Cindo de Mayo draws big crowd and a win for Tourism ; Community

by Charles Gerian

Blackwell was the place to be on May 5 thanks to Blackwell Tourism Group, which hosted the city’s first-ever Cinco De Mayo event at the Blackwell Fairgrounds.

Sherry Buellesfeld said the idea had been in development for a while and that the final product was the result of the right people bringing the right concepts together.

“We met in January of 2022, and the idea of celebrating Cinco de Mayo came up,” Buellesfeld said. “We were coming out of COVID, and we hadn’t been able to do much for the community, but we wanted to recognize the Hispanic community especially. So, the third week of February, our board met and decided to go for it.”

She said things “miraculously” fell into place.

“Kim Shoffner pulled a committee together, bringing in Osmara Tabor and other key volunteers and board members and made it happen,” Buellesfeld said.

George Becker, who is also on the tourism board, joined Buellesfeld in thanking the City of Blackwell, the Blackwell High School cheerleaders, Kay Electric, King and Claudia Goff, Dairy Queen, Farha Wholesale, the Blackwell Public Library, McDonalds, the Blackwell Fire Department and Melissa Hudson with the Top of Oklahoma Museum for helping with the event.

“During the planning, we were hoping for 150 to 200 [people],” Becker said. “We were thrilled at the turnout for this first-time event that drew over 500.”

Blackwell Tourism has a hand in events throughout the year, including the Christmas tree lighting and Night of Lights parade. On the Fourth of July, committee members give a silver dollar to each child who decorates a bike or other entry for the parade.

In the last two years, the group has purchased thousands of dollars’ worth of Christmas lights, sponsored the downtown window-painting contest and added to the barn quilt trail by painting a large American flag on the grain bin at the Blackwell Co-Op.

“We continue to bring visitors to Blackwell with the geo-cache trail and are working with

the community foundation to provide the sidewalk murals at the police and fire stations and City Hall,” Buellesfeld said.

Board members are Deonne Gates, Mitzi Neuman, Lynne Field, Brenda Russell, George Becker, Cindy Oard, Kim Shoffner, Lea