Tahlequah Daily Press


June 24, 2014

Jubilee touts hundreds of visitors

TAHLEQUAH — Good old-fashioned family entertainment was the focus of the 39th annual Cookson Jubilee last weekend.

A fly-in, music, barbecue, and arts and crafts gave visitors and locals something fun to do Friday and Saturday. Besides a few sprinkles of rain, the weather was favorable for folks to visit, shop, eat and relax.

Crowds of families enjoyed listening to live music, roamed around to shop at vendor booths, or found something good to eat during the festival Friday evening.

A new Little Miss Tenkiller was crowned: Arianna Santana, 8, of Tahlequah. Brixy Ziese, 7, of Cookson, took second-place honors.

Johnny Houston was taking pictures of his 10-month-old daughter, Charlee. They were sitting on the front bench, listening to The Fishheads play music.

“It’s fun; I come every year,” said Houston. “There’s a lot of old-timers; I like everything here.”

Lucinda Frisbee was sewing zipper tops for fabric bags she made at a vendor booth, which included cedar furniture made by her husband and father-in-law. Some bags were small, made from two pockets of jeans; others were larger, and she made pot holders that looked like cupcakes. It’s their second year at the Jubilee.

“I like the music and people,” said Frisbee. “We enjoy meeting new people.”

The Cookson Jubilee brings the community together more than anything, said volunteer Annie Williams, Tenkiller Area Community Association secretary.

“The profits always go to buy Christmas gifts for veterans and kids,” said Williams.

Volunteer vendor coordinator Pat Highley likes meeting all the new people and vendors, and making new friends she keeps in touch with through Facebook.

“I like when people call out my name when I’m walking outside, and that they remember me,” said Highley. “This outreach for proceeds is phenomenal.”

Highley also appreciates the teamwork.

“It’s nice to watch everyone pull together to pull this off. No matter what you’re in charge of, everybody helps out,” she said.

For people who live in the community, like Kay Yeager, it’s like a reunion.

“I like seeing neighbors and getting a weekend to relax and have fun,” said Yeager.

Some volunteers even come from out of town to help.

Mike Tinsley stood near Aden Lanman, 5, who was enjoying an ice cream cone.

“We come and bring the kids over,” said Tinsley, of Oklahoma City, who added they like to visit family here. “My wife volunteers.”

Karen Tinsley was in the TACO Cook Shack, handing change to a woman.

“We love TACO. It means a lot to us,” said Karen Tinsley. “I feel like people are family now.”

A volunteer with the fly-in and Saturday morning breakfast, Mary Ann Stephen said she likes to help TACO, too.

The Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 1040 (EAA) members and those who fly in for the event fill the runway, said Stephen. A lot of people in the area build their own airplanes.

“We like for people to come out and see the airplanes, and get children interested in flying,” said Stephen.

After his set, rhythm guitar player Casey Taylor was backstage, getting something to eat with other band members.

“It’s our first year to play here; it was awesome, the whole atmosphere,” said Taylor.

Musical entertainment for the weekend included soloists Carrigan Bradley and Pattie Clay, and bands Free Kennedy, White Trash Banditos, Chance Anderson and Livewire. Turner also performed.

“I meet a lot of good local talent, and this gives them a chance to showcase their music,” Turner said.

The event was moved from July in hopes of better weather.

“We moved to June because it was just too hot in July,” Turner said. “We got lucky and got good weather this weekend.”

Turner said they support the event because TACO is such a great organization that does so much for the lake community.

“The lake is such a large part of the area; we’re happy to do anything to help,” he said.

Paul Davidson, mandolin player with The Fishheads, enjoys playing music with friends.

“That’s always fun. The Fishheads are a great group of guys,” said Davidson. “The Cookson Jubilee has good sound balance, it’s organized and people get on and off when they’re supposed to.”

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