Will Rogers never outgrew his passion for Christmas. Traveling the world or at home in California, the season took on a special time of sharing with friends and family. While he didn’t come back to his home country for the holiday, his presence was very much felt.
His delight in the holiday can be experienced when Will’s Country Christmas returns to the Indian Territory ranch of his birth from 5-9 p.m. Dec. 2-3. A record number of vendors and food trucks have joined the special entertainment and a visit from Santa in the log-walled room where Will was born.
Stephanie Hunter, education and activities director, said in addition to kids’ crafts, storytelling and 19th Century games, there will be music and a shooting gallery. A hayride along the banks of Oologah Lake will encounter a group of armed wild west bad guys. She said the event is an opportunity for not only an evening of family fun, but for early Christmas shopping
Admission is free; the hay ride is $5 (free for 14 years and under).
When Will’s sister Maud Lane was ill, he sent electric lights from New York to his sister’s home in Chelsea and had a tree decorated on the lane leading to their house. The late Coke Meyer, Will’s great-niece, and the late Tom Milam, a great-nephew, remembered the generous Christmas checks.
Only once after his marriage was Will away from home. He sent gifts home in 1931, then spent a lonely Christmas in Shanghai. For Will and his family in California, they might retreat to a little log cabin in the foothills of their property.
Each room in the house, decorated for the holiday by Oologah Chamber of Commerce.