By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: June 2010
Black Gold Days committee members have been working hard to make this year’s event the best it’s ever been. (L to R): Stephanie Rammohan, Kathy Smith, Dianne Bileck-Plants and LeaAnn Golden.
It wasn’t called “black gold” for just any reason. The discovery of oil in Oklahoma helped many rise to fortune in the early 20th century, and one of the biggest discoveries took place in 1905 in Glenpool. Black Gold Days is held annually in Glenpool in honor of this landmark event, and this year’s celebration promises to be bigger and better than ever before.
Black Gold Days will be held at Black Gold Park, on U.S. 75 at 145th Street, Thursday, June 17 through Saturday, June 19. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday with the raising of the flag by local Boy Scouts, followed by a carnival, a parade and a three-day music festival. Booths with food and crafts will be set up, and Glenpool Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Dianne Bileck-Plants points out that there will be more there than just the traditional carnival fare. “Food vendors attending will include Cuban Cajun and German food vendors,” she says. “And of course we will still offer traditional favorites like corn dogs, hot dogs, turkey legs and kettle corn.”
Every evening of the celebration will be luminous, with lighting provided by Black Gold Days sponsor Airstar Space Lighting. Using Crystal 160 five-foot diameter air-filled balloons placed strategically about, Airstar will keep the evenings aglow in a unique and memorable way.
Music will be a large part of Black Gold Days as well, starting on Thursday evening with gospel singing provided by Amy Lishbook and Our Master’s Voice, followed up by the Homesteader’s Quartet. On Friday evening, local artist Steve Pryor will take the stage at 8 p.m. Pryor, well-known blues musician and Tulsan, was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2009 and will share the stage with James Groves, Mikel Lee, and The Blazer Band. Saturday’s music selections will be based around a country theme. “Country Music Night” will begin at 1 p.m. with Paul Sprawl and his “heavy wood” sound, and will be followed up with performances by Robin Sengunta, Foyil Music Studios, Mike Warehime, and The Trails End Band.
“The music we will have is phenomenal,” Dianne says. “It is amazing the groups that came out of the woodwork when we put out the word that we needed entertainment.” Dianne advises attendees to bring lawn chairs and blankets for comfortable enjoyment of the music, as the stadium seating provided will not be adequate to the expected attendance of 9,000 to 11,000 people per day.
Saturday’s festivities promise plenty of fun and activity, with a 7 a.m. pancake breakfast by the Lion’s Club, a frog jumping and turtle race at 9 a.m., and a parade at 11 a.m. The carnival will continue throughout Black Gold Days, and the Splash Park will be open as well. In addition, a rock mining and relic vendor will be open to entertain children and adults as they mine for precious stones.
Lots of vendors will be on hand with booths for shopping, including Summerside Winery, M&M Beading, Liffy Rose Boutique and Iron Bear Jewelry. Food vendors will include Okie Old Time Root Beer, Cuzzin Vinnies, Breaktime Kettle Corn and Renegade BBQ Plus.
This year’s celebration also marks the unveiling of the new Black Gold Days logo, which was designed by local Glenpool business High Maintenance. Dianne describes the logo, which features a huge oil derrick in front of a carnival, as having a “rustic yet festive appeal,” and notes that it will be printed on Black Gold T-shirts and available for purchase at the festival. Black Gold Days T-shirts will also be available for sale for $12 at the Chamber office, 140 W. 141st St.
“This is my first year working on Black Gold Days,” Dianne says of the 32nd annual celebration. “It has been challenging, but I’m just ecstatic about it. This festival, along with the town of Glenpool itself, is certainly shedding the image of ‘the town that made Tulsa famous’ and is making a name for itself.”