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Cushing hosts holiday event

Bill O'Brien / Red Dirt Report
From Cushing's Centennial Park.
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CUSHING, Okla.-- Shortly after 10 a.m. this past Saturday, vendors began to make their way to tents on Broadway Street in Cushing that had been put in place the night before to allow them to offer their wares to the attendees of the holiday celebration that was being held on that thoroughfare.

The vendors included a Roman Catholic nun, Sister Mary Acayo, who had made her way there from her home in Kampala, Uganda to sell African artifacts as a means of raising funds for the school and training center that she wishes to open in that African nation.

Behind those tented structures were buildings, some of them moribund, that told of Cushing’s past and present and possibly its future. One of those unused structures featured a dusty window on which the faintly perceptible stenciled wording “snacks  and drinks” appeared, but on the wall adjacent to its sealed door was a life-sized image of Hollywood icon James Dean that still  bore  vivid colors.

The city of Toulouse, France, is often described as the “Pink City” due to the colorful pink bricks that are found  in some of its buildings. Pink bricks are also found in Cushing in a mural off of Broad Street that appears to be relatively new and may have been placed on a wall there as part of recent efforts to renovate the downtown area. The mural displays a drive in movie theater that  features a sign that indicates that is the “Sundown Drive-in” and the film being shown there is Stagecoach, starring John Wayne.

Several stores that appear to have recently been opened were in operation, and many of those who made their way down the street could be seen entering those establishments. One place   displayed  a window  with  a pack of tigers lounging on benches and chairs, and it was explained that  the  tiger is the mascot of the Cushing High School and that that institution’s alumni association is located there.

Several other structures were undergoing renovation and appeared ready to called back into service soon. The attendees also made their way past a downtown park, the Downtown  Cushing  Centennial Park ,that apparently had been carved out of a vacant area between two  buildings and included a small replica of an oil well and plaques that told of the community’s colorful past.

Another structure featured a marquee that  indicated the “Dancing With the Cimarron Stars” would be held there on Dec. 30. The attendees who filled the locale were serenaded from a stage by several different singers as well as many recordings of popular Christmas songs.

The crowd was cheerful and friendly, and many of the children who were there appeared to be pulling their parents towards the trio of bounce houses that were located on an adjacent street  that also featured a restaurant and a Mexican food truck that dispensed a variety of foods. A barbecue food truck was also present.

An ornate white carriage pulled by an equally pale horse  arrived at midway with Santa Claus as a passenger, and   he  offered rides to the attendees without charge and later made himself available for photos with children.

And as the event came to a close in the late afternoon,  several residents who were involved in its planning indicated that they were pleased with the number of people and vendors who were present and said they hoped it would become an annual event in Cushing. 

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About the Author

Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien is an attorney based in Oklahoma City.

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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