Jim Cowan

Sometimes good things can come from bad times. 2020 will certainly be remembered as one of the most challenging years our community has faced. The combination of Covid -19 and the downturn in the Oil and Gas industry have been a major obstacle for both our mental and physical health as well as the health of our local economy.

The Grady County Fairgrounds were built by the WPA back in 1939. This facility has long been a key cog to the Chickasha economy hosting rodeos, livestock shows, the County Fair, as well as other special events. This past weekend it hosted the Fall Fling Craft Show, Antique Car Club Swap Meet and the Western Oklahoma Ranch Horse Association Show, all at the same time. 

As major events around the country have been cancelled because of the virus, the Grady County Fairgrounds has been able to accommodate new events that might have not ever considered Chickasha Oklahoma. Andy Maher is the Executive Director of the fairgrounds and he is the example of a “Can Do” attitude. He continues to innovate in his attempt to keep the fairgrounds completely booked with a diverse calendar or events. Coming up October 29th, the Capitalist Team Roping event will bring the top ropers from across the country to the town. The event will also be live streamed for the whole world to see the best ropers competing right here in Chickasha. Later in January, since both the Denver livestock show and the Ft. Worth livestock show cancelled, Chickasha will host the Stockman Showcase. This event is so big it will overflow to the Oklahoma City fairgrounds. Yes, that’s right, an event here in Chickasha will overflow to Okc, not the other way around. Think about that for a minute. 

In June of 2021, the Fairgrounds will host the Maine-Anjou/Chianina Junior Nationals. This is a prestigious breed of cattle that will bring people from all over the United States. As visitors are welcomed to the fairgrounds, they stay at our hotels, eat in our restaurants, buy gas from our convenience stores and help replace some of the business lost from the Oil and Gas downturn. Most importantly we have an opportunity to make an impression on these visitors and hopefully show them how much our town appreciates them. Rather than just a one- time rescheduling, lets hope these events will love our hospitality and become repeat events. We might not have had this opportunity had it not been for Covid-19.

In order for Chickasha to have a chance to book these national events, it takes a leader with a “Can-Do” attitude, one that aggressively markets our community to national organizations and believes they will love our small town charm when they pay us a visit. This type of spirit is contagious  and helps others believe we can do big things in Chickasha!  Local leaders with a Can-Do spirit, well yes you guessed it, that’s #TheGoodStuff.

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