Guthrie

Overview

Introduction

The first capital of the state, Guthrie sprouted in one day (22 April 1889) into a tent city of 15,000 residents during the land rush. Today its 1,400-acre/570-hectare historic district is said to be the largest collection of restored Victorian commercial buildings in the U.S. Try to visit at least a few of the buildings, such as the Scottish Rite Temple (it covers four blocks of downtown) and the State Capital Publishing Museum (turn-of-the-century presses are on display in the basement). The museum is also the starting point for walking tours of Guthrie.

You can get a sense of the state's history at the Oklahoma Territorial Museum (where the state's first governor was inaugurated). Take in a rodeo at the Lazy E Arena, a world-class rodeo venue 12 mi/20 km southeast of town. The Eighty-Niner Celebration takes place in Guthrie in April (parade, bands, celebration of the land rush, craft show and food). From late November through December, the Territorial Christmas Celebration takes place, made up of a variety of events (arts-and-crafts festival, concert, historic-home tours, Christmas parade, Victorian costumes, caroling and street performances).

There is a local theater group and regular cultural activities involving jazz and banjo music. Since the decline of local industry, the town has been trying to reinvent itself as an artistic community. 20 mi/32 km north of Oklahoma City.

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