June is a big month here in Broken Bow, Oklahoma. We not only throw the biggest celebration of the year during June, but we also hold one of the largest regional art shows in the area! Come to Broken Bow between June 13-22, 2015 and take in our art, culture and community entertainment during the Kiamichi Owa-Chito Art Show and Festival of the Forest!

You may look at the name “Kiamichi Owa-Chito” and wonder what in the world it could mean, and we would love to offer a quick lesson.

Kiamichi is the name of the ancient range located approximately 50 miles to the north of Broken Bow. However, while most call the range a “mountain range”, these peaks technically do not meet the definition of mountains, whose height reach at least 1000 feet in elevation. Once as tall as the Rocky Mountains, these hills have eroded down to their present 700- to 900-foot elevations of today!

The name Owa Chito likely came about from the language of the Choctaw, the largest tribe of Native Americans found in the area. Owa means “hunt” in the Choctaw tongue, and Chito means “big”.  Or “The Big Hunt.”  Long ago, the Choctaws were located in Louisiana, but once a year they would cross the Mississippi River to come west for their “big hunt”, seeking buffalo to sustain their tribes: besides their meat, buffalo were hunted for their skins that were used for clothing and shelter, and their bones and organs which provided a variety of items used in the tribes’ daily life – nothing was wasted! As time passed, the tribe was required to travel farther to find buffalo, bringing them to the Red River region for the very first time before their journey on the Trail of Tears 1831.

In the spirit of “The Big Hunt” and the Native Americans’ connection to the land, their music, and all living things, Broken Bow goes all out once a year to recognize, well, everything. Our residents, our lore, our businesses, our diversity… basically everything you can find in the local area. It is our way of celebrating what and who we are, and also our way of inviting others to see how they can enjoy McCurtain County. And in the same light, we offer an exhibition of artists from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas.

The Art Show itself is actually held at the Forest Heritage Center Museum, located in the heart of Beavers Bend Resort Park. More than 100 regional artists’ works will be displayed: over 300 total pieces. The juried show is open to the public from June 13-21 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m, and from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. on June 22.

The Festival of the Forest will be held June 19-21 at Beavers Bend Resort Park and features both the old and the new. To name just a few, there will be forestry competitions, a fiddle contest, area musicians, children’s games, a 5K run, canoe race, a golf tournament, and of course the vendors which include local artisans of all types… there is truly something for everyone at the Kiamichi Owa Chito Art Show and Festival of the Forest.

The Festival portion of the event begins and ends with music. Festivities begin with the Battle of the Bands on Thursday, June 18 at 6:00 p.m., and end with the Saturday Night Headliner concert which features country music personality Mac Powell. But these aren’t the only times that music will be heard at the event: performers will play at the Group Camp Stage throughout the weekend.

June is the perfect time to get away to Broken Bow, and You certainly won’t regret visiting during the Kiamichi Owa-Chito Art Show and Festival of the Forest. Beavers Bend Creative Escapes is happy to host your Oklahoma vacation in June!