A strangely named Oklahoma town and its Labor Day weekend tradition: The Gotebo Get Down

GOTEBO, Okla.-- Organizers were up pretty early at the town park getting ready for a combination Labor Day weekend celebration and reunion.

"We're going to have vendors on the north and south side," says 'Get Down' committee person Sharon Williams.

She could already kind of pre-vision where the crowds were going to be.

"So out here we're going to have kids activities; bouncy houses here, horseshoes, and corn hole."

All Hornets are returning back to the nest.

"Oh yes," says Williams. "It's going to be a lot bigger than what it's been."

They call this the Gotebo Get Down, a party held every year since 1997 when it became clear that Gotebo needed something more than just the retail trade to bring people back to town.

"Old school friends," says Williams, "People from the community, and this year we've got people coming from all over."

Taking a look back to Gotebo Get Downs before they were called that, you can tell people here kind of liked any excuse to get together.

There was a really good turnout for the Wedel's Department Store opening in March of 1909.

The town's two oldest 'Bobbies', Bobby Geis and Bobby Dacus -Osmond, two Hornets from the Class of '52 always liked any excuse for a 'get down'.

"We always come to the Get Down," says Geis. "Now we're getting a little old."

"You look forward to it every year," echoes Bobby Dacus -Osmond.

There was a Kiowa chief named Gotebo.

Early leaders changed the name from Harrison because freight kept going to Harrison, Arkansas. Confusion or not, the 'Harrison Get Down' just doesn't have the same kind of ring.

From the old school, to the old gym, once a Hornet always a Hornet.

Even from the old pictures you can tell they love a good Get Down whenever they can get it.

The Annual Gotebo Get Down for 2019 takes place Saturday, Aug. 31 starting with a parade at 11 a.m. and ending with street dance that night.

'Is This a Great State or What?' is sponsored by WEOKIE.

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