Square Dancing

This photo is of the crowd square dancing outside the Southwestern Premiere of the film “Oklahoma!” on June 7, 1956 at the Rialto.

If you missed the Grand Opening of the Renovated Lynn Riggs/Oklahoma! Exhibit and Claremore Premier showing of the film “OKLAHOMA!” that everyone is talking about, you still have an opportunity to participate in and enjoy the 75 Year Anniversary Celebration of Oklahoma! and Lynn Riggs at the Claremore style Box Social and Lynn Riggs birthday celebration event on Aug. 31.

If you missed the Exhibit Grand Opening you still have time to see it as it will be on full display through December 31, 2018.

Rollie Lynn Riggs was just a Cherokee kid from Claremore. His passion for the arts began here and led him to adventures all around the world.

How did a cowpuncher, a salesman for Macy’s department store and a fraternity house dishwasher, become the greatest playwright of the southwest?

Lynn’s strength lay in being his own natural self. He wrote about people he had known, tangling their weaknesses and strengths, their characteristics and quirks throughout his plays.

Wherever Lynn traveled, he brought Oklahoma along while inspiring others to reach beyond realism. Such was the case with one of Lynn’s most famous plays, “Green Grow the Lilacs,” the rights of which were sold to Oscar & Hammerstein which resulted in the famous musical and film “OKLAHOMA!”.

Lynn Riggs once wrote, “Nearly all my plays, by intention, have a slight edge beyond realism. In other words, the little lying thing beyond realism makes them important to me. Perhaps that’s what art is – a subtle lie, for sake of telling the truth.”

On Friday, Aug. 31, the second event in the 75 Year Anniversary Celebration of “Oklahoma!” and Lynn Riggs Event Series will be held at the Rogers State University Dr. Carolyn Taylor Center.

The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and you will thereafter enjoy an evening filled with music from” Green Grow the Lilacs” and OKLAHOMA! performed by Mike Hosty, Annie Ellicott and our very own local talent Travis Peck.

You will hear from Tim Carter, author of “OKLAHOMA! The Making of an American Musical” and enjoy the wit of our Master of Ceremonies, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Keith Austin.

Cherokee baskets made by renown Cherokee artist Danielle Culp will be auctioned off to the highest bidder complete with desserts made by Claremore’s best bakers. Whose dessert will you buy?

It will truly be an Oklahoma! night to remember in celebration of the greatest playwright of the Southwest and Claremore native, Lynn Riggs.

Tickets for this event are $75. Register and purchase your ticket online at claremoremoh.org. (click on Events and the August 31 calendar date) or send a check payable to Claremore Museum of History to 121 North Weenonah Avenue, Claremore, Oklahoma 74017. Seats for this event are limited so don’t wait too long to register.

The public is invited to join us for the third and final Event in the Oklahoma and Lynn Riggs Event Series to celebrate Cherokee Art and Culture on Sept. 8, 2018.

This event will feature the Claremore Grand Opening of the Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club Exhibit, spanning more than a hundred years. On hand to introduce the Exhibit will be Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr.

The Grand Opening will commence at 1 p.m. at the Claremore Museum of History located at 121 North Weenonah Avenue.

Concurrent with the exhibit grand opening, we will be celebrating Cherokee Art and Culture in Gazebo Park adjacent to the Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Cherokee artists will be displaying their art and offering it for sale.

Children will be able to enjoy historic Cherokee games including stickball and marbles.