Will Rogers’ birthday has been celebrated in Claremore on the November 4 anniversary of his 1879 birth on an Indian Territory Ranch, for the past 79 years since the Nov. 4, 1938 opening of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum.
Will Rogers Birthday Bash Nov. 4, 2017, will reflect on the spirit of Will Rogers’ Life of generosity, humanitarianism and down-home connection with friends and family.
Birthday balloons will decorate Claremore. School children, businesses and individuals are encouraged to dress western and decorate storefronts. The traveling trophy, started last year, will be awarded the best-dressed and decorated business and a non-profit.
The traditional Children’s Day at the Museum opens the birthday celebration on Thursday, Nov. 2, but Saturday, Nov. 4, opens with pomp and ceremony of the Pocahontas Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a parade down Will Rogers Boulevard to the Claremore Museum of History and Gazebo Park for the Birthday Bash.
Schools will be encouraged to select a young Will and Betty Rogers to ride in the parade, where the most creative and best theme entry will receive a trophy.
When Will came to Claremore in his later years, he was known to slip a coin, sometimes paper money, into a child’s hand.
Along the parade route children ages 12 and under will receive a birthday card containing a memento of Will. At least 100 will receive the notice of a wrapped birthday present awaiting them at the Birthday Bash (a grand prize will be given one lucky child), where there will be birthday cake and punch and entertainment.
An additional 40 gifts will be wrapped for children at Safenet and other locations where children are housed in difficult circumstances.
Pocahontas Club will host a Gala at 5 p.m. and a Native American Festival is planned at Rogers State University.
The celebration will close with a Mid-Afternoon Frolic Talent Show at 3 p.m. Sunday in the Will Rogers Memorial Museum Theatre, reminiscent of Will’s New York entertainment days.
For new information about the Birthday Bash and for parade entry forms, visit willrogers.com.
Will Rogers Birthday Bash Events
Thursday, Nov. 2 – Sunday, Nov. 5
Kids Day: In-house at Will Rogers Memorial Museum
School children celebrate various phases of the life of Will Rogers with games, storytelling, art and refreshments.
Judge winners in decorating and dress contest for traveling trophy for business and non-profit. Everyone is asked to dress western and businesses are encouraged to decorate store-fronts and windows in the Will Rogers theme.
Saturday, Nov. 4
— 10 a.m., Pocahontas Wreath–Laying Ceremony, Will Rogers Memorial
— 9 – 10:30 a.m., Route 66 Cruisers Car Show, Will Rogers Memorial Museum
— 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Main Sreet Shopping Specials
— 11 a.m., Parade begins at Claremore Rec – Expo Parking Lot to Gazebo
— Noon, Birthday Bash with giant cake at Claremore Museum of History/Gazebo Park
— 5 p.m., Pocahontas Gala, Will Rogers Downs Cherokee Casino
— Native American Festival RSU, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 5
— Mid-Afternoon Frolic Talent Show, 3 p.m., Will Rogers Memorial (admission free)
See willrogers.com for additional information and parade entry forms.