By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: June 2012
Carnival rides will be Thursday through Saturday during the festival.
It all started in the 1930s when Bixby area residents gathered every year to celebrate the corn harvest. Then in the 1970s, the Bixby Optimist Club organized an event that has lasted to present day: the Bixby Green Corn Festival. Being held June 28-30, 2012 at Charley Young Park in downtown Bixby, this year’s festival promises to keep and expand on what has already become an important local tradition.
“We are excited to present this event for the community again this year,” says Don Crall, music coordinator for the Bixby Optimist Club, who describes an exciting musical lineup for the Green Corn Festival. Musical performances on Thursday and Friday (June 28-29) have been scheduled for evenings to take advantage of cooler temperatures. On Thursday, “Gospel Night” kicks off at 7 p.m., featuring both adult and youth bands from New Beginnings Church. Friday night again opens at 7 p.m., with what Don calls “a musical treat”—patriotic selections from Tulsa Praise Orchestra, a renowned group that was asked to perform for US Senator Jim Inhofe and Vice President Dick Cheney at the recent 125th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. “We are very excited to have their participation,” says Don. At 8 p.m., country singer Ronnie Furr will take the stage and finish up this inspiring evening of music.
On Saturday, festival attendees will hear the music of Dylan Whitney from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Jackie Jackson from 4:30 to 5, followed by Brenda Lyles and Cripple Creek from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Danny Davis and the Dirt Road Detours will wrap up Saturday’s music from 9 p.m. to midnight.
The Bixby Green Corn Festival carnival opens Thursday and runs through Saturday, and there will be plenty of games, vendors and food selection. As always, there are several fun, old-fashioned events planned for this year. “We’re bringing back the underwear race on Friday,” says Don, describing it as a six-legged race with a team of three people in a huge pair of underwear. “We also have added a new event: the Friday night cart races with a pedal car race for adults and pedal tractor race for those ages 6 and under.”
Saturday is filled with traditional Bixby Green Corn Festival favorites like box turtle and bull frog races in the morning from 8:30 to 10. Signups for this event are really important, according to Don, and take place at 8:30 for the box turtle race, which starts at 9, and the bull frog race at 9:30. At 9 a.m. in Bentley Park will be horseshoes. At 10 a.m. there will be a parade, followed by a fun day of games, including hula hooping (11:30 a.m.), corn eating (noon), three-legged sack race (12:30 p.m.), sack race (1 p.m.), watermelon eating (1:30 p.m.), watermelon seed spitting (2 p.m.), football toss (2:30 p.m.), limbo (3 p.m.), balloon toss (3:30 p.m.), egg toss (4 p.m.) and nickel in the haystack (4:30 p.m.). Most games are divided into two categories: ages 12 and under and ages 13 and up, with the exception of limbo, which is for everyone, and nickel in the haystack, for ages six and under.
Don expects another great turnout for this event, which is the Optimist Club’s biggest fundraiser of the year, with funds directly going back to Bixby’s youth through scholarships and donations to projects like the splash pad at Charley Young Park. “We are about bringing out the best in kids,” says Don. “We believe positively affecting the lives of children positively affects the community, and in teaching children that service to community is a service to themselves.”