History of the Green Corn Festival
The Bixby area is known for its fine home-grown produce and has the reputation for being the GARDEN SPOT OF OKLAHOMA. Its location in the Arkansas Valley flood plane contributes to its rich fertile bottom land.
Bixby gained its nation-wide reputation as the GARDEN SPOT during World War II when its produce was shipped to every state in the nation. The old Farmers Market Co-Operative on the east side of Memorial (next to the railroad tracks) was in full swing during this time, operating 24 hours a day and shipping roasting ears of corn out by the box car. The corn was graded and packed five dozen ears to a sack and loaded on box cars in alternate layers of ice. During this time, the Tulsa Tribune reported that “during a three week period, over 21 box cars of BIXBY golden corn were shipped from the BIXBY area every 24 hours.”
It was during this time that the late Clyde Miller, who was a prominent grower and shipper, decided after a very fruitful season, to reward and share his good fortune with his pickers and packers. He organized a festival, which included food, games and music for their enjoyment. His efforts were well received by not only his employees but the town’s people as well. Thus, the idea of the BIXBY GREEN CORN FESTIVAL was born.
Over the years, the festival had been sponsored by several different civic organizations and had been an on-again off-again affair until the OPTIMIST CLUB OF BIXBY resurrected it in 1975. The OPTIMIST CLUB added a new dimension to the festival in 1980 with the sponsorship of the MISS BIXBY SCHOLARSHIP PAGEANT. The pageant provided a new method of selecting a MISS BIXBY and a young lady to represent Bixby. The objective of the BIXBY OPTIMIST CLUB in sponsoring the festival is to provide an atmosphere in which the citizens of BIXBY and their friends can meet and renew old friendships.