WAGONER — While the spring flooding affected Wagoner, it didn't dampen the spirit of the people living here.

That's why the Free Kids Fishing Derby will go on — just later than expected. The two-hour event is scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. Saturday at the pond behind W.L. Odom Stadium.

"For years, the derby has been in conjunction with Summerfest, but we didn't do it then because the pond was flooded out," said Kristen Mallett, the Wagoner Chamber of Commerce executive director. "We wanted to do something after school starts (on Thursday). It's going to be like a back to school bash for them."

Mallett said rules have been put in place for the derby.

"They have to be under 13 years old, have fun and be safe," Mallett said with a laugh. "We ask the kids show up with an adult to supervise them around the water. We want kids to get hooked on fishing and not drugs. This event is important to us."

The event is also free. Hot dogs, chips and a drink will be available at the derby. Dragonfly Kidz Child Care, Home Day Care and Walmart are among the donors for the event.

"We'll also have water games, but we're not sure yet what kind of games," Mallett said. "It's probably going to be hot, and the games will help us keep cooled down. We're excited about this, and I think it'll be a big hit this year as we're preparing for 100 kids to show up."

Mallett said people don't always need a tablet or something electronic to have fun in Wagoner. 

"There's so much outdoors to do here," she said. "The lake is like our Disneyland, and it brings a lot of people to town every year."

Naturally, there will be giveaways during the event as 17 poles and 10 tackle boxes will be distributed by the chamber. The tackle boxes are being donated by the Hulbert branch of Bank of Cherokee County, Mallett said.

"We're able to do this because the all of the donors and volunteers," she said. "They don't want to charge anything for this."

If you go

WHAT: Free Kids Fishing Derby.

WHEN: 10 a.m.-noon, Saturday.

WHERE: Pond behind W.L. Odom Stadium in Wagoner.

INFORMATION: (918) 485-3414.

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