All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Oklahoma's Main Street towns come together to celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Photo courtesy Meg Navrath
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma Main Street Awards Banquet was held at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City on the evening of May 5th.

“Main Street Fiesta” was the theme of gathering and Oklahoma Main Street Director Linda Barnett reminded the attendees that it was holiday of Cinco de Mayo, and that more than half of the new businesses started in  recent years in Oklahoma’s Main Street communities have been founded by Hispanics.

Entertainment was provided by Alma Follorica de Oklahoma, a Mexican dance troupe made up of young people from the Panhandle community of Guymon.

An Oklahoma performer originally from Woodward, Bobbi Castor, sang of her love for the Sooner State and how she left careers in both Nashville and Los Angeles to return. Norma Ramirez de Miess, who is from the National Main Street Center, addressed the gathering and spoke of how Hispanics are playing a vital role throughout the nation in renovating older neighborhoods and buildings.

She also told of how impressed she was by the work that was being done by Oklahoma’s main Street communities.

Oklahoma Tourism and Commerce Cabinet Secretary Deby Snodgrass also spoke, and said that the revitalization done in the Main Street communities have fostered tourism in Oklahoma.

She pointed out that many new towns have joined in recent years, and told of how she hoped that Main Street would continue to grow until it is twice its current size.

The attendees were shown a video that told of the various categories for awards and the places that had been nominated for them and the winners.

It has been said that every television report from Cuba to the U.S. is required to have footage on an ancient American vehicle on the street that predates the American embargo of that island nation that was put in place in the early 1960’s. And if one wanted to photoshop such a report he  or she could travel to the eastern Oklahoma municipality of Wilburton were classic  and elderly cars drive down Main Street there on what is known as Cruise Nights that are held several times a years.

Food trucks are part of that event and the local restaurants offer specials on Cruise Nights. The guests included two groups of schoolchildren whose shirts indicated that they were part of the  Hobart and Newkirk Junior Main Streets. The Hobart contingent were the recipients of an award for the Best Volunteer Development Program.

The Main Street Hero award was bestowed on Altus banker and arts patron Ken Fergeson. He is the Chairman of the NBC Bank that is located on the town square of Altus, and he was recognized for the support he has given to the Main Street program as well as his tireless efforts to promote the arts in Oklahoma.

And at his direction, the NBC Bank constructed an arts studio on a previously vacant piece of land on the square that takes its name and architectural style from the Wigwam Movie Theater that was previously located there and had been destroyed by fire years ago. The Wigwam Studio won the award for the Best Public Improvement Project

The success of the Main Street program has prompted several communities in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City to join it, and an award was given to a Mexican bakery that is located in the Kendall Whittier area of Tulsa.

It is the Pancho Anaya Bakery, and the guests were told that it has been in operation for well over a century in Mexico and that one member of the family that owned it  now lives in Tulsa and has opened  a branch of it there.

There was a festive atmosphere at the gathering and the attendees seemed to share a sense that they were involved in undertakings that were helping to transform their communities and the state of Oklahoma.

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Bill O'Brien

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

Enjoy this? Please share it!

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

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK