SULPHUR — The Centennial Celebration of Platt National Park and Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Sulphur, is Saturday, June 17.

The top 15 competitors from the Fall 2005 Songwriters Festival will be performing their winning songs between 2:15 -6:30 p.m. Local talent who will be performing includes Alan Frazier and the Sandy Creek Band, Local Access with Gary Walker, Kent Dakour, Preston Edgar, Gary Fullerton, and many more.

Les Gilliam, official “Oklahoma Balladeer” so designated by the Oklahoma State Legislature, will be performing from 7-8:30 p.m. at Bromide Pavillion. He is a native of Gene Autry, Okla., and is a singer, songwriter, and recording artist. He is currently based in Ponca City, Okla., and entertains both as a solo act, with his “Les Gilliam Trio” or with his band, The Silver Lake Band. Les’ concerts of cowboy, western swing, country and/or gospel music include fascinating stories about the songs and the artists who performed them. His country dances feature great western swing music and fun activities for the audience. He always includes original songs and humorous material, adding a touch of nostalgia and good ol’ fashioned patriotism.

Bonnie Smith, professional storyteller and a member of the Oklahoma Territory Tellers, will be sharing the story drawn from a letter written by a Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) boy stationed at Sulphur to his mother. She’ll be accompanied by Park Rangers Ron Parker and Ken Ruhnke. Bonnie has a tremendous background in storytelling. Holding a master’s degree in reading, she has taught language arts in the middle school. Literature was the subject she enjoyed teaching because it gave her an opportunity to give her students the simple gift of story. She has written and directed many programs for schools as well as her church. She has a rich heritage of storytelling from her family and a broad range of experiences. This is Bonnie’s third appearance at Chickasaw National Recreation Area.

Connie Fisher, also an Oklahoma Territory Teller, will be telling the story of “The Red River War” set in the early 1930s when Governor Sterling of Texas sent the Texas Rangers to close some bridges, and Governor “Alfalfa” Bill Murray sent the Oklahoma National Guard down to keep them open. Who won that Red River War? Fisher will tantalize the audiences imagination with this story of the territory.

Superintendent Connie Rudd says, “Pack a picnic, the family, and the folding chairs and come to Sulphur for a day of celebration. We have a great line-up of live music, storytellers, Chickasaw Dancers, costumed characters, artists, and dignitaries to help us rededicate the park for the next century.”

Follow the signs from I-35, State Highway 7 or Route 177 to Chickasaw National Recreation Area, and turn the clock back 100 years. Birthday festivities for historic Platt National Park will be staged at Bromide Pavilion in the historic district of the park. Turn south at the 12th Street stop light and follow the sign. No admission or entree fees are charged and parking is free. In case of rain, the event will be moved to the Murray County Expo Center 7000 W. Broadway (SH 7 west of Sulphur).

Members of the Artist of the Arbuckles will display artwork related to Platt National Park and Chickasaw National Recreation Area and will sponsor face-painting and children’s games.

The Sulphur and Davis Chambers of Commerce will have hamburgers with the fixins’, cold drinks, and pre-packaged snack foods for sale.

Take lawn chairs to the Bromide Area Saturday, June 17, as 100-years of reuniting families is celebrated.