The winter season is very special to people all across Oklahoma, and while the larger cities like Oklahoma City are full of festive cheer and events, smaller towns and communities have tons of activities, decorations, and celebrations. These small communities have welcoming atmospheres, shopping opportunities, parades, and more! They're perfect for tight-knit extravagant events and festivities this holiday season, so look no further than Oklahoma this winter!
Kingfisher is home to almost 5,000 residents and is located about 45 minutes north of Oklahoma City. Every year, the town holds an event called "Kingfisher Winter Nights" for about a month. Kingfisher Park glows this time of year, with stunning lights and decor lining the whole area.. The park gives opportunities to drive, walk, grab photos, or enjoy the displays with friends and family. There's even a train that runs through the park, which is also lit up, offering free rides to guests alongside hot chocolate. People with keen eyes can spot Santa in the park, who comes by every so often for photos with visitors. Outside the park is an annual march and fireworks show, usually held in early December, offering residents and guests an unforgettable display of ornaments, vehicles, and costumes.
Guthrie is in Logan County and was established as a railroad station in the 19th century. It was initially called Deer Creek as a part of the Kansas Railway. Their celebrations around the holiday season bring people from around the area. It's popular enough to the point where the Guthrie's Territorial Christmas Foundation calls the town the "Christmas Capital of Oklahoma." The foundation has celebrated the holidays through a mix of history and festivities for over 30 years. Guthrie is home to many Victorian-era architecture, making the added ornaments throughout the town stunning. There's a parade in November that features festive decorations alongside vehicles, both old and new. Also featured are Victorian Walk Nights, where people can dress up in Victorian-era attire and have a night on the town. The foundation also holds a raffle to help support local businesses.
The historic town of Tishomingo is about 50 minutes south of Ada and has plenty of museums that perfectly preserve their past, like the Chickasaw Council House Museum. As the largest town in Johnston County, Tishomingo holds the county's local festival in December, called the "Johnston County Country Music Festival & Parade," which combines the holiday season and all things country! Residents can spread holiday cheer by celebrating with festive music, a choir competition, and plenty of country. The event is held on Main Street and has many vendors offering people chances to buy gifts for their loved ones during the holiday season. There's even a bounce house, among other activities, which is perfect for local kids. Alongside the many vendors, there are on-site food places for people looking for a bite. The festival ends with a magical holiday parade, so stick around!
As the central part of the Bartlesville Micropolitan area, Bartlesville in Washington County is known for its year-round events, with the wintertime being very special to the residents. The main winter attraction in town is called "Christmas in the Ville", a celebration of the holidays throughout December. It's hosted at the Historic Train Depot, where guests can ice skate and take photos or look in awe at the 28-foot decorated tree and sleigh, where Santa sometimes resides on certain days. People can talk to and get a picture with him, offering fun for the whole family. Decorations are strewn around town, and guests can ride downtown on a carriage, play lawn games, or watch movies in the local park throughout December.
Pawhuska is a part of Osage County and was originally known as Deep Ford when it was established in the 19th century. The town hosts plenty of holiday events and comes alive during the winter. In early December, a holiday market brings together families to buy local goods from crafters and artists. There's also a holiday parade called the "Annual Parade of Lights," usually with specific themes like residents' favorite festive songs. Plenty of displays after dark make Pawhuska glow, so there's no shortage of festivities in town! There's no Santa during the parade because guests can meet him separately at a special event called "Meet Santa!" hosted on Main Street.
In Comanche County is a cozy small town called Cache, which, despite its size, has many historic structures in its roster, like the Buffalo Lodge and the Quanah Parker Star House. The town comes together during the holidays to celebrate small and local businesses, with shops with stunning lights and plenty of gift opportunities. Afterward, people in town set up lawn chairs on Main Street every second Saturday of December to watch a local festive march. It's known by residents for its twinkling displays of vehicles and floats strolling down the street. Anyone can apply to participate through Cache's website, so either grab a blanket and watch the fun displays or be the one walking down Main Street!
About 110 miles west of Oklahoma City is Elk City, a town in Beckham County. The town has an abundance of museums and historical places, including the Casa Grande Hotel, Storm House, and the Old Town Museum. The local Christmas in the Park event is perfect for late November and December holiday lovers. Millions of lights line Ackley Park during the holiday season, with displays covering the local waters and trees, warming those who stand below. Fridays and Saturdays are a special time when kids can visit Santa's gift shop or ride the Candy Cane Train. There's even a tour on the Mistletoe Express, an English double-decker bus lit up during the season! People can also ride horse-drawn wagons to experience the lights throughout the park.
Winter Wonders in Oklahoma's Small Towns
Plenty of family fun can be had around Oklahoma, so no matter what people celebrate, wintertime is excellent for people to come together in the cold, enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate, and watch one of the many parades. Afterward, people can shop in the local businesses of these small towns and have fun in the snow. There's no place like Oklahoma, which has both big-city events and small-town festivities.