As I ponder the options afforded to me by virtue of living in this exceptional community, I find myself both blessed and perplexed. We are surrounded by assets (A common term for “cool stuff” which is used by paper-pusher-type folks when doing research on a community for funding of various sorts. Guthrie is LOADED WITH THEM!!!) that would make most any other town of our size envious; yet we rarely recognize them for the true value that they bring to our lives and neighborhoods.
I don’t know how often I hear, “There is nothing to DO in Guthrie.” Child! Look around you! Put your phone down. Get out of your house. Park your car. You are literally surrounded by things to do here! From the exceptional programming for all ages at the Guthrie Public Library, to live music events everywhere all the time, to special events and festivals throughout the year, to technical/educational classes provided by entities like Meridian Technology, OSU Extension Office, and the Guthrie Chamber there is no lack of opportunity.
Our arts and creative coteries provide incredible creative offerings year-round. Blow glass at G Gallery and Glass Studio, learn to knit at SWAK, sign up for weaving, spinning, pottery or more at the Guthrie Art Center, take dance lessons at Dance With Me or R.O.S.E. Dance Studio, learn to paint with one of our outstanding visual artists in town, take time at Drexel Event Center Open Studio, or spend an evening with the Tipsy Artist, audition to be in a Pollard production – or just attend a performance. Of course, there are significantly more to list, but the space is limited. You could get into some big-time story telling by taking a Guthrie Ghost Walk – plus you will learn something about your town.
Music is everywhere in our town. With premier offerings such as Byron Berline’s Double Stop Fiddle Shop and Music Hall and a cadre of local musicians and songwriters, we are rife with offerings for concerts or jams. Live music at local venues is the norm, not the exception. The Red Brick Nights music series is free to the public and brings the best of regional talent to Guthrie for your listening pleasure.
Aside from the hands-on activities, there are first-rate museums and parks to frequent. Arguably, just taking a walk through our historic district is like visiting a living museum, but there is even more to offer! Guthrie has 1 pseudo museum, 3 museums and one fine arts museum, each with its own special focus and charm. Starting at the east side of town, you will find Owens Arts Place Museum which houses a magnificently diverse permanent collection as well as having 3 - 4 rotating shows throughout the year. Moving to the west we run smack dab into the Masonic Temple, which is not officially a “museum,” but does offer tours of their world class collections, architecture, library, and furniture to the public through the year. Continuing west, we come to The Oklahoma Territorial Museum and Carnegie Library. These structures are a part of the Oklahoma Historical Society’s resources and are dedicated to honoring the history of the state from 1889 through statehood. As we travel into the downtown area to the west we find the Frontier Drug Store Museum which contains tens of thousands of examples of “cures, remedies, and instruments” from the early days of our state. You will be ASTOUNDED! As we continue west we will discover The Territorial Capital Sports Museum housing one of the largest collections of Oklahoma-related sports memorabilia in the country. Try to go by when the director, Richard Hendricks is there, he is a walking font of encyclopedic knowledge about everything and everyone associate with Oklahoma sports.
Visual art is everywhere in Guthrie; on buildings, in buildings, and in galleries such as Gallery Grazioso, Home Sweet Home On The Range, Aunt Gertrude’s Place, G Gallery and Glass Studio and others. Stop by one of them for a gander.
Of the lists that I have shared here, many are free or for a donation of what you can afford. I didn’t even mention school and church concerts or sports events which are the very funnest and bestest thing to do in any small town! Our parks are next to none, and we have a gob of them! Pickleball courts, horseshoes, basketball, tennis, frisbee golf, swimming, fishing, trails, our parks rock it all!!! These are just a fraction of the “assets” that Guthrie has to offer. Get out and enjoy your community, and if you can’t find what flips your switch, start what you want and invite your friends to join you. It just might BECOME something to DO IN GUTHRIE!!!!