We spoke with Johnny Danrich III, CMP, CASE, CTA , assistant director of sales & services for the Oklahoma City CVB, to learn more about culture and creativity.
What cultural experiences should planners consider in your destination?
From the rugged cowboy lifestyle to the rich Native American culture, Oklahoma City’s Western heritage can be seen throughout the city. As we continue to grow into a thriving metropolitan city, we to stay true to our deep Western roots.
What are some ways that planners can incorporate cultural venues and festivals into their programs?
One of the largest and most beautiful event venues in OKC is at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. This museum is packed full of Western and Native American art including the 18-foot “End of the Trail” sculpture that welcomes you as you enter the museum. The Special Events Center features five monumental 18-foot by 46-foot triptychs depicting various Western landscapes and can seat up to 1,000 people. It’s absolutely stunning to see the beauty of these giant paintings.
If you are in OKC the first weekend of June, you can experience our Native American culture first hand at the annual Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival. More than 1,200 American Indian artists and dancers from North American gather in Oklahoma City to celebrate their heritage through dance competitions, a grand parade and an Indian art market featuring beadwork, basketry, jewelry and more.
Where do you take friends/family in your destination that you would recommend to planners?
For the authentic cowboy experience, visitors to Oklahoma City must head to historic Stockyards City. You can buy a new pair of cowboy boots, get fitted for a custom-made cowboy hat and enjoy the best steak in the West at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. We even have the world’s largest stocker feeder cattle auction every Monday morning and feature up-and-coming country music artists at the Rodeo Opry every Saturday night.
To understand how our city has developed in the past 20 years, take a walk through the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Not only will you learn about the tragic events of April 19, 1995, but you will also learn about the resiliency of our community and how we have become the Oklahoma City you see today.