You’ve heard of “BIG D.” Dallas, Texas, of course. Now there’s a new descriptive vowel on the travel scene. It’s “BIG O,” and it stands for OKLAHOMA CITY, the gem of the great state of Oklahoma. Wanna learn more about this fun and fabulous city?
Here’s a little exercise designed to introduce you to the many attractions and adventures that await you in a visit to the gem of the great state of Oklahoma. All you need to do, as you read through this article is find and underline or circle all the phonetic long “O’s – as in “OH” and OklahOma. You can easily score how well you did at the end of the piece. The idea, of course, is to explore just a few of the many wonderful things Oklahoma City has to offer.
Ready to start hunting? Let’s go. . . .
Note: We’ll start you off by underlining the first few O’s
First of all – and importantly: Visitors learn of the strength, and hope and serenity of this remarkable city — and its resilient people – all portrayed in the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Here in this haunting place is chronicled a sobering reminder of the 168 victims, 19 of which were children, who lost their lives in the tragic April 19, 1995, bombing by Timothy McVeigh of the downtown Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.
Another not-to-be-missed museum and gallery of stunning sculptures, paintings and displays is the phenomenal National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum. Included are the Rodeo Hall of Fame, the Hall of Great Westerners, a Children’s Cowboy Corral, and so much more.There’s a larger-than-life, bronze statue of former president, Ronald Reagan, in cowboy garb. It’s said his daughter, Maureen, before her untimely death, used to gently hold the big, outstretched hand and gaze up for long periods of time into the weathered face.
You can see there are five long O’s in the above two paragraph.
Let’s see where we can find some more. . . .
Located in the heart of the state, Oklahoma City also boasts the remarkable Gaylord-Pickens Oklahoma Heritage Museum. Here kids and adults can explore the great state of Oklahoma through the lives some of its famous citizens – such as Will Rogers, country music star Reba McEntire, aviation innovator Wiley Post, BMX biker Mat Hoffman and others – some of whom helped shape our world. Hi-tech, interactive exhibits and video-driven displays bring much of Oklahoma’s history alive.
You should now have eleven more O’s. And you’re on your own now on, so keep tallying.
While in town, don’t miss the OKC MOA (Oklahoma City Museum of Art) that welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year. This stunning museum features a permanent collection of European and American art, as well as the Noble Theater showing foreign and classic films and a café offering tasty French-fusion cuisine.
If music is your forte, be sure to see the American Banjo Museum in the downtown area. Here are showcased the largest collection in the world of those great, old twanging instruments. In this national treasure are housed over 300 banjos, along with a replica of a 1960’s Shakey’s Pizza Parlor where live performances are held on Saturday afternoons.
Mmmm. Now we add in ten, and go on to find a few more.
Meanwhile, ghosts of the past time warp to the future in the Oklahoma History Center, an 18-acre, 215,000 square foot facility housing much of Oklahoma’s unique history. Meanwhile, don’t let this city’s relaxing, low-key atmosphere fool you. It’s loaded with some amazingly high energy – from the bright lights and music of Bricktown (once a warehouse district, now a newly-renovated area of superb restaurants and hotels, with its charming Riverwalk and fun Bricktown Canal boat rides — called water taxis). It’s fun sailing by the huge, bronze sculptures depicting the Oklahoma Land Run.
There’s also the National Stockyards in Stockyard City. Here are found many authentic Western shops and live craft making, as well as the world’s largest cattle market where 10,000 head of livestock are auctioned each week. Now that’s a lot of beef!
Stockyard City also features a summer Wines of the West Festival, a fall STOCKtoberfest, a Cowboy Christmas Parade and more.
And now we can finish up.
Oklahoma also boasts 18 colleges and universities. The big OSU, OU and OCCC are just three of them. Believe it or not, we’ve only touched on just some of all that Oklahoma City has to offer. There’s the Paseo Arts District, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Oklahoma City Ballet, the Rodeo Opry, the huge Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, the Chesapeake and Devon Boathouses, offering rowing, kayaking and fitness programs, as well as every kind of professional and non-professional sports imaginable.
Oklahoma City is the largest city in the state with over a half million residents. It was basically settled in a day – and at the blast of a shotgun, no less. This phenomenon occurred April 22, 1889, when 10,000 homesteaders in their horse-drawn wagons dashed for their individual claim to acreage in the amazing, historic land run. It’s appropriate that the city is now the Horse Show Capital of the World with many year-round events.
Native American history, meanwhile, is critically important to mention and includes the Kiowa, Chickasaw and Osage tribes of the Plains, along with 36 other nations. Because of the many Indian dialects, more languages are spoken in Oklahoma than in all of Europe combined.
Oh, Wow! We add another 28.Total so far: 61. Almost done.
We could go on and on exploring all the many “Oh’s” (and Aah’s) that are part of this phenomenal city. Remembering the words of Rogers and Hammerstein’s timeless musical: “Yo, eye, yippee, oh, aye, kye a”, we know that “You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma” – and your fair namesake, Oklahoma City, is doin’ great, as well. It’s fun to note that back in 1953, after the huge success of the musical on Broadway — and the subsequent movie smash — the state took the show’s title song as it’s state song.
So, how did you do finding all the O’s? Let’s add up the score.
If your number closely matches ours – given a few O’s that might be in question:
74-51 – You have a keen eye for words and letters, especially finding the phonetic long “O’s” of OKC.
50-13 – Not a bad score at all in this range.
1-12 – You need to brush up on your ability to spot the wonderful “O’s” relating to this great American city.