Chickasaw Nation events to kick-start the holiday season

Friday, November 16, 2018

by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

ADA, Okla. -- The most wonderful time of the year has arrived and the Chickasaw Nation has planned a number of family-friendly holiday festivities open to the public at no charge.

Through November and December, opportunities to get into the holiday spirit will be offered in Ada, Sulphur and Tishomingo.

Take a stroll with Santa, tour the trail of lights, get crafty with gingerbread, paint a Christmas scene, listen to modern renditions of classic holiday tunes - maybe do it all.

Nov. 24 - Thanksgiving Celebration at the Chickasaw Cultural Center

The Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Thanksgiving Celebration will include stomp dance and cultural demonstrations, a Native American miniature ornament class and a children’s Christmas ornament workshop Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 24-25.

In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, the cultural center will close at noon Wednesday, Nov. 21, and remain closed through Friday, Nov. 23. The cultural center will reopen Saturday, Nov. 24, and resume regular business hours.

For more information, or call (580) 622-7130. The Chickasaw Cultural Center is located at 867 Charles Cooper Memorial Drive, Sulphur.

Nov. 24 - Festival of Trees at the Chickasaw Cultural Center

The Chickasaw Cultural Center will host a Festival of Trees Nov. 24 through Dec. 31, presented in the Aapisa' Art Gallery.

In the spirit of Christmas, departments from across the Chickasaw Nation decorate a tree in accordance with the selected theme, “Christmas Films.” Attendees can vote for their favorite trees and kick off the holiday shopping season with special sales in cultural center gift shops. In addition, the cultural center will have holiday decorations displayed throughout the campus.

Nov. 24 to Dec. 31 - Celebration of Lights at the Chickasaw Cultural Center

Embrace the holiday season with a spectacular drive through light display at the Chickasaw Cultural Center’s Celebration of Lights, featuring dozens of displays with traditional Christmas themes and Chickasaw greetings.

Dazzling holiday lights will be illuminated with the help of Santa 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24.

The drive-thru display will be open to the public at no charge every evening from 6-9 p.m. beginning Saturday, Nov. 24, through Monday, Dec. 31.

Dec. 1 - Christmas Progressive Dinner

Food, exploration and holiday fun await visitors during “Christmas at the Museums,” a Chickasaw Nation progressive dinner event 4-8 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 1.

Guests of progressive dinners enjoy the various courses of a meal at different locations.

This Chickasaw progressive dinner will include a trek through Chickasaw country, making stops to eat and browse museums and historic locations amid festive décor and holiday music.

Dinner will begin 4 p.m. with appetizers at the Chickasaw Council House Museum in Tishomingo, followed by an Indian taco dinner 5 p.m. at the historic Chickasaw National Capitol in Tishomingo. After dinner, a shuttle will be available to take guests to and from the Chickasaw White House in Emet for dessert.

An elf will tell stories at the capitol and Santa Claus will visit with guests during dessert at the White House.

The Chickasaw Council House Museum, where the event begins, is located at 209 N. Fisher, Tishomingo. For more information, contact Regina Berna at (580) 371-9835.

Dec. 6 and 7 - Chickasaw Press Christmas Sale

The Chickasaw Press will host a Christmas sale 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 6-7, at the Chickasaw Nation Culture and Humanities building, 1020 N. Mississippi, Ada.

All Chickasaw Press merchandise will be 25 percent off, with savings available both in person and online at It will be a chance to give the gift of Chickasaw history and culture.

The goal of Chickasaw Press is to preserve, perpetuate and provide an awareness of Chickasaw history and culture by generating and publishing research, making the information accessible to the Chickasaw people and public.

For more information, contact Wakeah Vigil at (580) 436-7282.

Dec. 8 - Christmas Celebration and Holiday Art Market at the Chickasaw Cultural Center

The annual Christmas Celebration and Holiday Art Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Chickasaw Cultural Center, 867 Cooper Memorial Road, Sulphur.

Enjoy a variety of holiday activities including pictures with Santa, ornament workshops and stomp dance demonstrations.

Christmas films will be shown in the Anoli’ Theater. “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” will play at noon, followed by “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” at 12:30 p.m. and “The Polar Express” at 1 p.m. “Christmas in the Clouds,” will finish out Saturday’s movie lineup at 3 p.m.

The Holiday Art Market features an array of art by Chickasaw artists. Several renowned artists will be present at the Holiday Art Market including: Krystal Bohanon, Laura Bruner, Melvin Burris, Linda Sue Edgar, Wayne Edgar, Sue Fish, Brent Greenwood, Mariah Greenwood-Adair, Sherrie Gregory, Lisa Hudson, Tyson Hudson, Peggy Immohotichey, Charles Johnson, Brian Landreth, Taylor Lawrence, Dustin Mater, Franchina McFerran, Doneeta Nowlin, Tammy Stick, Mary Wilds, Margaret Roach Wheeler, Beverly Callahan, Taloa Underwood, Mary Wise and Marty Andruss.

Dec. 15 - Christmas at the Fort at Fort Washita

A unique, old-fashioned Christmas event including horse and buggy rides, ornament crafting, holiday music, storytelling, snacks and blacksmithing demonstrations will take place10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, at Fort Washita, 3348 state Highway 199.

Santa and Mrs. Claus plan to visit the festivities, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Available snacks will include hot chocolate, apple cider, coffee and Christmas cookies.

Fort Washita is near Lake Texoma, 13 miles east of Madill and 12 miles west of Durant on state Highway 199.

For more information, call (580) 924-6502.

Dec. 15 - Jae L. and Crossover Christmas Spectacular at the McSwain Theatre

Performers from around Oklahoma and Texas will join Jae L. and the Crossover band on the historic downtown stage 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, to offer classic holiday tunes during the annual Christmas Spectacular show.

Performers will include: Kenn Hancock, Brent Smith, Haley Miller, Chandler Elliott and Jeff Elliott, all from Ada; Cathy Lake from Runaway Bay, Texas; Emily Faith from Kingfisher; Ethan Stedman from Ardmore; as well as Jae L’s Christmas Kids.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus also plan on making an appearance.

The McSwain Theatre, 130 W. Main Street, has been a part of the Ada downtown entertainment scene since 1920. It is one of Oklahoma's premiere live entertainment venues, with performances featuring all types of music including country, rock, gospel, oldies and more. For ticket information, contact the McSwain Theatre at (580) 332-8108 or online at Follow theatre updates on Facebook at, on Instagram at or on Twitter at

Dec. 22 - Holiday Canvas Paint at the Arts and Humanities Building

Two holiday canvas paint classes will take place from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 22, at the Arts & Humanities building, 201 N. Broadway Ave., Ada.

An enrollment fee of $10 includes instruction and materials. The fee is waived for Chickasaw citizens and class size is limited.

For more information, or to enroll in classes, contact (580) 272-5520.