By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: Other | Issue: June 2011
The Red Dirt Rangers will perform at Glenpool’s Black Gold Days on Saturday, June 18.
Beginning Thursday, June 16 and running through Saturday, June 18, Glenpool will celebrate its rich oil history with its 33rd annual Black Gold Days festival, held at Black Gold Park (on U.S. 75 at 145th Street). This free, family-friendly gala will feature a parade, a carnival, concerts, arts and crafts, and plenty more.
The Black Gold Days festival, which started in 1978, commemorates the discovery of oil in the area in 1905. When wildcatters Robert Galbreath and Frank Chesley drilled on Ida Glenn’s farmland, they hit one of Oklahoma’s first oil gushers in what would become known as “the Glenn Pool.” This discovery led to considerable growth for the area, put Oklahoma on the oil production map, and helped Tulsa become known as the “Oil Capital of the World.”
Black Gold Days will offer lots of food, lots of fun, and lots to do, says Dianne Bileck-Plants, executive director of the Glenpool Chamber of Commerce. “We’ll have a large number of activities, and we work hard to provide a safe, family-friendly environment, and that includes security. We also have a horseshoe tournament new for this year. ”
The Black Gold Days festival also serves to promote the town of Glenpool, says Dianne. “Glenpool is really coming into its own and developing a distinct identity, and that’s great for the community, which has been in the shadow of Tulsa for a long time. We have a new conference center. We’re experiencing good residential and business growth. We have new hotels and a hospital in the works. And the park is better than ever – we have six new gazebos and a new pavilion.”
Festivities begin at 4 p.m. on Thursday, when the Boy Scouts conduct the annual flag-raising ceremony. Attractions over the next three days will include a carnival, crafts, the parade, and lots of music.
Saturday’s events begin at 7 a.m. with the Lions Club pancake breakfast, followed by the frog jump and turtle race at 9 and the Black Gold parade at 11.
Live entertainment will take place throughout the festival. Mary Cogan takes the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, June 17. Red Dirt Rangers perform at 8 p.m. on Saturday, June 18.
And of course, there’s the food: the Glenpool Chamber of Commerce works to make sure that Black Gold Days offers a wide variety. “In addition to the usual carnival food – hot dogs, nachos, pretzels, corn dogs, shaved ice, turkey legs – we’ll also have Cajun, Italian, German, and Tex-Mex selections available.”
The Black Gold Days festival, which is one of Glenpool’s most popular events, keeps growing each year, and it attracts thousands of people, not only from Oklahoma, but from Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas as well. If you’re interested in lending a hand, Black Gold Days would love to have you. “Volunteers are welcome and needed,” says Dianne. “We need 30 to 40 volunteers each year.”
Black Gold Days is June 16 through June 18 at Black Gold Park, on US 75 at 145th Street in Glenpool. Admission is free. Craft vendors can register for the event through June 4. For more information on Black Gold Days and other Glenpool area events, contact the Glenpool Chamber of Commerce. You can visit them on the web at www.glenpoolchamber.org.