FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2018
Kyla McKown/Public Relations Specialist
OKMULGEE, Okla. – The Muscogee (Creek) Nation held its 44th Annual Festival June 21-24, 2018, at the Claude Cox Omniplex in Okmulgee, Okla.
The event, which is held each year throughout the fourth weekend in June, is coordinated by the MCN Tourism and Recreation Department.
The festival is free and open to the public and is a way for the Nation to promote the tribe, as well as provide a cultural experience to those in attendance.
The festival officially kicks off each year with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Scholarship Pageant.
This year’s pageant was held at the River Spirit Casino and Resort’s Paradise Cove May 20, 2018, making it the first pageant of its kind to be held at the venue ahead of the Miss Oklahoma Pageant.
The MCN Scholarship Pageant crowned Miss Nina Fox and Jr. Miss Louisa Harjo as the 2018-2019 MCN Royalty.
Following the pageant, the Living Legends Ceremony was held June 21, 2018, at the Mvskoke Dome in Okmulgee, Okla., as part of the festival events.
The ceremony, which was created in 2005 by Principal Chief A.D. Ellis, honored five Muscogee (Creek) citizens this year for their services to the Nation and the Mvskoke people throughout the years.
This year’s Living Legends inductees were Thomas Yahola, Richard Larney, Edna Belcher, Scott Roberts and Dr. Kelly Roberta Moore.
Another highlight of the festival each year is the slow pitch softball tournament and the fast pitch softball tournament, which is divided into a men’s and women’s bracket.
The festival included an arts and crafts show, golf and tennis tournaments, as well as 3-on-3 basketball and a horseshoe tournament.
To incorporate the Mvskoke culture, the bow and corn stalk shoot competitions also take place during the festival.
Other events included the Festival 5K Run, the festival parade throughout downtown Okmulgee, Okla., as well as performances by well-known artists on Friday and Saturday, June 22-23, 2018.
This year’s performers were Craig Campbell and Tonic, as well as headliners Wynonna & the Big Noise and Everclear.
The festival also had a record number of contestants in the All-Indian Rodeo, which is part of the 2018 Indian National Finals Rodeo Region 8 Tour, at the Bob Arrington Rodeo Arena.
It is reported that there were more than 500 entries in the rodeo, which consisted of barrel racing, calf roping, bronco riding, bull riding and even mutton busting for the younger competitors.
MCN Tourism and Recreation Director Kyle Lee was impressed with this year’s turnout and the generous number of volunteers who make this event possible.
“We’ve heard nothing but positive responses from people so far,” Lee said. “I thought this year’s entertainment lineup was full of great performances. We are very fortunate that the weather held off until everyone was gone. Now it’s time to start thinking about next year.”
To learn more about the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and its upcoming events, visit the website at www.MCN-NSN.Gov.