Much of central Oklahoma is scenic two lane byways meandering through homey little towns like Goldsby, Lexington, Washington, Wayne and Purcell, aka “The Heart of Oklahoma”.
Off Interstate 35 between Exits 91 & 95 just 20 miles south of Oklahoma City, is the prosperous community of Purcell, a paradise for antique shoppers and home to some of the country’s largest and most prestigious horse farms. (Did you know that more horses are bred and born in Purcell than most anywhere else in the U.S.?)
One of the most exciting times of the year is upon us and the City of Purcell goes all out for the holidays with their impressive “Lights from the Heart”, an effervescent display of millions of tiny stars winding their way around Purcell Lake’s shoreline.
If friendly animated exhibits like leaping elves and ski jumping bears don’t honk your horn; or the awesome beauty of an iridescent Ice Cave and the shimmering Snowflake Tunnel don’t take your breath away, then the pageantry of its reflection on the lake will certainly do the trick. Take the 2 mile tour in your own vehicle or by horse drawn carriage, and follow the Angels as they herald the way to Bethlehem and the newborn baby Jesus.
This is one of the best holiday light festivals I have ever encountered; a huge variety of toys of all shapes and sizes, animated displays, and brilliant tunnels. Hardworking city employees invest heart and soul putting together this ambitious exhibit; with individuals and businesses from across central Oklahoma contributing to its success.
It costs nothing to visit “Lights from the Heart”, but donations do help keep it beautiful and open from 5:30pm each night through New Year’s Eve. Something new for 2008 is the Shepherd’s Hut where the family can gather for a picture with St. Nick and thaw out with a warm cup of cocoa.
If that isn’t enough, the red bricked streets of downtown are the setting for Purcell’s 20th annual Christmas Parade on the evening of December 4. This year’s theme is “Santa’s Workshop” which promises floats of yuletide cheer and friendly faces.
The town’s many eateries and expansive antique shops will be open long hours during the holiday season. Interstate billboards advertise over 150,000 square feet of antique inventory and more than 200 vendors in Purcell. Personally, I think that is an understatement. Whatever your fancy may be - vintage glass to vintage clothing; Fiesta ware to fancy linens, anything you can imagine and more – you will find it on Main Street.
In addition, Amtrak offers daily rail service from Oklahoma City to Fort Worth (and vice versa) with stops morning and evening in Purcell. The station is a mere 2 blocks from downtown where you can shop, tour and eat to your heart’s content. There is even a “saloon” for those so inclined and 3 motels and a Bed & Breakfast if you decide to stay over.
The Heart of Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce will fill you in on anything I may have missed. Visit them online at www.theheartofoklahomachamber.com or call 405/527-3093.