By: Haylie Smart | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: August 2023
Though the lives of America’s favorite cowboy Will Rogers and famed aviator Wiley Post came to an end nearly 88 years ago, their story didn’t. The Will Rogers Memorial Museum has kept their memories alive through its annual Will Rogers Wiley Post Fly-In, held at the Will Rogers Birthplace Ranch in Oologah. And now that Cherokee Nation has taken ownership of the historic Rogers family ranch, they are excited to continue the tradition and promote the legacy of the Cherokee Kid.
“We are thrilled to be working in partnership with the Will Rogers Memorial Museum staff to plan this event,” said Donna Tinnin, Senior Manager of Museums and Events for the Cherokee Nation.
To commemorate the plane crash that took their lives on August 15, 1935, the free-to-attend event is always held near that date to show respect. This year’s event will be held Saturday, August 12 and planes will start flying in at around 7:30 a.m. “There are about 75 to 100 small engine airplanes that fly in on the grass airstrip,” she said. “Visitors can come up and get a firsthand view of the airplanes and talk to the pilots.”
Since the event has been going on for over 20 years, many pilots from all over the area come every year. An emcee will also introduce the planes as they fly in. In addition to watching the planes, attendees can also enjoy a classic car show, food trucks, vendor booths, a children’s area, and entertainment. “This is a picnic style festival,” Tinnin said about what to expect for seating. “So we encourage everyone to bring lawn chairs or blankets.”
The festivities should be wrapped up by 1:30 p.m. Anyone interested in being a vendor at the event can find the application at willrogers.com.
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