By: Macy Goodnight | Category: Rogers County | Issue: August 2021
Like Will Rogers, Will Rogers Museum Director Tad Jones “Never Met a Man He Didn’t Like.”
“What constitutes a life well spent, anyway? Love and admiration from your fellow men is all that any one can ask.” – Will Rogers
It is said that legends never die, but it is the love of the people that remember them that keeps their spirit alive.
On Saturday morning, Aug. 14, from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the annual Will Rogers and Wiley Post Fly-In will take place at Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch in Oologah. Admission is free for this fun-for-the-whole family event, with something for everyone to enjoy! One of the largest fly-ins in Oklahoma, visitors will witness the thrill of aviation with approximately 100 airplanes coming in for landing, up close viewing of the aircraft, and a chance to talk to the pilots. Food trucks, a kid zone with inflatables, games, a vendor market, Cherokee Storytelling, a car show, and more will make for an amazing day, honoring Will and Wiley, who tragically perished in Alaska, in a plane crash, Aug. 15, 1935. The National Day of Remembrance will also be observed, with a ceremony taking place at 10 a.m. Reverence will honor all of those who have lost their lives in a small airplane crash. Singers and plane announcements will also take place during the event, as well as an appearance by Will and Wiley re-enactors, who will be available for amazing photo opportunities and a visit.
“Bring your lawn chair, and just sit out and watch the planes,” said Event Coordinator and Will Rogers Memorial Museum Executive Director, Tad Jones. “It’s a great tradition, and we’re glad to be able to do it again.” Since the event’s inception over 25 years ago, the event has grown in popularity, and a new generation of young people are learning about the significant contributions that Wiley and Will made to the world during their time. “Will was one of the most popular people in American history, and Wiley Post was a huge influence at an early age in the aerospace industry,” said Tad. “This event gives people something fun to do, and that’s what Will Rogers was all about…making people smile.”
The air show will also feature a car show.
William Penn Adair Rogers (Nov. 4, 1879-Aug. 15, 1935) was famous for his political humor and talent, most notably as an American stage and film actor, newspaper columnist, vaudeville performer, cowboy and a social commentator. He was born in Indian Territory as a Cherokee citizen in the Cherokee Nation, and is affectionately known as “Oklahoma’s Favorite Son.”
The Will Rogers Memorial Museum is an engaging look into the life of this famous Oklahoman, and provides an invitation for every generation to embrace his legacy. “He was such an amazing American and inspirational person,” Tad said. “We want to make sure he stays an inspiration for the kids of today.”
In addition to the annual fly-in, many other celebrations and events are held at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum throughout the year. For more information on all activities, and the latest news, visit their website at www.willrogers.com, and follow them on Facebook @WRMMuseums.
Actors characterize Wiley Post and Will Rogers.
Charles Lindberg and Will Rogers, 1927.
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