McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

July 23, 2013

Old Town Association misses $18,000 request, but gets city assistance for Wild West Festival

McALESTER — Old Town Association President Eddie Gray didn’t lasso as much in city funds as he’d hoped to help with the group’s upcoming Wild West Festival in October — but he didn’t come up with an empty loop either.

City councilors and McAlester Mayor Steve Harrison voted unanimously during the council meeting held at City Hall Tuesday night to allocate some city funds toward the festival, although not in the amount Gray had sought.

Gray had asked for $18,000.

Instead, on a motion by Ward 3 Councilor Travis Read, the council voted to allocate $6,000 toward helping with the event. The measure also included a provision that the city council be provided with a report of expenditures related to the event by January 2014..

In addition, the council voted to spend approximately $2,600 for tents for the event — but with the provision that the city is purchasing the tents and will own them, and that the Old Town Association as well as other groups can use the tents for events in McAlester.

Several city councilors had balked at the request for the city to allocate $18,000 in city funds — especially after Gray provided them with information showing the Old Town Association’s entire budget for last year’s festival had been $9,000.

Mayor Harrison said he hadn’t been aware the city was being asked to fund the entire festival this year. Other councilors questioned why the city was being asked to fund twice as many dollars for this year’s event than had been spent on the entire festival last year.

Gray said that’s because the Old Town Association’s goal is to increase tourism in McAlester and see the festival grow into a two-day event.

The Wild West Festival had previously been known as the Old Town Festival. The Old Town Association, the group that organizes the event, decided on the name change last year and put more of an emphasis on the area’s western heritage.

Gray’s request for city funding had originally been made during the council’s June 11 meeting, when he had asked for $18,000 in city funds to help with the event.

During that meeting, the item had been placed on the city council’s consent agenda, which meant it could have been passed automatically, along with other consent agenda items by a single vote, unless some of the city councilors raised concerns or had questions.

When they did, after noting it was a request for a new item in the city budget, Gray agreed to return with more information — the information provided for the Tuesday night meeting.

Contact James Beaty at

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smartphone.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • 07 30 SOUTH AVE 1.jpg 'Road Closed' means just that

    No road.
    No kidding.
    For months, signs placed along South Avenue and Country Club Road read “Road Closed Ahead” — although the roads were still open.

    Now though, the “Road Closed Ahead” signs on South Avenue, along with those on Country Club Road and Peaceable Road, mean exactly what they say.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Square logo.jpg City extends 17th Street construction deadline to mid-September

    A Stillwater company working on the Seventeenth Street Capital Improvement Project for the city of McAlester now has until mid-September to complete the job.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Devin Mitchell McAlester man facing rape charges has hearing date set

    A preliminary hearing date has been set for a man who is facing charges of rape in the first degree (victim under age 14) and sodomy, victim under the age of 16.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish County to decide on liquor sales

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • comish Election set to decide Sunday sales of liquor by the drink

    They’re ready to give the voters a shot.
    Pittsburg County commissioners have called a Nov. 4 Special Election date for voters to decide if they want to approve the sale of liquor by the drink on Sundays.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Randy Green Judge rules in Green case

    A Pittsburg County judge has ruled the city of McAlester acted improperly in amending former City Manager Randy Green’s retirement plan to eliminate an “additional benefit” of $1,764.49.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Road closed ROAD CLOSED

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • mhrc Okla. State student observing at MRHC

    An Oklahoma State University student is observing at McAlester Regional Health Center as part of the rural medicine track offered at the university.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • CHRIS-MORRIS-2.jpg Detective's Dispatch

    The McAlester Police Department responds to domestic violence calls on a daily basis. Many times when our officers arrive, we get very little cooperation.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • lungdoctor.png Hospital hires lung specialist

    McAlester has a new lung doctor, the first since 2008.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.