Book Your Valentine An Intimate Getaway with The Convention & Visitors Bureau
Looking for the perfect valentine gift? Gift your sweetheart with An Intimate Getaway Package offered by the Lawton Fort Sill Convention & Visitors Bureau!
Your Intimate Getaway Package starts on Saturday, February 9th, with dinner for two at the Apache Casino’s 360 Restaurant (Valued at $40). Following a delicious meal, you will have two tickets to the Lawton Philharmonic Orchestra concert, The Infinite Variety of Music - Bernstein and Mahler. Conclude your evening with a hotel stay at the Apache Casino Hotel. Don’t miss this incredible offer for a night on the town with your sweetheart!
An Intimate Getaway Packages Are Limited, Reserve Yours Today!
For more information, please call (580)-355-3541.
Lawton Fort Sill Convention & Visitors Bureau Spotlight
It has been a busy time at the Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau. January 4 & 5th the Comanche County Fairgrounds stayed busy with both the Great Plains Winter National Pig, Lamb and Goat show which brought livestock in from as far as Ohio and On Target with Kiwanis which had 400 kids registered for this archery tournament. We were excited to have the Fliptastics Star-Spangled Classic gymnastics competition which brought in approximately 400 gymnasts from across the state with their families for the weekend and as I write this article, we have finishing up the week-long Comanche County Basketball Tournament that hosted teams from Comanche County, Tillman County and Cotton County at the Comanche County Fairgrounds. It is amazing to think that approximate 3,000 people came through Lawton in the last month and the economic impact that it had on our community.
We are on the move, join the ride!
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
March 22 – 24 to check out the Southwest Oklahoma Corvette Club at the Apache Casino Hotel! There are going to hold The Big Show on Saturday, March 23rd from Noon – 3 pm and I am honored to have been asked to pick a car for the Convention and Visitors Bureau award at the banquet that evening.
March 29 & 30 will be the Xtreme Bulls at the Comanche County Fairgrounds. Extreme bulls is a PRCA- sanctioned bull riding event that will bring the top PRCA bull riders to the city of Lawton.
Fun Things To Do in Lawton This Week: Comanche County Basketball Tournament Starts Today!
Join us for the High School Comanche County Basketball Tournament starting TODAY at the Comanche County Fairgrounds! Cheer on the teams competing from various counties for the grand prize. This event is free and open to the public. To learn more, please contact Comanche County Fairgrounds at (580) 357-1483.
Your CVB on the MOVE: A Snapshot of CVB Sponsored January Events
Great Plains Winter National
To view more images from the event, please click here.
On Point Kiwanis
To view more images from the event, please click here.
2019 Fliptastic Star-Spangled Classic
To view more images from the event, please click here.
January's events were a blast! We look forward to continuing support of tourism into the Lawton Fort Sill Community!
Stay tuned for upcoming Convention & Visitors Bureau funded events!
CVB Sponsors Annual Comanche County Basketball Tournament
The Lawton Fort Sill Convention & Visitors Bureau announces sponsorship of the upcoming Comanche County Basketball Tournament on January 21-25 at Great Plains Coliseum.
The Comanche County Basketball Tournament is not only an annual event in the area, but has been a part Southwest Oklahoma for more than 70 years. The annual event is attended by thousands of fans traveling to the city eager to watch their favorite teams compete.
Exciting Announcement From the Convention & Visitors Bureau!
The Lawton Fort Sill Convention & Visitors Bureau is proud to announce that the United States Autosound Competition International Finals will be taking place in Lawton on Sept 20th-22nd! This would not have been secured without the hard work and efforts from our CVB Manager Shannon Yarbrough and Comanche County Fairgrounds Director Richard Pool!
Youth Drives Showmanship For Wichita Mountains Classic Show
Images provided by Photographer, Stacy Pearce.
The 2018 Wichita Mountains Classic Show ushered participants to showcase over 300 steers and heifers for the annual competition November 30th- December 2nd earning them points for State ranking through the Oklahoma Club Calf Association. Thank you to all the participants, sponsors, vendors and volunteers for the making the event a success!
To view images from the event, click here.
Tourism Conference & Upcoming CVB Sponsored Events
The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association will be hosting their Tourism Conference taking place on Monday, October 29th in Enid. To represent the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce and the Convention & Visitors Bureau, will be President & CEO Brenda Spencer-Ragland and Visitors Bureau Manager Shannon Yarborough. For this year’s program, the speakers will include LT. Governor Todd Lamb, Sheila Scarborough Owner of Tourism Currents and Account Director of Koch Communications, Amber Theinert. The goal of the program is to provide information and education on tourism initiatives through a range of topics. For more information on the conference, please click here.
The Annual Arts For All Gala will be taking place on Friday, November 2nd at 7:00 p.m. in the Great Plains Coliseum. The Annual Arts For All Gala garners hundred of attendees eager to celebrate the local arts community. In addition to a dinner reception equipped with live entertainment, there will also be a live auction for artwork and other items as well as exclusive ticket giveways for special prizes. All proceeds are to benefit the Arts For All members group, which support the Lawton community and educational institutions. To learn more, please visit www.lawtonafa.org/afa-gala.
Don't Miss This! The Annual Perfect Timing Pig Sale is happening on Saturday, November 3rd at 10 a.m. in the Comanche County Fairgrounds. Increase your chances to win at one of the largest pig sale auctions in the area. For more information, please click here.
To see more events happening in our community make sure to check out www.lawtoncalender.com!
Special Announcement from the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Brenda Spencer-Ragland
A Special Announcement from the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Brenda Spencer-Ragland
In an excerpt from a letter to the Lawton Mayor and City Council:
(Speaking on the Successful August Tourism efforts under our Convention & Visitors Bureau)
Tourism activities in August included hosting 3 groups and producing 562 trackable room nights with a potential economic impact of at least $56,452.90 to the City of Lawton. Provided sunglasses and tags to assist in recruiting the 2019 Oklahoma Parks and Recreation Department Conference. Partnered with the State Tourism Department to attend the DFW Women's Show to promote Great Plains Country and Lawton Fort Sill.
Second Quarter tourism effort for 2018-2019 will end with hosting the following 6 groups; FA of the1st Infantry Division Reunion, Oklahoma State VFW Fall Festival, Unity Christian International Pastor Summit, Shriners Conference, Inkin Oklahoma Tattoo Convention, and the Oklahoma Council for indian Education Conference as well as assisting with 5 events and producing 1, the Wichita Mountain Classic.
To read more on the special announcement, click here.
InkIn Oklahoma Takes Lawton For The Second Year This Weekend, October 26-28th!
InkIn Oklahoma Takes Lawton For The Second Year This Weekend, October 26-28th! InkIn Oklahoma features over 120 professional tattoo artists and vendors from around the world to showcase their talents in Lawton for one jam-packed weekend. In addition to providing their tattoo expertise, there will also be live entertainment throughout the weekend with performances by the Comanche Nation Youth Dancers, Code Roth and the Black Sheep Band and a host of others. There will also be a Pin Up Contest, Beard and Mustache Contest and several other special contests with exclusive prizes and giveaways. Mark your calendars for an exciting weekend from October 24-26th at the Apache Casino Hotel. For more information on the event, please visit www.inkinoklahoma.com.
Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America Host 2018 Horn Showcase & Upcoming Events
The Texas Longhorn Breeders Association of America hosted their 2018 Horn Showcase in Lawton for the fourth consecutive year on October 4th through the 6th at the Great Plains Coliseum. At the showcase, Texas Longhorn cattle were officially measured while competing for the longest horn length and title. The annual event drew more than 500 spectators and participants from across the world. The showcase brought in about 930 entries from around the world, including Canada, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, and the U.S.
The Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge will be hosting the 48th Annual Bison Auction on Thursday, October 18, 2018. Buyers can register and view animals starting at 9 a.m. and the bidding will start promptly at noon. All ages are welcome to attend and encourage to participate in the family activities. For more information on the event, click here.
To see more events happening in our community make sure to check out www.lawtoncalendar.com!
CVB Welcomes Oklahoma Council of the Blind & Upcoming Events
This past weekend the CVB welcomed the Oklahoma Council of the Blind for their 2018 State Convention. The weekend started off with a ribbon cutting for the new Lawton Chapter of the Oklahoma Council of the Blind and continued with a weekend full of Professional/Consumer seminars, Native American Flute maker and player, Southwest Pride Chorus and the Buffalo Soldiers Cavalry.
Events to keep a look out for…
Next weekend if you see an influx of motorcycles in our community it is because the Goldwing Road Riders are hosting their Oklahoma District Rally 2018 in Lawton! They will be out in our community doing a mural hunt, downtown business hunt and parade and light show at the VA center. To learn more check out their website www.gwrraokla.org/new-convention.html.
Don’t forget next weekend is also the 2018 International Festival in Elmer Thomas Park. The festival starts on Friday, September 28 at 5pm and go through Sunday, September 30 at 5pm. For more information on the festival visit www.lawtonok.gov/events/international-festival-2018.
For a fourth year in a row, October 4-6 Longhorns will not just be at the Wildlife Refuge, they will be taking over the Comanche County Fairgrounds as well! The Texas Longhorn Breeders will be hosting their 2018 Horn Showcase in Lawton. The weekend will be filled with Educational Seminars, Longhorn Sales, Bull and Embryo Alley and so much more! If you would like to learn more visit www.tlbaa.org/tlbaa-events/horn-showcase/.
To see more events happening in our community make sure to check out www.lawtoncalender.com!
2018 Wichita Mountains Classic Show Sponsors
The upcoming 2018 Wichita Mountains Classic Show is needing sponsors in support of the event. The annual event showcases the initiatives of youth in agriculture through the showmanship of raised cattle. The 2018 Wichita Mountains Classic Show features three main shows which include Steer, Heifer and the Junior Pre-Show. The event is a classic Lawton community show that receives participation from youth across the country as well as in the city.
To request sponsorship form, please click here. Once completed, please email form to Shannon at email@example.com or mail to the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce at P.O. Box 1376 Lawton, OK 73502.
Ware District Welcome
Thank you for your interest in becoming a vendor at our “Ware on C”. We are thrilled to bring Ware On C back for the new year and spring season!
On April 4th, we will host the next “Ware on C” community event, which will have the look and feel of a local block party to encourage community members to embrace what downtown Lawton has to offer. This Ware On C will have an all-new lineup of activities, live entertainment, giveaways and many opportunities to shop local businesses. The Ware on C community event will take place on 4th & 5th and C Avenue from 5:30p.m. to 8 p.m.
We invite you to review the vendor application carefully, complete all sections and return to the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce office or email Logan at firstname.lastname@example.org. At this time we will only be offering 30 vendor spots. Vendors will be required to set up at 3pm the day of the event. Vendor Pack information will be emailed on 4/1.
$25 For Chamber Members
$50 For Non-Chamber Members
$50 For Food Trucks
Free for Businesses on C Avenue
Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. We look forward to having your support!
Ware District Committee
To apply to be a vendor for the April 4th Ware On C, click Vendor Application.
Great Plains Country Annual Meeting
Lawton's tourism industry was well represented at the Great Plains Country Annual Meeting last week. The CVB Director, Taylor Burgess started off the meeting by welcoming the group to Lawton. Many members of the Convention and Visitors Bureau Advisory Council were in attendance, along with the CVB Manager. The guest speaker was John Hernandez, the Executive Director of the Museum of the Great Plains. Mr. Hernandez spoke on the impact the community has on the museum.
The annual meeting took place at the White Buffalo. Tourism leaders from all over Southwest Oklahoma came to hear the review of Great Plains Country's 2016-2017 year. One of the highlights from the year was GPC receiving a Redbud Award for Best Brochure or Publication with 11 pages or more. Lawton Fort Sill CVB is proudly represented in this brochure.
Lawton Rangers Rodeo
The club utilized the old county fairgrounds located just north of the Fairmont Creamery building at the time. In 1944 the county sold the fairground property and the Buckaroo Club disbanded. In 1958 the club purchased 40 acres where the current LO ranch is located. A new arena was constructed and the first Rodeo was held in the late 1960's. Over the years this arena has come to hold 9000 spectators.
In 2007 the Lawton Rangers received the prestigious honor of becoming the Centennial Riding Club of the state of Oklahoma. The rangers rode in parades all over the state promoting Rodeo.
Besides the rodeo, the Lawton Rangers are involved in numerous charities and civic events, such as the Lawton Rangers scholarship program, the Saddle &Sirloin Club, and Comanche Country Spring Livestock Show. The Lawton Rangers have been a part of Lawton's birthday celebration since the beginning of the club.
To learn more about the Lawton Rangers and their upcoming activities visit their website.
Tourism Professionals in Lawton
Tourism Ambassadors from 14 counties in Southwest Oklahoma will be in Lawton on August 3rd for the 2017 Great Plains Country Annual Meeting. The annual meeting will take place at 3 pm at the White Buffalo located in Central Mall. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 for non-members. You will hear all about what Great Plains Country has accomplished this past year, learn more about tourism in Oklahoma as well as a chance to network with our tourism partners.
3 of our volunteers serve on the GPC Annual Meeting committee including Tanna Vu of Hilton Garden Inn, Christi Chambers of OBI and Taylor Burgess with the Lawton Fort Sill CVB.
Great Plains Country Association is a full-time marketing group which promotes member attractions, events, and destinations through cooperative marketing programs. Great Plains Country works to develop, coordinate and implement tourism marketing campaigns for industry partners within the Southwest Oklahoma region. The Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitor Bureau is a proud member of Great Plains Country.
Upcoming CVB Events
August and September Events
Over the next two months expect to see an influx of visitors in Lawton. The Convention and Visitor Bureau will be sponsoring 4 major events in our community. These 4 events will bring thousands of visitors and numerous room nights to Lawton.
Lawton Ranger’s Rodeo
August 9-12, 2017 will be the annual Lawton Rangers PRCA Rodeo at LO Ranch. For advanced tickets visit http://www.lawtonrangers.com/. Last year they estimated around 31,000 attendees over the 4-night event.
Oklahoma Museums Association Fall Conference
Lawton was chosen to be the host city for the OK Museums Association Fall Conference which will take place September 20-22,2017. They are anticipating to have 500 people attend this conference. The conference will take place at Hilton Garden Inn and is hosted by The Museum of the Great Plains and the Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Southern Territory Men’s D Nationals
At the 2015 ASA National Conference Lawton was awarded the Men’s Class D Southern Slow Pitch Softball Tournament. This tournament will take place August 31-September 3, 2017. Registration is currently underway and they are estimating 15-20 teams. For more Information visit http://www.teamsideline.com/lawton
September 16, 2017, will be the Multi-Gun Championship held at Fort Sill. This is their inaugural event, a 3-Gun style competition that they hope will build and become a long running, greatly respected event in the world of Multi-Gun Competition, attracting shooters of all levels to Historic Fort Sill, Oklahoma. They are anticipating 250 shooters to participate.
The Museum of the Great Plains
The vast area of interior North America that stretches from Mexico to Canada, and from the Mississippi to the Rockies is known as the “Great Plains.” The Museum focuses on the past, present, and future of this area in their exhibits.
The Museum of the Great Plains is one of five members of the Oklahoma Museum Network (OMN). Every six months members of the OMN rotate exhibits, meaning each facility gets a different exhibit. Currently, through August, the Museum of the Great Plains is hosting “Tape & Tunnels.”
Lawton Ranger's Rodeo
On August 9-12, 2017 The Lawton Ranger’s will be holding their 79th annual PRCA Rodeo. The Rodeo will start each night at 7:30. The main events for each night is listed below:
Event 1: Grand Entry & Introductions
Event 2: Fort Sill’s Field Artillery Half Section
Event 3: Bareback Riding
Event 4: Introduction of the queens
Event 5: Steer Wrestling
Event 6: Saddle Bronc Riding
Event 7: Specialty Act
Event 8: Tie Down Roping
Event 9: Calf Scrample (Ages 12 and under)
Event 10: Team Roping
Event 11: Specialty Act
Event 12: Barrel Racing
Event 13: Bull Riding
Advance Tickets are available online. Visit https://www.ezticketlive.com/checkout/tickets.aspx?id=281
Wednesday is $5.00 a car load. As many as you can safely ride in your car/truck.
Thursday and Friday Night at the gate $15.00
Saturday Night at the gate $20.00
Children Tickets at the gate Thursday/Friday/Saturday
Children 5 and under: FREE
Children 6 to 12: $7.00
One of the final activities of the week celebrating Lawton’s 116th birthday and rodeo week will be the Birthday and Rodeo Parade in downtown Lawton. The Parade will start at 10:00 A.M. on Saturday August 12, the last day of the Lawton Ranger’s rodeo. To download an application for the parade go to http://www.lawtonrangers.com/lawton-birthday-rodeo-parade/.
Grand National Horseman Association's Playday Finals
On July 25- 29, 2017 The Great Plains Coliseum will host the Grand National Horseman Association's Playday Finals. This is a family-friendly event that brings over 300 people to our community and 100 horses. This year’s schedule of events includes barrel racing, potato racing, bowtie racing and more. The Convention and Visitors Bureau is a proud sponsor of this event. Many of our communities local businesses contribute discounts for the participants to use throughout their stay in Lawton.
Western Swing Music Society of The Southwest
The halls of the Great Plains Coliseum will be filled with Western Swing music July 13-15, 2017.
Do you have a passion for sports?
Do you have a passion for sports? Do you want to better our community? If the answer is yes, the CVB’s Sports Promotion Committee is the place for you. The committee will meet on July 12, 2017 at 1:30 in the First National Bank and Trust Board Room at the Chamber of Commerce. If you any questions please contact Taylor Burgess, CVB Director or Shannon Yarbough, CVB Manager.
Fort Sill Summer Concert
The Fort Sill Summer Concert, set for July 4 at Fort Sill Polo Field, will feature performances by the reigning 2016 New Country Artist of the Year Maren Morris, Aaron Watson, and Oklahoma’s own Chris Bullard followed by a firework show. The concert is open to the general public. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the gate. Children 6 and under are free. Tickets are available at Adventure Travel (Fort Sill Welcome Center and Central Mall), EZ Go Stores, Billingsley Ford, and online.
CVB Summer Events
This summer there will be many events in our community. That means tons of things to do and a surplus of visitors in Lawton Fort Sill.
Automatic 8th Veteran Reunion Group June 8th- 11th, 2017
Oklahoma Chautauqua June 20th-24th, 2017
Lawton Country Club Firecracker Golf Tournament June 30th- July 3rd, 2017
Western Swing Music Society July 13th- 15th, 2017
2017 Grand National Horseman’s Association July 25th-29th, 2017
12-U “A” Southern Nationals July 26th-29th, 2017
Lawton Rangers PRCA Rodeo August 8th-12th, 2017
Lawton Splash Pad
Progress continues at Elmer Thomas Park's splash pad! The Grand Opening for this new attraction is coming in July. This will be a great way to beat the heat this summer!
Celebrate our country’s Independence on Saturday, July 1 at the Lawton-Ft. Sill’s Freedom Festival in Lawton’s Elmer Thomas Park. The festival, with free admission and no parking fees, is a project of the Freedom Festival Committee chaired by City of Lawton Councilman Keith Jackson, City of Lawton staff and community volunteers. Festival opens at 11am and closes with one of the largest fireworks display in Oklahoma, choreographed to music!
The public is invited to bring lawn chairs, umbrellas/sunscreen, insect repellant, flashlights and picnic baskets. Please no pets, service animals only and no personal fireworks, alcohol or drones. For the public’s safety, a portion of the lake’s walking track/trail will be closed from 10 am Saturday, July 1 till 8am Sunday, July 2. The patrons of the park’s walking track are invited to stroll thru the festival grounds.
Freedom Festival’s events and amenities include:
• Parking adjacent to festival grounds
• Park & Ride, starting at 12noon, runs from Lawton High School & McMahon Auditorium to drop off near the playground in the park
• Sweet Temptationz Car Show and Wind River Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Show, open to all makes and models, Registration, 10am, Car and Motorcycle Show, 12am-4pm w/ award presentations at 3pm
• Dannie Carson in Concert, 2pm, across from the car show
• Food, drink and sales vendors: 11am through fireworks
• Activity Vendors, fee based: 11am through fireworks
Face Painting, Petting Zoo, Pony Rides & Mechanical Bull
• Free Bounce Houses: 11am-8pm
• Onsite ATM
• New! Throughout the day, watch live on Late Nite Lawton’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/
• Restroom facilities
• Lake side stage kicks off at 2pm with Mad Leon followed by Cross Towne Groove. At 7pm 77th Army Band, “The Pride of Fort Sill” will present a high energy concert to close the stage at 9pm.
• One of the largest fireworks display in Oklahoma, choreographed to music starts after the sun sets at approximately 9:30pm.
o LISTEN LIVE! Tune in to the live broadcast of fireworks' music on Magic 95, 95.3FM. Also listen via Magic 95's website, www.magic953.com and through their Apple and Android apps.
Call the Arts & Humanities Division at 580-581-3470/3471 or visit the City of Lawton’s website www.lawtonok.gov for more information. Also, visit the festival’s social media site on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
Convention and Visitors Bureau has successful month of May
In May the Lawton Fort Sill Convention and Visitors Bureau tracked over 1,000 room nights, launched the HASWO Ambassador Training Program, and hosted the Armed Forces Day Celebration.
The CVB receives fund from Hotel Motel Tax Collections to fund events that bring in visitors to the community. In May they supported 6 events that resulted in more than 1,000 room nights.
“Hotel Motel Tax collections are important for bringing in visitors,” said Carrie Paye, the Hotel Motel Tax Representative for the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce. “It gives us the ability to fund events that want to be in Lawton Fort Sill and help make those events successful.”
The Buffalo Soldiers Motorcycle , Artillery OCS Alumni Reunion and Fires Conference on Fort Sill had a total of 984, bringing in the most room night for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
The CVB also launched the HASWO Ambassador Training Program. The program provides lessons and information about the area, and allows anyone in the hospitality industry a chance to learn more about the area they serve in.
“We want everyone in our area to be able to tell our visitors what there is to do in Lawton,” said Hossein Moini, the Chairman of the CVB Advisory Council. “This training allows anyone in our community to be a tourism ambassador. It will empower our community to assist our guests better than ever before.”
The training can be found on the CVB website at www.visitlawtonok.com.
Along with their partners, The City of Lawton, the CVB hosted the Armed Forces Day Celebration. The event is held every year to honor the service members in Lawton Fort Sill.
“We look forward to this event every year,” said Taylor Burgess, Convention and Visitors Bureau Director, “This is our chance to honor the sacrifices many members of community make”
The parade had 109 parade entries including 16 military vehicles.
In June the CVB is launching their Visit Lawton Fort Sill Mobile App. The app will have many resources for visitors and residents alike.
For more information about the Convention and Visitors Bureau visit their website, www.visitlawtonok.com.
Veterans Group Comes to Lawton
Automatic 8 Veterans Association 7th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery will be in Lawton Fort Sill from June 8-11, 2017. They are anticipating over 100 members to join in the weekend. They are celebrating their 50th Deployment for Vietnam Anniversary. The unit was organized at Ft. Bliss, TX, relocated to Ft. Sill, OK, and deployed to the Republic of Vietnam in June 1967 where it fired in support of Allied Forces until July 1971.
On June 9 at 10:30 a dedication will be held for the 7th Battalion, 8th Field Artillery memorial 50 years to the date from which this unit left Ft. Sill for Vietnam. It will be at Constitution Park on Fort Sill. Followed by a Banquet at the Apache Casino Hotel on June 10, 2017.
Visitors in Lawton
This upcoming weekend our town will be taken over by motorcycles. The 2017 National Association of Buffalo Soldiers and Troopers Motorcycle Club will be hosting their annual event in Lawton Fort Sill on May 26-28. They are anticipating over 400 people to attend and around 300 motorcycles. This will be one of the biggest events our community has seen this year and we are expecting a huge economic impact from this group.