Lighting the Path Ahead

Eats & Beats


Whoever said “There’s nothing to do in Okmulgee,” was just not paying attention. This town plays host to some pretty awesome public events and attractions for anyone willing to attend. Every year, there are rodeos and sporting exhibitions, festivals and cultural celebrations, parades and galas, carnivals and craft fairs, as well as gatherings of various collectors and enthusiasts. With such an assortment of things to do, there is always something to look forward to in this quaint little town. This week, I’d like to tell you about an unpretentious event my wife and I attended last month. 

Q: I saw you and Deb at Eats & Beats the other night. My family had a great time, but we found out about it by accident. Can you help tell others about it?

A: There’s something new in the summer air in downtown Okmulgee—it’s called Eats & Beats! The Promotions Committee of Okmulgee Main Street has organized this monthly activity for anyone who wants to enjoy a leisurely evening on the lawn of the historic Creek Council House. 

There’s nothing fancy—just an old fashion, outdoors with friends, bring your own lawn chair good time. But don’t worry, several food trucks will be on hand with all your favorite summertime treats: hot dogs and funnel cakes, barbeque and burgers, snow cones and soda pop. It’s like a family backyard picnic with someone else doing the cooking. There are a few yard games on hand, because wherever there are kids and grandkids, there’s going to be fun and games. But the main feature is the informal entertainment—plenty of local musicians singing and playing for the gathering. You can sing along if you know the words or just sit back and enjoy the tunes and conversation. It’s an opportunity to slow down and enjoy life. No pressures, no worries, just a relaxing evening under magnificent shade trees, while taking in some of the best tastes and sounds of summer. 

This great food and live music event on the square is held between 5 and 8 p.m. on the last Thursday of each month, May through August. The first one was held on May 31, but you can still make the remaining dates: June 28, July 26, and August 30. The food trucks begin serving at 5 p.m., and the live music starts an hour later. 

Here’s what you missed if you were not at the first event in May. The food vendors were Boss’n Hogs BBQ from Okmulgee, Walking “R” Tub O Grub from Bristow, and Coachmen Foods from Muskogee. The unplugged music session was coordinated by the Art Collector’s Guild of Okmulgee known as “A/C Outlet.” It featured several local musicians: Brooks Brewer, Dave Crow, Greg Marriott, Tommy Mason, Court Newkirk, and Mark Tulley. Also featured, were the very talented members of the McKedy family from McLoud, including three young singer/songwriters who could play multiple instruments. Different musicians and food vendors will be featured each month, so come out and enjoy them all.

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Dr. Bill R. Path is president of Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology and board member of Okmulgee Main Street Inc. 

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