By: Macy Goodnight | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: June 2021
Committee Chairman, Kevin Dean, is excited to be a part of the Optimist Club and embraces the Festival and all the good that it does for the youth in the community.
There are some summer memories that are so sweet that all of the senses are stirred when we recollect them. For generations, The Bixby Green Corn Festival has been serving up more than food and fun, but a timeless tradition that will always be remembered.
In its 47th year, the festival will be held, as always, on the fourth Thursday, Friday and Saturday of June. From June 24 through June 26, this year, visitors will enjoy more than a dozen carnival rides, food trucks, live music and entertainment, arts and crafts, and of course, fresh, roasted corn on the cob. Corn hole tournaments, Box Turtle and Bull Frog Races, Bingo, Hula-Hoop Contests, Wheelbarrow Races, Frisbee and Football Tosses, Corn and Watermelon Eating contests, and much more can all be enjoyed at this good old fashioned, fun for the whole family festival. The entire event takes place in the newly updated historic district in downtown Bixby, and Charley Young Park. Visitors are invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the live music on the Gazebo stage, while soaking in the warm summer sun, with some incredible food and icy cold beverages.
The Green Corn Festival is the main source of support for The Bixby Optimists Club, and proceeds for the event help to support the needs of youth in the community. Event Committee Chairman, Kevin Dean, is proud of their mission. “We bring out the best in youth,” he said. “We give a lot of money to the schools, we buy park equipment, eyeglasses, and even pay for vision and hearing tests.” The Club is open to all men and women in the Bixby community who are interested in becoming a member and “wish to be known as a friend to the youth.” “We help out in the community, but it’s really all about the kids, and helping them,” said Kevin. “We’re always looking for new members, and anyone who wants to participate.”
The Optimist Club has been hosting the Festival since 1974, with all of the traditions that visitors have come to love over the years, and those have remained relatively unchanged since that time. The origins of the event, however, began around World War II, when Bixby was nationally recognized for its produce distribution. A prominent grower and shipper, Clyde Miller, had a particularly fruitful season in 1949 and passed that reward on to his workers. Mr. Miller organized a festival, with music, food, and games for his employees and their families to enjoy, and it was so well received that it became an annual tradition. “Bixby used to ship out trainloads of corn 24/7, all over the country,” said Kevin.
Past event photos courtesy of Bixby Optimists Club.
Bixby has achieved magnificent revitalization and beautification of their historic downtown, and the Festival will highlight much of those features this year. “Bixby has its eye on bringing people downtown,” Kevin said, “and it’s time for the Southside to shine.”
Volunteers are always needed for the Green Corn Festival. To sign up, email Kevin at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0. For more information on becoming a member of The Optimists Club, visit their website at www.bixbyoptimist.com. For more information on The Bixby Green Corn Festival, visit their website at www.bixbyoptimist.com/bixby-green-corn-festival.
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