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August 1, 1997

Plans already are being made for a bigger and better version of Perry's annual Rural Heritage Day on May 2, 1998, following on the heels of this year's celebration, which turned out to be the best yet. In addition to all the activities that were on the grounds of the Cherokee Strip Museum on West Fir avenue, the downtown area will host the first annual Courthouse Antiques Fair, bringing in many exhibitors with their wares from miles away to display alongside our local dealers. That will be combined with the Classic Car Show which is now well established each year in the courthouse park, and together the two events are sure to draw a large crowd to Perry.

Obviously it's a little too soon to be pinpointing details, but that early outline makes it sound inviting. Better mark it on your 1998 calendar (if you have one) for next spring. The museum's Rural Heritage Day has been improving in scope and attendance each year, and with the downtown events added to complement it next year we should be all set for an exciting weekend. Perry's Main Street organization is assisting with arrangements for the car show and antique show while the Noble County Cherokee Strip Historical Society and the Oklahoma Historical Society take care of events on the museum grounds. The downtown events will provide an excellent showcase for our new courthouse park sidewalks and street lights.

Rural Heritage Day is becoming firmly established as a major attraction here each year. It is a welcome addition to the Christmas open house and related events each December, our traditional Fourth of July program, and, of course, the Cherokee Strip celebration which has been held here since 1894 to mark the anniversary of America's greatest land rush on September 16th, 1893. Other events during the year help to make Perry an exciting and alluring place for visitors, but it's up to each one of us to help promote them and make the public aware of our city's attractions. In other words, let's all pitch in and sell Perry to the world at large. As a further step, volunteer your services to help when one of these events is coming up. Call the Main Street office and/or the Cherokee Strip Museum and tell them you're ready to help out.

I came across an item of interest in an old copy of The Perry Daily Journal the other day while looking for something else. It was a brief story stating that Glenn Yahn had been appointed chairman of the Poor Boy club's reunion committee to celebrate their 15th anniversary. The paper was dated April 23, 1947, a little over 50 years ago. I have checked with Glenn and he says he is still working on a reunion. Unfortunately, only two or three former Poor Boys still live here so he's having to do most of the work by himself, and consequently the gears are not turning very rapidly. The Poor Boys were never known to act too hastily on anything, even during their heyday in the 1930s.