The Old Church that sits in the middle of the Oklahoma Territorial Plaza on the north side of Perkins is a beautiful structure. It housed the Perkins United Methodist congregation for about 100 years. Then the building was moved from that original location to its present location at 750 N. Main.
The Old Church is a place where the Rockin’ M Cowboy Church congregation holds service each Sunda morning. Along with weddings, funerals, the community Christmas programs and over 180 Cimarron Breeze concerts.
Here are some Cimarron Breeze Concert numbers: Approximately 327 featured or opening-ac t performers, audience members have flown or drove in for shows from 30 states. We have had around 30-40 wonderful volunteers. Audiences averaged 75 people a show with up to 150 for a total of 10,050 attendees over these 10 years.
Performers have been from all over America, Canada, France, the Netherlands and six indigenous Indian nations. These artists and audience members had sometimes never heard of Perkins but, when they walked out the Old Church doors, they had found a new ‘favorite town’.
Many of the attendees and artists have eaten at area restaurants, purchased gas, groceries, clothes and visited places like Sasser’s Antique store or the Iowa Tribe’s Grey Snow Eagle House. Some stay in local Air BnB’s and many have even looked into the housing opportunities here in our little town on the banks of the Cimarron river.
Because our town is full of nice people, those who come to Perkins have told many of their friends about “the Old Church in Perkins.” As a woman who grew up in this town and resides in the community, these figures make me proud of the hard work that my husband and I and all of the Breeze concert volunteers have put into each and every show.
When my husband and I tour the United States and parts of Europe, and when the songs I’ve written here in the Cimarron valley are played on radio shows, I always introduce my hometown and iconic river that circles around the farms and ranches of folks who call Perkins home.
People in France, Scotland, Spain, British Isles, the Netherlands, and other countries now know a little about Perkins’ history and Oklahoma’s native tribes of which I am a member of the Cherokee nation.
As we drive home, we have to cross the river coming from the west, south, and east. Every time I cross one of the river bridges I smile and say, “I’m home.” My husband Travis Fite is the superb sound man and cameraman for the Breeze concerts, Sage Powell is my right hand gal. Lory Ferguson is the door girl. Adam Miller is the kitchen and dish washing man. Scott Sewell helps clean up and makes the best chocolate pies! Sarah Barker Huhn is our official photographer. St Francis of the Woods Retreat Center near Coyle is one of our sponsors and put up the artists with a stay in one of their beautiful houses. There are so many other volunteers and supporters who help in various ways. Thank you so much to all of you!
Thank you to David Sasser and Eric Lovelace for asking me to think about bringing live music to the Old Church. The Cimarron Breeze concerts have been a real blessing for this hometown Perkins girl all of these last 10 years. I’ll be taking a break from the monthly concert series. After this winter season we will be having the shows every 3-4 months.
We’re inviting you to help us celebrate this anniversary by purchasing tickets to each and every one of the Winter series shows. We could also use another sponsor or two for the series. If you do, I promise you will enjoy the evening ... and don’t forget to come early for the very popular old fashioned potluck dinner at 6 p.m.! Bring a yummy dish or just hungry belly! All the concerts begin at 7 p.m.
Show tickets can be purchased at www.cimarronbreeze.com or you can also give me a call at 405-612-3183.