‘Holy City of the Wichitas’ facing possible closure

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WICHITA WILDLIFE REFUGE, Okla. – A popular tourist destination at the Wichita Wildlife Refuge is in danger of closing its doors if help doesn’t arrive soon.

The Holy City of the Wichitas has been a landmark in the area since 1935, but it could close if changes aren’t made.

Officials tell KSWO that they need about $150,000 to restore the landmark and fix the pipes.

At this point, there is no running water, no working bathrooms and issues with the electrical wiring at the site.

“It’s been a challenge. We are having to send everyone three miles down the road to use the restroom. And with people traveling and when they get out of their car, the first thing they want to do is use the restroom, so having to tell everyone that we have no restrooms, no running water anywhere, it’s been hard,” said Denna Dolch, the caretaker of the property.

Each year, the Holy City puts on the nation’s longest running outdoor Easter Passion Play, which attracts hundreds to the area.

The site doesn’t receive state funding, so it relies on donations to help with the upkeep.

However, organizers say without help, the event and the landmark will close.

“That’s the deciding factor on if we stay open or not. We need everyone’s help to keep us going. It’s such a beautiful place and without everyone’s help, we are not going to be able to keep it going, keep it open,” Dolch said.