I had the opportunity this past weekend to attend the Apache Rattlesnake Association Banquet and learn more about their festival. Even with two days of rain over the four day event, the festival almost equaled their largest return over the years. This adds to the thought that we are seeing more people travel shorter distances this summer for weekend getaways rather than going on longer vacations out of state. If you are looking for something to do in the upcoming weeks for fun, don't forget about the Sterling Rodeo this weekend, the Cyril Rodeo the following weekend and the Rush Springs Rodeo on Aug. 6 and 7. We also have the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival on Aug. 8.
All of these events tie into which are related to agriculture in some way. The efforts to promote Agritourism by our State Department of Agriculture have aided many local communities to promote these festivals and events, along with providing ideas to maximize profits for the businesses associated with the products. Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach has spearheaded much of this in Oklahoma. His staff have done an excellent job in helping Oklahoma communities, along with the efforts of our State Department of Tourism and Director Hardy Watkins to promote the various activities around the state and how great a place it is in which we live. To see some of these great tourist destinations, visit http://www.travelok.com/ and do a search for "Agritourism" on the website.
There are also many other events to attend around the state. The various areas of Oklahoma have been broken into different "countries" for local residents to work together and promote events. Our main area in this region is covered by Great Plains Country and you can see the different events at http://www.greatplainscountry.com/ on the Internet. The northern edge of District 65 lies in Frontier Country and you can view events at http://www.oktourism.com/ on their link. If you want to get away for a fun, affordable weekend, be sure to check out these sites for events throughout the entire year.
It is an honor to represent your views at the State Capitol. If you wish to contact me and discuss one of these or another issue, I can be reached at my office in Oklahoma City toll-free at 1-800-522-8502, or directly at 1-405-557-7305. My e-mail address is http://firstname.lastname@example.org at work. My mailing address is PO Box 559, Rush Springs, OK 73082 and my website is http://www.joedorman.com/ on the Internet. Thank you for taking time to read this column and I look forward to seeing you soon.