By ROB W. ANDERSON
For only the second time in nearly four decades, the annual Cookson Jubilee won’t be held in July,
Hot temperatures have hampered visitor turnout in recent years, and members of the Tenkiller Area Community Organization decided to schedule the annual family celebration at an earlier date, said TACO President Cindy Ballew.
“The last two summers just about did people in with the hot weather,” she said. “Hopefully, this year, the weatherman will cooperate and we’ll have cooler temperatures.”
The 38th Annual Cookson Jubilee is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 21-22 at the TACO Building and Grounds next to the Tenkiller Airpark, or 32247 S 540 Road. Past celebrations have presented themes like the 2000 event’s “Back to the Future” to provide extra fun and enjoyment for people who participate in what’s describe as a sort of family reunion. This year’s theme is “Crazy Hat Days,” and people are encouraged to wear a hat borrowed or made at home, Ballew said.
“We had a group of ladies make a bunch of crazy hats, and we hope all of the volunteers will wear one to help visitors know who TACO is, because we’ll be answering questions for people,” she said. “The hats are all different. They put feathers in one. Another one has lace and buttons. There are some with flowers, and they tried to make some men’s hats that men would wear. Of course, we encourage people if they can’t find one to borrow or make one.”
Gates open at 4 p.m. on Friday, June 21, and the day’s music entertainment will include bands and performers from the local area. The 4 p.m. act is the Roland blue grass band Common Thread, while Tahlequah’s Steve Hamby takes the stage at 5 p.m. The Vian gospel and country group Timekiller Band is set for 6 p.m., with the 8 and 9 p.m. shows including Bunch’s Red Witch Johnny and Sallisaw’s Steel Dusk, respectively.
The Little Miss Tenkiller Pageant, for girls ages 6 - 10, will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday, said Ballew, who has been with helping with the Jubilee since she was 21 years old.
“It’s kind of like a family reunion,” she said. “That’s why we like to keep a family entertainment environment with no alcohol.”
There is no admission charge for Friday’s entertainment schedule, but there will be a $5 per car parking fee both Friday and Saturday. People interested in participating in the pageant, which has a $15 entry fee, are urged to contact Rachel Blankenship at (918) 453-1711, or firstname.lastname@example.org, to request an entry form.
A fly-in pancake breakfast is being offered by the Cookson EAA Chapter 1040 Saturday morning from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. at Tenkiller Airpark. Everyone is invited for the no-charge meal, though donations will be accepted.
Gate admission for Saturday’s musical entertainment will be $20 or a free ticket can be obtained from participating businesses being promoted by the Bill Payne Radio Group, which has lined Nashville entertainers and local and area entertainers, said Jubilee Publicist Peggy Gray.
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