December 2020: This December, the ghost of Christmas past will be paying a visit to Oologah for the annual Will’s Country Christmas celebration.
Named in honor of Oklahoma’s favorite son, Will’s Country Christmas is an annual holiday celebration which harkens back to simpler times, giving the young and the young at heart alike the chance to see how the Rogers family might have celebrated the festive Christmas season.
“We’re now in our sixth year, and this (event) has really grown since we first started in 2014,” said Tad Jones, executive director, Will Rogers Memorial Museum. “The first couple of years were a little slow but okay, and after word-of-mouth started getting out, it began to grow, and last year, attendance reached about 1,500. Even though things are a little different this year, we’re hoping for a good turnout. We’re keeping a lot of the things that the crowds have enjoyed so much in the past, so it will give people the chance to come out and enjoy the season ‘Will Rogers’-style.”
The event will require masks when interacting with vendors, and there will be a creative way of taking pictures with Santa Claus. “This year we are going to have Santa and Mrs. Claus by the Fireplace in the Parlor, and kids can look in like they are catching Santa in the act of putting out presents,” said Jones. “It should make for a nice Norman Rockwell-esque picture.”
There will also be a craft station where kids can create their “list for Santa” and then put it in an envelope and leave in the mailbox that will be in the Parlor.
“We’re going to be bringing back the Wild West Hayride, which will be $5 for people 15 and older – that’s the only fee people will have to pay, other than for food, as there will be food trucks and vendors on-site in case people want to get something to eat,” Jones said. “Admission is free, and we’ll have carriage rides, 19th-century games, crafts for the kids, storytelling on the back porch, and pictures with Santa Claus are also free.”
Making their comeback to the Birthplace Ranch will be the Wild West reenactors, who will be staging a “Christmas-themed” shootout.
“This is definitely a family-friendly event – even the ‘shootout’ is appropriate for children of all ages,” he said. “When we created this, we wanted it to be centered around kids – to give them the chance to get out for a couple of hours with their siblings and parents or guardians, and have a fun, safe time before and to celebrate the Christmas season in a simple, 19th-century type of atmosphere.”
“This year, we’re hoping again for good weather and that all the families who have come out in the past will come back to see us again this year and bring their friends and other members of the family to make new, lasting Christmas memories,” said Jones.
Will’s Country Christmas will be held Friday, Dec. 4, and Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Birthplace Ranch in Oologah, 9501 E. 380 Road. Festivities will be
5 p.m. - 9 p.m. each evening.
For more information, contact
the Will Rogers Memorial Museum
at 918-341-0719 or visit online at
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