courtesy Visit Enid
Published July 06, 2018
Enid was one of the first towns to be settled during the Cherokee Strip Land Run that brought thousands of settlers to Oklahoma in 1893. It often served as a popular watering hole for cattle drivers traveling along the Chisholm Trail. Today, the city brings this colorful history to life through attractions like the Railroad Museum of Oklahoma, Leonardo’s Children’s Museum and the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center. There are also many notable art venues in town, such as the Gaslight Theatre, one of the state’s oldest and most active community theaters.
Voted one of Oklahoma’s Outstanding New Attractions, the Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center tells the story of the famous Land Run of 1893. Leonardo’s Children’s Museum is an interactive arts and science museum that inspires learning for all ages. The museum recently completed a multimillion-dollar renovation that added new exhibits on modern health, technology and energy conservation. Among the highlights are a critter clubhouse, a medical clinic with a life-size Operation game and a two-story climbing tower that extends from the first floor to the second.
Unique Group Experiences
Once the home of a Western-style retail outlet, Simpson’s Old Time Museum now showcases Western history exhibits as well as several full-scale Western movie sets, among them an 1880s saloon, a jail, a hotel lobby, a general store and a church. With advance notice, groups can star in 15- to 20-minute Western films of their own, using museum costumes and provided scripts. The filming takes roughly three hours; later, the museum cinematographer edits the footage and sends the group leader a finished copy to share with the participants.
Festivals and Events
One of Enid’s most beloved annual events is the Summer Enid Chautauqua, a series of historical re-enactments that involve several history scholars from the local community. The five-night event has a different theme each year; past themes have included the Roaring ’20s, Cowboys and Cattle Trails, and World War II. During the production, each scholar chooses a historical figure related to the theme and emulates the character’s style, mannerisms and philosophies during a first-person presentation. Audience members are invited to engage the historical figure at the end of the presentation with any questions or comments.