A temporary assignment in a small town can mean it’s tough to find info on what’s happening in the local community. So today, we’re sharing a roundup of the biggest events near Altus AFB throughout the year!
Mangum Rattlesnake Derby, April
This may not be for the faint of heart, but it’s such a local culture thing that it’s worth going once! The Mangum Rattlesnake Derby is part county fair and part rattlesnake roundup. It started as something to do with the pests rounded up from local farms and turned into an economy booster. Whether you want to see them, touch them, take a photo with them, or eat them, there’s plenty of rattlesnakes to go around! It happens every April in nearby Mangum.
The Holy City Easter Pageant, April 13 and 20
Hidden inside the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge is a group of structures known as the Holy City of the Wichitas. While open the public year-round, they were built as the setting for a passion play every Easter. This year marks the pageant’s 94th annual production, making it the longest continuously running passion play in America.
Rock-N-Rumble, May 3-4
Every year, Altus plays host to a car show. It’s a weekend of all things cars. Any kind of competition you can imagine from stereo sound off to burnout tournament. One of the biggest town events of the year, the Rock-N-Rumble culminates in a cruise along Main Street. From classic cards to rusty farm equipment to teenagers in their trucks, you get a little bit of everything! Pro tip: either get there early to snag a spot on the curb, or go to Val’s and sit in the window to have some beer while you watch.
Base Cattle Drive, August
Every year, this part of the country used to see massive cattle drives cut across the countryside to sell and trade in major stockyards like Fort Worth and Oklahoma City. While this isn’t as much a thing now, once a year ranchers herd their cattle through base! It’s usually a kickoff event for the Altus rodeo, so keep your ears out in August.
Great Plains Stampede Rodeo, August
If you’re stationed in Oklahoma and you don’t go to a rodeo, where you really in Oklahoma? If you happen to be here in mid/late August, mark your calendars! It’s been running for 40 years and while it may be small, it’s on the professional circuit. Expect to see all the classics: bull roping, barrel racing, bareback riding, and more!
Air Power Over Altus, September
Every other year, Altus puts on an air show! And you’re in luck because 2019 means we should be due for one. Usually in September, it’s an Air Force classic.
Cotton Pickin’ Chili Cookoff, October 5
Local individuals, community groups, and businesses are invited to enter their killer recipes for judging! It’s more than just chili: BBQ and salsa are in the mix too. It’s open to the public, so come hungry.
Candy Cane Cash SweetStakes, November 3-December 15
Each winter, everything you purchase from a local business gets you raffle tickets entered in a massive giveaway. On a cold Saturday morning, most of the town turns up to the town square to drink hot chocolate, catch up with neighbors, and find out the winners. People tote clipboards of their ticket numbers and a hush falls every time they spin the massive wheel to pull a new winner. It feels a little like the lottery would if you had to be present to win the prize.
Gather your friends and crashpad-mates and explore your local area. If your assignment overlaps with one of these, mark your calendar to get a taste of local Oklahoma!
Written by: Emma Myrick