Annual Events in Stillwater By Hallie Hart Stillwater News Press T he fountain in front of Edmon Low Library is dyed orange. Before and after football games, Eskimo Joe’s is packed on Saturdays. Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” floats out of the Boone Pickens Stadium speakers as students belt out the tune. Those are signs you’re in the midst of Stillwater traditions. Maybe you’re an eager Oklahoma State freshman from out-of-state, starting a collection of OSU T-shirts and learning the words to “Ride ‘Em Cowboys.” Or perhaps your closet is brimming with orange and you’ve attended Cowboy football games all your life. Either way, with Stillwater’s small-town vibe and friendly residents, it can soon feel like your second home. If you’re looking for ways to get involved in the OSU and Stillwater communities, check out these events that bring people together. AMERICA’S GREATEST HOMECOMING CELEBRATION The Week of the OSU/Texas Football Game October 27th It’s an understatement to say home- coming is a big deal at OSU. The homecoming celebration is a week filled with events leading up to the Cowboy football game, when the king, queen and competition winners are announced at halftime. Long before homecoming, members of fraternities and sororities devote hours to pomping. It’s essentially poking tiny pieces of tissue Sally Asher reaches the finish line of the Land Run 100 cycling race. Photo credits: 241photography.com 12 STILLWATER SURVIVAL GUIDE 101 | 2018 Rickie Fowler, a PGA golf pro and Oklahoma State University alumnus, waves to the crowd while performing his duties as grand marshal during the OSU Sea of Orange Homecoming parade Oct. 14, 2017, in Stillwater. Photo credits: David Bitton/Stillwater News Press paper into chicken wire, but that process yields massive, colorful creations, which depict something related to each year’s homecoming theme, in front of the Greek houses. The Friday night before the football game is Walkaround. Alumni, students and Stillwater residents flock to OSU’s campus to view the house decorations, enjoy food and reconnect with old friends. Next is Homecoming and Hoops in Gallagher-Iba Arena. This event is unpredictable and entertaining. One time, wrestling coach John Smith grappled with Kenny Gajewski, the softball coach. The next year, Mike Gundy took his shirt off. A parade, which has featured grand marshals such as golfer Rickie Fowler, always takes place the morning of the football game. Although America’s Greatest Homecoming is a celebration, it has a somber element. In 2015, a car plowed through the parade crowd, killing four people and injuring numerous others. Since then, homecoming is also a time to remember the lives lost and to remind people that the community is staying “Stillwater Strong.” LAND RUN 100 March 16 If you have an adventurous spirit, check out this event. Land Run 100, which started in 2013, is a 107-mile cycling race. District Bicycles, a trendy bicycle store on Seventh Avenue, propelled the formation of the race, which initially attracted 121 competitors, according to its website. Now, more than 1,000 people participate. Riders journey across the marked course that takes them on red- dirt roads around Stillwater, sometimes powering through rain and mud. For those who prefer running instead of cycling, the Land Run 50K Ultra Marathon is an option. Extreme adventurers might choose to do the Land Run Double, competing in the run and then the bike race. Registration begins months ahead of the event and fills quickly, according to the website, so make sure to check landrun100. com for information. The Land Run 100 isn’t for someone who wants to find a laid-back event, but it’s a way to get involved with Stillwater’s growing cycling community and make unforgettable memories. Look up #LandRun100 on Instagram to find some seriously cool photos. If a 107-mile competition is too much for you, there’s always a big party at the finish line.