, Oklahoma, Payne, Canadian and Cleveland counties. Within hours of the signal, the two million acres of land were quickly claimed by farmers, cowboys, soldiers and others seeking a new life.

89er Button 2015The towns of Guthrie and Oklahoma City were “founded” almost overnight as these pioneers arrived by horse, oxen, wagon, train and on foot to seek their opportunities on this new frontier. It is this event that is celebrated each year in Guthrie America, where the population went from “near nothing to 10,000 in 12 hours”. Guthrie’s annual ‘89er Celebration, the only officially recognized Celebration by the Governor’s Proclamation, now encompasses almost an entire week of festivities, events, entertainment and ceremonies.

It begins with a Chuck Wagon Feast on April 14, and of course includes the “Largest Parade in Oklahoma” on Saturday, April 18th and ends with a special choir sing along, tribute to the Murrah bombing and a fantastic Bluegrass concert on Sunday afternoon. And there is a whole lot more in between.

The ‘89er Celebration Committee has been planning these events for the past eight months, eagerly anticipating over 40,000 people who annually visit Guthrie during this week and enjoy all the fun, food, and festivities.

Steve Gentling, Committee Chairman, notes “We are excited to offer a fantastic array of events and activities for all ages and all interests. The “all you care to eat” old fashioned chuck wagon meal on Tuesday also offers the opportunity to bid on some unique western art, sports memorabilia, vacation trips, special dinner packages and much more. Whether you are a Blue Jay, Sooner, Cowboy, Thunder, Barron or Dodger fan you will find something to your liking on the auction block.

Come out, have fun, enjoy good food, dance to “The Billy Bob Band” and meet the new queen and her court. What a great way to start out ‘89er Week!” On Wednesday, April 15, a huge carnival rolls into town and over 80 food and craft vendors set up their wares in downtown Guthrie.

Richard Hendricks, Baseball Game Chairman, relayed, “The Old Timer Baseball Game on Thursday at Squires Field is a reconstruction of just how the game was played back in the 1800s. We have period uniforms and equipment that makes for a fun family afternoon and we follow that up with some good old fashioned story telling for all ages around a fire pit in front of the post office. It’s a blast and it is all free!”

To top off the evening the big band sounds of the Air Force Flying High Band will be featured at the American Legion Ballroom. Friday afternoon watch the kids (3-7) race down Oklahoma Ave in their “Big Wheels” while over 200 classic cars and motorcycles line main street Guthrie with the “Geezers, Gassers and Hogs” venue.

Just a block away, the stage is set for a good old fashion street dance. “We are delighted to light the stage for Jay Hannah and the Billy Bob Bovine Band, which promises a wide variety of toe tapping music throughout the evening hours,” says Lucy Swanson, the chair of the Dance Committee.

At noon on Saturday thousands will be lining the streets of Guthrie in wild anticipation of the “Largest Parade in Oklahoma”. Dennis Ochs, Parade Chair, said, “We are so honored and pleased to have OSU President Burns Hargis and his wife Ann as our Parade Grand Marshal this year. With hundreds of entries; including bands, floats, horses, precision marching units, carriages, cars, trucks, cycles and of course the Shriners, we have visions of a wonderfully entertaining parade. Not too many people leave their seats from start to finish!”

89er BaseballA family friendly rodeo lands at the Logan County Fairgrounds for an action packed evening of broncs, bulls, riding, roping and racing on Saturday night. It promises to be great fun for all ages.

The full week of activities concludes on Sunday with a spirit filled choir sing along, a special tribute to the Murrah bombing and a fantastic Bluegrass Concert featuring Byron Berlin and Kyle Dillingham.

Steve Gentling summarized it best, “The ‘89er Celebration is a wonderful tribute to the spirit of those pioneers who settled this community and region 126 years ago. It is a way to bring our communities together in fun and fellowship while celebrating this significant event in our heritage.”

For more information on the events of ‘89er Celebration Week, April 13-19, in Guthrie please see www.89erdays.com or follow on Face book at “89er days” or call 282-2589.

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Categories: Community, Entertainment
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