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Will Rogers Days One of North America’s 100 Best Events for 2013

The American Bus Association (ABA) names the 75th Anniversary of Will Rogers Days to be held November 1-4, 2013, as one of the Top 100 Events in North America for 2013 by an experienced expert tourism industry selection committee.  Inclusion in the Top 100 list indicates that Will Rogers Days offers excellent entertainment value to both tour groups and individual travelers from around the world, according to ABA.

“The attractiveness of Will Rogers Days as a don’t-miss entertainment value is only part of why its selection this year is such a distinction for Claremore,” said Peter J. Pantuso, CTIS, ABA’s president and CEO.  “The real news here is that Will Rogers Days has been recognized as a potential magnet for tourism dollars, at a time when reenergizing domestic tourism is so important to our spirit and our economy.  The honor gives Claremore an important boost in visibility among professional tour planners.” “Motorcoach groups spend more and stay longer,” Pantuso said.  “That’s why Will Rogers Days is truly a local economic asset.  There is no better way to jump-start tourism than to attract motorcoach groups to a great event and convince them to extend their stay.”

ABA’s 2013 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected Will Rogers Days from more than 500 event nominations submitted by ABA members.  Judges considered the event’s broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and skill at handling large groups, and a variety of other relevant criteria. “We’re thrilled that the American Bus Association has recognized Will Rogers Days 2013 as a Top 100 Event.  It’s an exciting, special distinction, and we look forward to our best ever Will Rogers Days as we also celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the Will Rogers Memorial Museum”, said Steve Gragert, Executive Director.

The 75th Anniversary of Will Rogers Days is a city wide event and will introduce the Will Rogers Days Chuck Wagon Cook-Off to be held November 2 at the Claremore Expo Center. Claremore is Will’s hometown and I think he himself would have enjoyed this event, and been proud to participate”, said Tanya Andrews, executive director of Visit Claremore.  A Chuck Wagon Cook-Off will compliment the many activities already happening throughout Claremore and Oologah (Will’s birthplace)”. In addition to the cook-off at the Expo Center, there will be an antique and collectible car exhibit by the Route 66 Cruiser’s, entertainment, and a variety of western themed vendors.

Wagon teams will be competing in five food categories, including meat, potatoes, beans, bread, and dessert. Wagon Masters will enter their food to the judges by 2pm, and then public meals will be served.  Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Claremore Expo Center or by calling 918-341-8688.  Advance tickets are $8 and $10 the day of.  There are a limited number of meals per wagon, so it is suggested that tickets be purchased early. Prizes will be awarded for each of the five categories, along with Best Overall Wagon, Authenticity, and the Will Rogers Choice Award.

A variety of events will be happening during the Will Rogers Days Celebration, including a parade on Saturday starting at 10am, led by Parade Marshall Larry Gatlin; Indian Women’s Pocahontas Club’s Hats off to Will, wreath laying and reception; and a birthday party for Will at his birthplace ranch in Oologah on November 4. The JM Davis Arms & Historical Museum will host Remembering Our Fallen, a photo exhibit on loan from the General Tommy Franks Museum that honors Oklahoma’s fallen soldiers.  The exhibit opens at 8:30am on November 1, and will run through Veterans Day, November 11 at 5pm.

“As a member of the American Bus Association, the Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau is elated for our community and the Will Rogers Days Celebrations to receive this honor.  Knowing the judges appreciate the ongoing events and attractions that we are home to, is exciting and we are looking forward to celebration the 75th anniversary of Will’s memorial during the annual Will Rogers Days”, said Tanya Andrews, Executive Director.

For more information on the 75th Annual Will Rogers Days, Will Rogers Days Chuck Wagon Cook-Off, or visitor information call Visit Claremore at 877-341-8688 or online at  www.visitclaremore.org.


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