Pioneer Woman brings party to Pawhuska

Allison Weintraub
The Patriotic Party on the Prarie will conclude with a fireworks show begining at dusk.

The Pioneer Woman will be bringing her yearly Fourth of July festivities to downtown Pawhuska for a daylong independence celebration.

The Mercantile, in collaboration with the city of Pawhuska and the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce, have planned a bash for the Fourth of July that will combine the city’s annual Freedom Celebration Parade with other activities throughout the day.

Taylor Potter, the Mercantile’s director of operations, said the partnership was a natural course of action that was built off the city’s downtown parade.

“I think one of the reasons guests love coming to the Merc is because Pawhuska is such a special place,” Potter said. “There is so much small-town charm and so it’s a natural partnership to want to show that off and additionally, to get local businesses so they can take part in the festivities too.”

Followers of Ree Drummond’s blog will remember Fourth of July festivities of years past took place on the family’s ranch, but the Drummonds chose to move the celebration downtown for this year’s holiday, Potter said.

“Ree and Ladd [Drummond] just thought it’d be a lot of fun to bring the fireworks downtown and be able to involve people that come to visit the Mercantile and just have a great July Fourth celebration that involves the city and the public,” Potter said.

Festival attendees will be able to purchase food from one of the five outdoor booths that will sell burgers, sausage and corn-on-the-cob, along with two different color limited edition Fourth of July T-shirts, Potter said.

For entertinment, Pawhuskans may recognize bands like the Jason Savory Band, A Bar Bunkhouse Band and Rider’s Ford that will play throughout the day, because the Mercantile worked with Jeff Bute, who does musical recruitment for Cavalcade, Potter said.

Jackie Wilcox, owner of Spurs and Arrows, a gift shop in town, said not only will her business will be open on the Fourth of July but they will be selling unique hats and shirts. Wilcox said her goal for the event was to help people have fun.

“We just want everyone to come and have a good time and enjoy it,” Wilcox said.

Spurs and Arrows is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, along with the Mercantile. Wilcox said she was pleased with the way the Mercantile treats local businesses.

“The Merc has a section on its webpage where they list a lot of us merchants on there,” Wilcox said. “And [Ree Drummond]’s reached out to us, before they even opened. They had a soft opening and they invited all the merchants there. So, their cooperation with us, we really appreciate it

Fans are also invited to tour the Lodge on Drummond Ranch, the spot where Drummond films her TV show for the food network on July 3 and 4, Potter said. Tickets with directions can be picked up at the Mercantile.

City councilors discussed the proposed fireworks display during their June 6 meeting, noting that with the council’s blessing a fire truck would be present at the event.

“They’re Class C fireworks, so not a big display like you would have at the lake,” City Manager Mike McCartney said, after noting that the Drummonds wanted “to bring their fireworks to town.”

Potter said that the Mercantile hopes the event will be popular, but it’s all about saying thanks.

“We’re just so appreciative that after seven months, of opening the Merc, we still have people coming from all around the country to come visit us,” Potter said. “So, we hope to build on the people that are planning a visit and then, people in the area that are looking for something fun to do throughout the day on the Fourth of July.”