McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 22, 2010

Weekend events set for Take McAlester Back

By James Beaty
Senior Editor

McALESTER — Everything from flying skateboards to soaring music is planned for Take McAlester Back’s Red Ribbon Week activities set for today and Saturday in McAlester.

Events were to  kick off today with the fourth annual Skate Fest at the city’s skateboard park. Various events are set from 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. at the Exchange Club-sponsored event, including competitions and guest speakers supporting drug-free parks in the city.

On Saturday, a full day of events has been set, with Narconon Arrowhead teaming with Pride in McAlester,  the Chamber of Commerce, McAlester Main Street and other sponsors to host many of the downtown activities.

The events will culminate with a Saturday night concert at the Masonic Temple, at the corner of Second Street and Adams Avenue, featuring violinists/fiddlers Jana Jae and Michael Ginsburg.

Plans call for Jae and Ginsburg to be joined by two McAlester musicians, Kathryn Brod on keyboards and Kevin Priddle, who’s also the McAlester mayor, on guitar.

Well-known humorist and newspaper columnist Argus Hamilton is set to travel to McAlester to serve as emcee for the event

Before the concert, various activities are set for Saturday.

All day long, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m., free balcony tours are to be available of the downtown Okla Theater. Pride in McAlester has taken on restoration of the Okla as a major project.

Also, vendors will be set up and family activities are to be available for much of the day along Choctaw Avenue in downtown McAlester, according to organizers of the event.

At 8 a.m. on Saturday, check-in begins at the Pittsburg County Courthouse for the 10k/5k family relay, with the races to begin an hour later, at 9.

A race awards presentation to recognize the winners is set for 10:30 until 11:30 a.m. on the main stage set up on Choctaw Avenue.

Also on the main stage, a history of Red Ribbon Week is set from 11-11:30 a.m., to be followed with drug free pledges beginning at 11:30.

At noon, the McAlester Community Theatre is conducting a presentation, with a law enforcement demonstration planned at 12:30 p.m.

Other activities include a Best Boston Cream Pie contest from 1-2 p.m., with a $5 entry fee required. That’s to be followed by a best salsa contest from 2 until 3 p.m., which will also require a $5 entry fee for participants.

Also on Saturday afternoon, a Halloween costume swap is set from 1 p.m., until 6 p.m. at the Granny’s Cafe building, which is on First Street, a half-block north of Choctaw Avenue.

Blue Mountain Music is set to perform from 3 until 4 p.m. on the main stage, with the cream pie and salsa contest winners to be announced on the main stage beginning at 4 p.m. Also, an acoustic guitar raffle will be ongoing throughout the day, with tickets a dollar each, or six for $5, and the raffle ticket drawing will be held around that time, as well.

A Karaoke contest is set from 4:15 until 6 p.m., with the entry fee $10 per song, per person.

The concert featuring Jae and Ginsburg is set to begin at 7 p.m. on Saturday night at the Masonic Temple.

Tickets are $20 for general seating and $50 for reserved seating. While tickets are expected to be available at the door, anyone interested in reserved seating can phone 426-4444, according to organizers of the event.

Contact James Beaty at