Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 23, 2013

Cooler in Cookson

COOKSON — Family fun at the Cookson Jubilee came early this year. The 38th annual event was held this past weekend, instead of the middle of July.

According to Donna Sherrick, member of Tenkiller Area Community Organization, the schedule change occurred because of the weather. The past few years, July days have had triple-digit temperatures and hot nights.

Sherrick believes the Cookson Jubilee is all about family.

"I like the atmosphere. I like all the meeting and greeting," said Sherrick. "It’s like a family reunion every year, only it’s bigger."

According to Sherrick, visitors don’t have to worry about people drinking. She said they’ve had a few problems in the past, but anyone who gets out of line isescorted out.

Loudean Peck has come to the annual celebration for the past 22-23 years. She was happy the dates were moved to June because it’s cooler than the past couple of years. She likes the family atmosphere.

"I like the whole thing," said Peck. "Including the music, the food, the booths and the visiting."

Patricia Teal, of Vian, agrees the entire experience is enjoyable. She also likes the date changes.

"We love it," Teal said. "It’s outdoors and there’s a breeze."

Teal brought her 8-year-old granddaughter, Taryn Tucker, for her first visit to the Jubilee.

"I like the music because I like to sing," Taryn said.

She couldn’t wait to look at all the booths had to offer so her grandmother would buy her a toy or two.

Johnny McKinney, also of Vian, was celebrating his birthday during the annual Cookson event. This was his first time to attend.

"It’s got a good family atmosphere," McKinney said. "There’s no drinking, no drugs. It’s a good place to get away from that."

Roberta Kimble, of Bunch, was also glad the date was changed to June.

"It’s just too hot in July," she said.

Kimble attends the Jubilee regularly.

"It’s family-oriented. It’s nice to bring your family to this," said Kimble. "I have a friend who has a booth here. I bought a necklace from her. She’s trying to raise money to go on a mission trip."

Kimble was also at the event to listen to the bluegrass gospel band Red Witch Johnny, because her husband’s cousin plays in it.

Family and friends are a big part of the Cookson Jubilee.

Marilyn Hendrickson tries to attend the event every year.

"I love all of it," she said. "The food and the entertainment are great."

Hendrickson came with her daughter-in-law, Ahna Hendrickson, who’s attending for the second year.

"It’s kind of a hometown, family atmosphere," Ahna said. "It has stuff for adults to do, while the children can go play games. It’s safe to let my daughter run around and play."

Kathy Vichich has attended the Jubilee every year since 2005.

"It’s a community-minded event," she said. "I enjoy the mingling, because you run into your church members, your neighbors and family who live in other areas."

This was Diana West’s first trip to the annual Jubilee. She thought it was fun.

"There’s a lot of items at the booths that I haven’t ever seen before," West said.

Those working the booths also like the family atmosphere.

Hudy Jones helped make Indian tacos as a fundraiser for her pastor at God’s House of Prayer in Muskogee.

"Our pastor is going on a mission trip to Africa," Jones said. "We’re earning funds for that."

Brenda Town had a booth selling her crafts made of different fabrics. She travels to different arts and crafts shows, but this was her first time to have a booth at the Jubilee.

"There have been several people shopping," Town said.

Town said that the event was well-organized and the volunteers were great to work with.

"I’ll come back next year," said Town.

Ashlee Shakir, of  Tastefully Simple, also opened a booth at the Jubilee this year. She found out about the event online and thought it would be a perfect fit for her, and it’s proved to be so.

She agrees with Town that the TACO volunteers were fantastic to work with. She also enjoyed talking to the other vendors.

According to Sherrick, the Cookson Jubilee is run entirely of volunteers, except for the vendors.

Sherrick helped kick off the Jubilee in 1976. It all began as a bicentennial celebration.

"We had so much fun, we decided to do it the next year," said Sherrick. "It’s become a tradition."

According to Sherrick, when the celebration started, it was all local talent.

"That made it so popular to begin with," she said.

Sherrick said back in ‘76, TACO’s original goal was to pay for an area fire department.

"This was before there was a tax to pay for something like that," she said. "The funds today go to regional charities we support."

Funds also go toward the upkeep of the TACO building and the grounds.

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