Celebrate the 4th of July all over Oklahoma with fireworks. Here is a list of celebrations we know about coming up. Not all are just on the 4th, rather on several different days!
There will be live music, food trucks, fireworks, and fun at some of the various events. Click on the events below for the location and day you want to know more about. There are so many events planned for this 4th of July that they are starting days in advance! As we continue to locate information on the events happening in Oklahoma we will update THIS post.
Autonomy Anniversary, Emancipation Festivity, Liberation Jubilee, Self-determination memorialization, sovereignty spree, enfranchisement jollification… call it however you want. Just make sure you show up! Don’t know where to go? Now you do!
Check often and tell your friends and family where you got your info. Uniquelahoma is dedicated to finding these events and letting you know!
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Celebrations on July 1st
Rockets Over Rhema
The American Dream
Rockin’ the Park
Celebrations on July 2nd
Blanchard’s Independence Celebration
Celebrations on July 3rd
Fantasy in the Sky
Red, White & Boom
Yukon’s Freedom Fest
Fairview’s Festival & Fireworks
Grand Lake Fireworks
4th of July Fireworks Spectacular
Boom in the Valley Fireworks Spectacular
Celebrations on July 4th
OKC 4th Fest
Jenks Freedom Fest
Yukon’s Freedom Fest
Fireworks Extravaganza & 4th of July Celebration
Sallisaw 4th of July Celebration
4th of July BBQ Buffet and Fireworks
Old-Fashioned Independence Day Celebration
Freedom Celebration Parade
Laverne 4th of July Celebration
Cherokee 4th of July Celebration
Boomfest at Riverwalk
Fish and Fireworks
Celebrations already passed
Bixby Freedom Fireworks Celebration
Bob McSpadden Memorial Fireworks Show
Lawton-Ft. Sill Freedom Festival
Canton 4th of July Celebration
Rockin’ the Park
Johnston County Red, White & Boom Celebration
Honor America Day
Marble City Mayhem & Fireworks Show
Be sure to check out our other events on the Uniquelahoma Event Calendar!
If you would like for us to post about your event let us know. We would love to hear from you. Uniquelahoma is a very active community. We welcome you to join us in celebrating the unique, weird, and inspiring aspects of our lovely state. Do you want to have the opportunity to let everyone know about your events? Here is your chance!
Uniquelahoma honors all those who fought for freedom on D-Day this 74th Anniversary.
Wouldn’t it be a remarkable event if 5,000 ships came to the rescue of people who were being oppressed?
What if those ships were carrying 150,000 troops who were willing to die to ensure that those people could be free and safe? Now imagine 10,000 aircraft flying above those ships with men willing to sacrifice everything for what is right. It is an awesome vision and on June 6, 1944 it became a reality.
The Normandy invasion into Nazi occupied France was the largest armada ever assembled. It was the action of nations in their finest moments. There is no vision greater than that of a free society which defends the right that all should be equally
This Veterans Day take a moment to remember the 9,000 servicemen killed or wounded on the beaches of Normandy whose sacrifice rests in the hope of keeping the dream of global freedom alive.
Oklahoma and me… and I… and my eye
Where the Wind Comes a-Sweepin’ … Anything but Plain
I’m a fifth-generation Oklahoman. My great-great grandparents bought 40 acres in Haskell County in 1913 and my family has alternately farmed and ranched it ever since. My folks still live about a quarter mile from there, and my dad ran his cattle there until about a month ago. Now my nephew runs them there. I love this state. It’s in my blood as much as my blood is here. I knew that as a boy and I know it today. Its prairies, mountains, hills, swamps, and deserts are a part of my whole self. It’s true, just as sure as my lifeblood flows through me like the ancient rivers rill and roll — Red, Cimarron, Canadian, Arkansas and Poteau, all.
About … a long time ago, I had the good fortune to attend a major university here to study whatever I wanted. Unfortunately, part of that good fortune included doing just that, and THAT turned out to be a career in Journalism. Don’t get me wrong. It’s been a lifetime rich in experience in adventure, and a lot of experience living parsimoniously. Google it.
During that long tenure, I have alternately learned about being a good writer, taught others about it, practiced it, cursed it, praised it and tried to escape it. The latter being marginally unsuccessful.
But, as is the case with most long-winded life stories, I have had a lot of fun. I’ve met and worked with good people from all over the world, and some bad people from those very same places. I’ve even married some of them. The latter being tragically unsuccessful.
However in about 1993, after an enjoyable, albeit un-storied stint as a graduate student, I got the chance to work for a handful of different magazines. So varied in theme were these publications that anyone who looked at one of the covers might never guess that they shared one important core value.
They ALL loved Oklahoma and its people.
So for about the ten years with these various pubs, I enjoyed myself tremendously. Telling stories about famous sports figures for one publication was a favorite. It wasn’t so much that I was a big sports mind — I wasn’t. It was instead that I was something of an Oklahoma sports historian — I was… kinda. I’d lived through a great deal of some very important times in Oklahoma football as it was conceived and played out by names like Switzer, Sutton, Semore and Sims; Barry Sanders, Pistol Pete and Bryant Reeves. I hadn’t actually known any of those great men, but I’d sat in the student sections with the sort of intense attention and enthusiasm only afforded to young men. And then, only those unfettered by family duties and upside-down mortgages.
So, I told those stories. Looked those men up and talked to them too. I got to travel across the cow pastures of central Oklahoma, through the dusty farm towns of Green Country and visit the waning burgs of the Red Mesas. I went to towns with names like Winona, Frederick, Gotebo, Wilburton, Alice, Maud, and Bowlegs. “You have to go through Bowlegs to get to Maud.” HA ! (I didn’t make that one up. It’s a local favorite saying.)
What was remarkable about those places wasn’t that they had huge populations of immensely talented artists. There were few, if any, tremendously profitable smokestack industries from which those people could make a living. Truly, there was little money to be made at all in most of them. I remember one man who owned property passed to him from the time Oklahoma first became a state. He still scratched a living out of the soil his great-grandfather had worn out with corn and cotton seventy years before. It was still good for the cattle he loved to raise, so he stayed to live and die there. Always working the cattle. He told me that living in his county was never making a living. But instead to just “live on what you make.”
So, sports legacies and beautiful scenery aside… one might ask why in the HELL do people stay in Oklahoma. We’re a Flyover State. The Middle of Nowhere. Only steers and Queers. Outlaws and Hillbillies. Farmers. Shitkickers. Lazy Republicans who vote against their own best interests.
So again… why do we stay?
It’s the People. Oklahoma is a true melting pot. Rich with the heritage of Native Americans and their fascinating, basically magical cultures. It was a time which I never expected to relive, with a wonderful group of people whose philosophies I never expected to encounter again. The adventures I had were so varied and rich that basically, no one could hope to re-visit anything like that.
For instance, from the good folks down Hugo way, I’d soon learn the value of a good circus performer, how they determined their own value and that the “pie car” people were the ones who fed the whole group. Concessions were the golden ticket in those performing arts. Among them, I’d make friends with a rhino named Goliath, 39 adult elephants, a 600-pound juvenile Siberian tiger named Samson and a cantankerous camel named Clyde whose practice of biting was only surpassed by his prodigious foamy slobbers.
Goliath and I became fast friends, and for some reason, I miss Clyde …
I’d meet an octogenarian circus owner who’d started his multi-million dollar shows in Vaudeville. FYI: all circuses and those who work them have roots in Vaudeville. ALL of them. His humble origins began with a single pony, a monkey, three dogs, a Model A Ford and 36 cents.
No kidding. He told me that. I had to ask him to repeat it twice. Not because I couldn’t believe it. Instead it was because I couldn’t understand him because he refused to put his teeth in for the interview. The words just wouln’t form.
Try it. Take a sip of your coffee and hold it in your mouth. Now curl your lips over your teeth and try to say, “Thirty-six cents.”
So, anyway …
During his sixty odd years on the road, he’d walk away from multiple truck collisions, some of them head-on; several motorcycle wrecks – some of THEM head-on, and an airplane crash from which he climbed into another new plane in two hours and flew away to the next show. You see, he had to use another plane because the first one had burned.
Wow… reliving those interviews makes ME tired.
The artists in Red Carpet country were amazing, as were the ancient mountains near Mears Oklahoma, which boasts a fine cheeseburger, but none match the juicy double meat masterpieces they serve at the Busy Bee in Hugo. There, the scarce seats are at a premium and you’re better to get your magnificent greasy ground beef through the drive-thru.
I could talk about the time a dude pulled a knife on me in the beer joint in SE Oklahoma; then a gun. And nobody looked up either time. Or the story I did on a business owner who was either a man… or a woman… or both. No one knew for sure, so I wrote the whole story without using a single gender-bound pronoun. I liked that though. Gave me a chance to show off to you and your kind, Decent Reader.
Then there were the Mom and Pop museums and their eclectic owners. Like the dude whose proclivities for collecting stuffed cats, hundreds of typewriters and various doodads was surpassed only by his penchant for grave robbing.
And then there was the little old lady from Duncan who met me at her front door in a tube top and Daisy Dukes, insisting that we “go in a-swimmin’” at her stock pond later. I didn’t go. She was insulted. I remained clothed and in charge of my lunch.
There exist in my memory dozens, if not hundreds of such stories. I’m proud to say that it was a colorful period filled with four-pound turnips (four pounds !), 800 pound wild hogs and a 60-foot totem pole made of concrete and wire mesh. There were fiddle makers, metal sculptors, pecan grovers, sheep drovers and a roving ratite rancher who fed his flocks of ostrich and cassowary from Cessna airplanes.
Then there was the sweet little old lady from Anadarko named Clara Moonlight. I didn’t have the honor of interviewing her, but I love that name.
I could go on and on, and probably would, except that I wrote many of these stories over 20 years ago, and I’m convinced that there are many, many more out there today which have yet to be told. They’re amazing stories. Cool stories. Almost UNBELIEVABLE stories. But they were real. Real as real gets.
I know because the people who told me were real. They were the stories of their parents, neighbors, friends and church families. They were THEIR stories.
And the ones I’m “fixin’ to tell… they’re YOUR stories.
I want to tell the world about you and yours. This is my plea, Good and Faithful Reader. I want to tell about your neighbors, your grandparents, your colossal farm animals, titanic turnips and other ponderous produce. I want to tell the world about the prairie dog city under your garage, the 2 x 4 blown through your oak tree by a Cat 3 tornado last summer, and the warehouse-sized concrete bunker you built underground to escape the next one.
Give me your coal mine fires, your world class miniature horse farms, your herds of fainting goats.
Seriously. I know you’re out there.
So what’s in it for you? Fame? Probably, if only of a mild sort. Fortune? Maybe. Not a nickel from me, but maybe still; that is if you consider yourself lucky.
Truthfully, I can offer a few guarantees. I can assure that they’ll almost surely NEVER make New Yorker Magazine, or find their way to the Nobel Laureate Dinner. But they’ll be good times for you, good reads for the world and great stories.
You can be there. You will be part of a continuing effort to chronicle the astonishing group of people who have woven the humanity and rich fabric of a unique and awe-inspiring land …
… with the latter being wonderfully successful.
Contributing Writer, Uniquelahoma Magazine
Who’s Working Here:
Uniquelahoma is very much “in the works” while CL and Jessica are hard at work gathering up story ideas, interviewing people, writing, posting, etc. I am working behind the scenes to ensure things are running smoothly and that they have the tools they need to make things work long term.
I take care of the hosting, programming, WordPress Management, SEO, and all the other technical connections between social media accounts and the website. I still have a lot of things to do at this point.
Sometimes Things Aren’t As Expected
Some things are great and working as expected. Others, however, are more or less just working for now. For instance, the email signup popup is supposed to show once every 30 days and then never again when you sign up. So far this is not what happens, but right now in our early development while our content release cycles are slow and unpredictable it is very important for us to have a way to get in touch. This importance goes away once we reach the backlog and capacity to release stories regularly, but it doesn’t diminish the desire to make that direct connection.
We Are All About Connection
The main reason for this entire site is “the connection”. We want to build connections with the people that make Oklahoma a unique place. We want you to be able to build connections with them as well.
I will keep working away at things doing what I can to move things forward and I hope that this site is all you hope it to be, if not now sometime in the near future. Thank you so much for reading this, I hope to have one of us making regular updates along the path on our journey to showcase the Uniqueness of Oklahoma.
He is not a large man in stature but put a paintbrush in his hand and he becomes larger than life. Frank Lorenzo of Pawhuska is the first to say that he prefers to paint outside the lines. Even as a young man with crayons, he realized that he interpreted life differently than those around him. It’s what his family called a “visionary touch”. His family realized his unique take on his surroundings and encouraged him to color his world as a young artist at the age of ten.
Spending a great deal of time at his grandparents’ farm while growing up, he found that though his surroundings were his subject matter, they were not his only inspiration; much of that, he explained, came from inside him. Seeing things as they were and drawing them was not the vision he saw from his internal eye, seeing them as a collection of items needing to be placed in a manner which gave them new meaning was the vision. As with any visionary, seeing the world differently than others opens up a new course of thought. Although Lorenzo did not quite understand this as a child, he did feel that what he expressed through his art was somehow different. It was the incorporation of those images surrounding him into a work of art that set him apart. “I feel it. I sense it. I use colors to create that feeling,” is how Lorenzo describes where his ideas come from. The art is not a single idea but a collaboration of feelings that materialize into a single work of art.
A STROKE OF GENIUS
“I try to create an element that people can respond to.” Painting for him is like a liquid puzzle with each stroke of the brush laying a new piece, thus connecting them into a complete image. Painters want people to connect to the feeling of what they are painting, he explained. Light became an important element and he always works to connect to the elements of life and bring that light to those who experience his works of art. He has an innate sense of seeing what is beyond the surface of an object.
“I like color and the light. The light is the beyond element. It is the essence of giving life to an object or thing,” Lorenzo said As an art teacher he would ask his students to create by exploring beyond what they could see. His concept is using the light and allowing his art to grow out of the light. Lorenzo was a teacher at a high school and college for ten years. As a high school teacher, in 1975, he was selected as one the Most Outstanding Educators of America.
MOLDING A VISION
. In addition to painting the world around him, he also has a background in classical pottery even once making a complete table set during college. As with his painting, he uses the same philosophy of not letting the clay become the art but using colors through a technique he created to allow the art to grow out of the clay. He is a skilled, wheel thrown, classical potter, he also attended San Francisco State University to work on a Masters of Art in ceramics, with a concentration in Raku. (A low firing process inspired by the traditional Japanese.) “I believe the level of commitment creates the level of success,” Lorenzo explained. In 1984, he was selected to exhibit four paintings in the Salon des Nation juried show in Paris, France. The painting “Fury” won an international award. The painting was made into a litho Limited Edition Print.
This Oklahoma artist uses nature as symbols for defining the concepts in his art. Birds seem to be a strong presence for humanity and they are calming, he said. “My job as a creator is to bury a treasure that others can seek out in the art and hopefully discover what I buried.”
Lorenzo is a recipient of many awards in painting and pottery. Over his productive years in creating works of art, he has exhibited in galleries and some museums and is recognized nationally and internationally. He is considered a creative Renaissance person, combining fantasy, reality, emotion and dynamic color in juxtaposition between what is real and not real. His biography reflects an early interest in creating art and the challenge evolving through architecture and back into the painting and pottery world. The skill, talent, and commitment are the response to his creations.
In addition to his artistic abilities, Lorenzo has also used his talents to cross barriers that lead into areas of the world that are mostly acquainted with the math and science of life. Due to divergent of creative interest that occurred from 1985 to 2015, Frank moved into the area of real estate development and later into becoming an Associate member of the American Institute of Architects. He established an architectural design business, restored and certified a building that became a registered historical landmark, and was an Associate Director of his local Chapter of the AIA. He also published a Homeowners Portable Construction Handbook.
To view Lorenzo’s work or inquire as to purchasing his pieces, visit artistfranklorenzopainterpotter.wordpress.com
Ziegler in Kurobonla, Sierra Leone during his time in the Peace Corp.
“Getting stung is just part of it,” he quipped. But in the grand scheme of things, a sour sting now and then is well worth the sweet results Lloyd Ziegler of Mannford, Oklahoma sees by volunteering his time as a beekeeping consultant in Africa. As in many cases for entrepreneurial pursuits, this is a hobby turned profession that Ziegler became interested in during his time in the Peace Corp while in Sierra Leone in 1969.
U.S Aid has become interested in the prospect of helping these people in the rural areas by teaching them a method to turn the vast amounts of honey produced in those areas into a commodity that can improve their or even provide partial financial stability, Ziegler explained. He went on to say that one village can have as many as 100 beehives and those hives produce so much honey that the villagers don’t know what to do with it. In short, many areas are potentially rich with a product commodity but do not have the infrastructure and knowledge to harvest and market the commodity.
Fresh honeycomb ready for packaging.
As a beekeeper with over 40 years of experience and the successful business owner of Ace Bee & Wasp, Control, Ziegler is able to teach these people the methods necessary to turn their liquid gold into a sweet nectar of potential profit. Teaching others is yet another skill set he possesses as a former math teacher. To give one the idea of how badly these people need guidance in their quest to harvest the potentials of beekeeping, Ziegler said that when he first began going to Africa the villagers were working with the African killer bees without any protection whatsoever. In fact, they were working the hives at night in nothing but their underwear.
Ziegler and a swarm of bees.
“When I first saw them doing this, I thought to myself, these people aren’t beekeepers, they are warriors!” He followed this with a laugh, but one can certainly see from this image the desperate need these people have for guidance. He explained that these beekeepers would get stung multiple times and when they finished the task of collecting the honey, their wives would bathe them and pull the stingers out for them. This was a way of life for these people, he said. Another downfall to the method of harvesting the honey in this manner is the fact that the bees would have to be killed. As terrible as this is, the people had no other choice since they did not have protective gear, he said.
By teaching them to harvest with protective gear technology, Ziegler is slowly being able to protect both the villagers and the environment by saving the bees. However, for every solution, there seem to be two new problems as any business owner can attest. Although Ziegler has been able to help increase production, marketing and packaging present a whole new set of challenges. In some areas, the availability of packaging products are not even available and villagers procure used water bottles to place the honey for sale. This is obviously not a viable or safe option to market on a large scale and one of the aspects that Ziegler is hoping to improve through his involvement with U.S. Aid. He hopes to continue being a problem solver for these people and giving them new hope to taste the sweet rewards within their golden opportunity.
He was honored with the Oklahoma Beekeeper of the Year award in 2012 and uses his 40 hives near Mannford to produce products such as pollen, beeswax, propolis, and various value-added products such as propolis tincture and skin balms in addition to honey. To learn more about Ace, visit http://acebeeandwaspcontrol.com.
We want to share what makes you special with the world.
Welcome to the world of unique! Welcome to Uniquelahoma!
This is your invitation for a glimpse into the people, places, and beauty of Oklahoma.
Being a journalist for many years has afforded me the opportunity to meet and write about some very interesting and creative people. It has allowed me to be a part of some very exciting events and witness to some remarkable experiences. However, on a deeper level, it has allowed me to learn about this great state I call home through its inhabitants and the dynamic which makes it so unique. That dynamic is the individuality that each person brings to Oklahoma.
Ironically, it’s the collective individualism woven together that creates a tapestry of beaded artwork into a design like no other on the planet. Each person representing a bead that is sewn into the fabric of our society to create a culture worthy of the name “Uniqulahoma”.
Unlike a newspaper or themed magazine, we do not bind our online periodical by strict guidelines that fit into metaphorical margins. We are more of a philosophical coloring book without lines where we want to explore the dynamic of Oklahomans and the places they call home.
In essence, you are the subject matter and we are the readers interested in what you have to say to us. Each of you has a story to tell, a talent to share or a dream that is coming to life. All of these beads contain gems within them that add beauty and design to our ever-growing tapestry that we call our unique Oklahoma.
We want to be an information source for you on events, interesting places to visit and explore and fun and interesting activities to do within Oklahoma.
We will including an “Artists Spotlight” section allowing artisans a place to showcase a piece of their work. Perhaps it may be a painting, drawing, comic book, poem or sculpture that you would like to display. This will allow a venue for the artist to display their work and gain exposure.
We also welcome photos from photographers who capture the essence and beauty of Oklahoma. Uniquelahoma is designed to be an interactive source, meaning that we encourage all of our readers to contact us about the unique people and events within their communities.
We want to share what makes you special with the world. What is important to you is important to us! Help us explore this great state and find all of the headlines that will showcase your unique stories to your friends and neighbors.