Stillwater News Press

Local News

May 2, 2014

Pioneer Day slated May 10 in Ripley

STILLWATER, Okla. — Ripley will host its annual Pioneer Day Celebration on May 10.

The celebration starts at 10:30 a.m. with a parade and lasts until midnight.

Lynda Grimes, director of the event, said Pioneer Day is a tradition unlike any other in Ripley.

“Pioneer Day was started several years ago before I started working with it, and I’ve been working with it for 29 years,” Grimes said. “We have people come from all over the United States come home for it.”

After the parade, the townspeople gather at a local park to continue the day with all sorts of booths and vendors.

“There are games for kids, craft vendors, music by local musicians, pony rides,” Grimes said. “It’s just a fun day.”

This year’s theme is “From the Red Dirt Up,” which Grimes said incorporates many different aspects of Ripley.

“Anything that has ever happened in Ripley from the ground up, and we’ll have some Red Dirt music too,” Grimes said.

School Superintendent Kenny Beams said he enjoys helping put on the celebration.

“I am involved with it but typically a lot of my work is just helping organize the parade and working that night at the alumni banquet,” Beams said.

Beams said Pioneer Day acts as alumni day for the community.

“That is always a big part of Pioneer Day,” Beams said. “We have an active alumni group here and they have a banquet each year.”

Beams said anywhere from 300 to 400 people attend the banquet each year. The alumni group gives out scholarships to Ripley students, but Beams said Pioneer Day, from parade to banquet, is all about the community.

“It’s really about the people who make up the community and bringing them together,” Beams said. “It’s exciting to me because every year I get to see people that I don’t get to talk with but maybe once a year.”

Grimes said the annual event is a great way to honor Ripley.

“It’s just an annual day, a day we all come together to celebrate Ripley,” Grimes said.

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