Jim Cowan

Earlier this year when I first started writing this column, I explained why I thought it was important to spread the word about all the positive things happening in and around Chickasha. This past weekend I saw in person what we are capable of when we all work together. Although the Oklahoma Food Truck Championship drew the big headlines, we had a lot more to be proud of here in our home town!

On Friday, the Rock Island Arts Festival kicked the weekend off with a big variety of crafts, art, food, entertainment and craft beer. Then later Friday evening,  Legends Event Park hosted a Country Music concert with local entertainment getting the stage ready for Country star Tracy Byrd. On Saturday morning, the Rock Island Ride had around 300 bicyclist in Downtown Chickasha. As people came out to the second day of the Arts Festival, 30 Food Trucks were setting up for their chance to win $10,000 in prize money. Organizers of the event estimated the crowd at over 10,000 which seems very realistic. On Sunday, the Arts Festival enjoyed it’s third day of beautiful weather and numerous visitors.

 When you review how many organizations and volunteers it took to make this past weekend happen, it’s impressive, but the overall marketing reach of the events is staggering. The paid media and the free public relations was priceless. These four events used TV, radio, print, social media, food blogs and grass roots marketing to achieve a reach of over 500,000. That is a lot of eyes and ears being told about all the reasons to come to Chickasha over the course of three days.

I did a very unscientific poll and looked at car tags. Texas, Kansas, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Missouri, Louisiana and of course Oklahoma were all represented. I also watched a melting pot of people enjoying these events, excited and full of smiles and great food. I believe Chickasha was the star of Oklahoma tourism this past weekend. I believe that we made a great impressions on so many visitors and that they will come see us again.  

 What I really loved seeing though was people that live here enjoying a beautiful weekend and being proud of their City. The phrase “Love Where You Live” was written all over the faces of the local people that I saw. Thanks again to everyone that made this past weekend happen. Events like this make me so glad that after over 30 years, I moved back home to Chickasha. I am so proud of my home town and love to share #TheGoodStuff.

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