OKLAHOMA'S CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
    ...The Sooner State Marks 100 Years

Recently, Angel Riggs, a Capitol Bureau reporter for the Tulsa World,
wrote about what is the state's largest-ever parade.

MyBestYears.com asked to reprint her story about the big celebration,
and she graciously allowed us to do so.

The story also gives a wonderful opportunity to mention several other
related Websites and information about the wonderful people. Enjoy!
Huge Oklahoma City Parade Touts State's Past, Future

Oklahoma City celebrated the Centennial year Sunday with a parade billed as the largest in state
history.

The nearly two-hour televised
parade, titled "Celebrate
Oklahoma! -- A Unique History.
An Extraordinary Future,"
featured 11 floats, 13 giant
balloons, a dozen bands and
cars.

The parade kicked off with
confetti, music and dancing,
featuring all five of Oklahoma's
Miss Americas.

"It's incredible for us," said Jane
Jayroe Gamble, Miss America
1967. She added that the
excitement of the parade was
overwhelming.

An estimated 175,000 people lined the parade route through downtown Oklahoma City, many
claiming their place hours before the event was to begin.

    The 1-1/2-mile parade was led by the Oklahoma Centennial All-
    Star marching band and featured as grand marshals actor James
    Garner and Miss America Lauren Nelson, both native
    Oklahomans.

    Also leading the parade were several American Indian champion
    dancers, including Mike Pahsetopah of Sapulpa, a member of the
    Osage and Creek-Yuchi tribes.

    "It is an honor to come down here," he said. "We're being a part of
    history."

    Pahsetopah said the event brought together many dancers from
    various tribes, some of whom had not seen each other in years.

    The parade featured more than 3,400 participants, plus more
    than 800 volunteers.

    Included in the parade lineup was Broken Arrow High School's
    265-member marching band.

"There were definitely many more people than we expected, but I think our kids performed very
well," said Darrin Davis, director. "It was a great opportunity to represent our community and our
school."

And, he said, the students will appreciate the
opportunity even more when they look back on
it as adults.

The 150-member Centennial All-Star band
includes several Tulsa-area and northeastern
Oklahoma high school and college students.

"I'll remember meeting lots of different people
from across the state," said Clayton Windle, a
tuba player from Miami.

The students spoke highly of the support they
have received as they have traveled the
country representing Oklahoma throughout the
state's centennial year.

"It's a great, once-in-a-lifetime experience,"
Windle said.

    A group of nearly 20 Oklahoma FFA members marched and drove tractors
    that had been restored by chapter members.

    "We're really proud of our heritage and the traditions we bring to Oklahoma
    through FFA," said Austin Akins of Chickasha, who is president of the group's
    state chapter.

    "It's pretty cool to be a part of," said John Kyle Truitt of Jenks, also a state FFA
    officer, noting FFA's place in Oklahoma's rich agriculture history.
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An oversized Oklahoma state flag is unfurled at the
conclusion of the Centennial Parade on Sunday in
downtown Oklahoma City. An estimated 175,000 people
lined the parade route. (STEPHEN HOLMAN /
Tulsa World)
Oklahoma sports stars Billy Sims (left),
Jason White and Johnny Bench joke
around Sunday prior to the Centennial
Parade in downtown Oklahoma City.
(STEPHEN HOLMAN /
Tulsa World)
Film and TV favorite,
Norman native James
Garner served as Parade
Grand Marshall
ANOTHER SALUTE TO THE SOONER STATE

This tribute has been floating around the Internet throughout 2007. I don't know to whom I should give
credit, so I'll just take my cowgirl hat off in a salute to the entire state of good people who call Oklahoma
home.

Oklahoma is not only the home of Ado Annie and Aunt Eller from "Oklahoma!" but of the parking meter (invented in OKC)
and the shopping cart (invented in Ardmore). The electric guitar also was invented in Oklahoma, by a Beggs musician
named Bob Dunn. The first "Yield" sign was installed in Tulsa.

    The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes Oklahoma as having the most
    diverse terrain of any state in the nation. The state, according to EPA, boasts 11
    distinct eco-regions.

    The state has more man-made lakes than any other state, which give us more
    than a million surface-acres of water
    and 2,000 more miles of shoreline than the Atlantic and Gulf coasts combined.

    The Sooner State has produced more astronauts than any other state in the
    union. Owen Garriott is an Enid boy, of course, while Tom Stafford is from
    Weatherford, Shannon Lucid from Oklahoma City, William Pogue from Okemah
    and the late Gordon Cooper from Shawnee.

Oklahoma is home to the Amateur Softball Association and Hall of Fame, a world class zoo in OKC and more F4 and F5
tornadoes than any other state.

Oklahoma is the third-largest gas-producing state in the nation and ranks fourth in the production of wheat, cattle and
calves, fifth in the production of pecans, sixth in peanuts and eighth in peaches.

The state's colors are neither OU's crimson and cream nor the orange and black of OSU but green and white.

Oklahomans practice 73 major religions. The largest is the Southern Baptist Convention, with nearly 1,600 church and
more than 960,000 members.

Oklahoma gave birth to Dick Tracy (cartoonist Chester Gould is a native of Pawnee) and Donald Duck (Clarence "Ducky"
Nash, the original voice of Walt Disney's Donald, grew up in Watonga).

Oklahomans have survived the Dust Bowl, any number of killer tornadoes, the 1995 bombing of Oklahoma City's Alfred
P. Murrah Federal Building and various oil booms and busts.

Oklahoma is populated by people who are caring, giving, hard-working, patriotic and fiercely independent.

All in all, Oklahoma is obviously a good place to live, work and play! Happy 100th Birthday!