By Travis Sloat
Hang on to your niblets, because the 4th annual Fort Gibson Sweet Corn Festival is right around the corner. This year’s festival sees several changes, particularly festival hours.
Festival organizers have planned a week-long agenda of events leading up to the June 30 festival. And this year’s festival begins at 3 p.m. and runs to midnight.
Myra Cookson, a Board of Trustees member for the town of Fort Gibson, said an additional surprise to this year’s festival will be the grand opening of the Fort Gibson Municipal park.
“The park includes jungle gyms for the kids,” she said. “It also has a splash pad and a skate park for those that like a thrill. We’re trying to get a skateboarding exhibition set up in order to see what the youth of our town can do.”
Citizens of Fort Gibson will be inundated with opportunities for entertainment throughout the week. Should they choose to attend one of the many events, they are sure to have a good time, she said.
“Mark your calendars,” said Cookson. “Plan on seeing the oldest town in Oklahoma — Fort Gibson — and you’ll be glad you did.”
There will also be live music from several different artists throughout the week — such as Steven McClurg, Oklahoma Kids and Byron McKedy and the Bandits.
The festivities begin this Sunday with “Gospel in the Park,” and continue throughout the week, concluding June 30 with the Sweet Corn Festival.
• Sunday — “Gospel in the Park” from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Fort Gibson Historical Site stockade. Bring lawn chairs or blankets.
• Monday — Citizens are encouraged to attend the Board of Trustee’s bi-weekly meeting. The town hall will have an open house, and there will be refreshments starting at 5:30 p.m.
• Tuesday — The library will host an outdoor movie night. The movie showing will be “Babe.”
The movie will start around “dark-thirty,” Cookson said. “You’ll need to bring a lawn chair or blanket to sit on as well. There will also be popcorn and lemonade served for refreshments.”
• Thursday — The annual Miss Fort Gibson and Jr. Miss Fort Gibson beauty pageant will be held. Several of Fort Gibson’s most talented young ladies will compete for a crown, as well as a college scholarship and other prize money. Cookson said this event will be held at the Fort Gibson High School Fine Arts building.
“The event will begin at 7 p.m.,” said Cookson. “Admission will be $5, and it will be a night of beauty and glamour that you won’t want to miss.”
• Friday — The town will start “Fort Gibson Night” at 6 p.m. in the downtown area. There will be carnival games, bungee jumping, live music by Steven McClurg, Oklahoma Kids and Dirt and Spirit featuring Fort Gibson’s Billy Arnett, and plenty of food and drinks.
The event will begin with the Fort Gibson High School swim team singing the national anthem.
• Saturday — The festivities continue with the Sweet Corn Festival. This event will feature all of the afore-mentioned games, plus inflatables for the kids, and delicious Sheffield sweet corn for sale by the bushel or package.
There will also be a corn-shucking contest at 3 p.m., corn eating contest at 5 p.m., live music with Byron McKedy and the Bandits, airbrushed tattoos, bungee jump, Orbitron, rock climbing wall, train for the little ones, waterslide and jumphouse and a myriad of food selections from vendors. Armbands will be sold for water slides and jump houses on Friday and Saturday.