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An Anticipated Centennial

In the classic novel The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck called Route 66 the “Mother Road.” In the 1930s, the paved road carried hundreds of thousands of Depression-era migrants from the Midwest to California in the hope of jobs and a better life. Years after the Depression, Route 66 took on the role of America’s main highway for adventure, beckoning...

Main Street, America

Oklahoma’s favorite son Will Rogers once said: “We do more talking about progress that we do progressing.” And in some Oklahoma cities, progress often looks like orange traffic cones, delays and detours.  Other progress has threatened one treasured asset in our small Oklahoma towns in the past century: the main street districts and historic downtown centers that reflect ample history...

Raving for El Reno

A 15-minute drive down Interstate 40 or historic Route 66 takes a person from the Canadian County seat of El Reno into the heart of Oklahoma’s capital. That, says El Reno mayor Matt White, helps explain El Reno’s attractiveness and population growth over the past decade.  “We can conduct business in Oklahoma City, but we have a hometown feel,” says White,...

Wide Open Spaces

The flat landscapes of Clinton mean lingering sunsets and a feeling of freedom. Long considered “the hub” of local communities before getting to the suburbs of Oklahoma City or Yukon, Clinton sits on Route 66 and is a tourist spot as well as a friendly community.  Wandering the Mother Road brings you straight to the city, nestled in a large...

Sights Around the Region

All signs point to vacations closer to home this summer. Oklahoma and its neighboring states offer scenic beauty, culture, history and even some quirky attractions just a few mini-van hours away. We explore some high points in Arkansas, Missouri, Texas and Kansas, as well as gems along Route 66 and some tourist spots to hit right here at home....

Fae Folk and Chicken-Fried Steak

In one sense, Vinita embodies enchantment and make-believe, especially with get-away destinations nearby at Grand Lake. However, the Craig County seat is also a common-sense, down-home place. Vinita embraces both – illustrated by a Depression-era cafe with an international following and two Renaissance festivals that take visitors back to 1540s Scotland. Grant “Sweet Tator” Clanton opened the first Clanton’s Cafe in...

Developing Entrepreneurs

Those with a passion for forging unique paths, taking risks or diving into new ventures go by many labels. Mavericks. Pioneers. Individualists. Gamblers. Perhaps the most common umbrella term is entrepreneur, which defines thousands of business owners in Oklahoma. Behind them are various resources to get their dreams off the ground. By utilizing courses and majors at universities, community...

Matt Pinnell

… state investment in tourism. How much money is appropriated for marketing is an ongoing discussion with the legislature and the governor’s office, but … our marketing budget must be competitive with other states. There is a clear return on investment for money spent to market your state. Many studies over a number of years prove this. Michigan and Texas...

A Home for ‘Foodpreneurs’

Oklahoma has more miles of the original Route 66 than any other state, and Tulsa’s Mother Road Market reminds people of the highway’s historical impact. The brainchild of the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, Tulsa’s first food hall on the iconic road combines innovation and learning space for food entrepreneurs, or “foodpreneurs,” as president and CEO Elizabeth Frame Ellison calls them...