Things to do in Chickasha
For 28 years, Chickasha Festival of Light, a volunteer-run, non-profit organization, has been transforming Shannon Springs Park’s 43 acres into a magnificent light display during the holiday season. What started out as a small group of local citizens with a dream to spark community spirit has become a nationally-recognized Christmas light display.
The enthusiasm that the Festival of Light creates for the citizens of Chickasha transcends the borders of Grady County, bringing in visitors each year from across the United States. Much of the success of the festival is due to hard-working volunteers. A small board of directors lead the organization, meeting and planning all 12 months of the year. Our community volunteers serve as gate greeters, display designers, lighting crews, fundraisers, photographers, traffic guides, graphic artists, entertainers, and much more.
Starting in 2021, the Festival has expanded into Downtown with its weekly December at the Depot events. Every Friday and Saturday until Christmas, come to the Rock Island Depot to see pop-up shops, food trucks, entertainment, and more! Shuttle service is available to and from the light show; tickets can be purchased at the depot.
Chickasha Leg Lamp
Introduced in 2020, the 40-foot Leg Lamp—inspired by “A Christmas Story”—has appeared downtown for the holidays and for special occasions. Besides being an award-winning tourist attraction, the fixture pays homage to late Chickasha resident Noland James, whose work inspired the movie version. Watch the full story below, and come see the lamp for yourself downtown at the Rock Island Depot!
The Grady County Fairgrounds, a Works Progress Administration (WPA) project originally constructed in 1939, received a complete renovation in 2000. The Grady County Fairgrounds has a wide heritage including being utilized for a Prisoner of War Camp during World War II.
Since renovation, the fairgrounds have evolved into a multi-purpose event center and a tourism destination point. The facility is host to thousands of events, including rodeos, performance horse shows, dog shows, concerts, roping events, cutting horse and team penning events, livestock shows, numerous local and statewide educational events, sports activities and the largest antique car swap meet in the nation. All buildings are conveniently located and connected with covered breezeways; eliminating weather issues. It has big family amenities surrounded by small town charm.
Conveniently located off I-44 and only 30 minutes south of Oklahoma City, the Chickasha Sports Complex makes for a great place to host your tournaments. We accept tournament bookings six months in advance. The sports complex includes:
- 15 Baseball and Softball fields
- 11 Soccer Fields
- Two traditional T-Ball fields
- Portable Baseball mounds available for all age groups
- 3 Football Fields
- 3.1 mile Cross Country Course. Course can be made shorter to accomodate any length of race.
The council was incorporated in 1991 as the Washita Valley Arts Council until its reorganization in 2000 as the Chickasha Area Arts Council. The council was revitalized as a direct response of community strategic planning thoughout the Oklahoma Community.
The streets of Historic Downtown Chickasha are full every Fall for a three day festival.
The Rock Island Arts Festival
- Artisans’ Booths
- Crafter Booths
- National and local bands / musicians.
- Performing Arts
- Children’s Creation Station
- Mainstreet Merchants’ Treasure Trove for Children
- Exquisite food vendors
- Art Demos on the Grounds
- Wine / Beer Tastings
Annual Food Truck Championship
The Oklahoma Food Truck Championship in Chickasha features at least 30 food trucks spread throughout three city blocks. Come sample some of the best local food truck offerings, and take in plenty of live music in between bites. Guests can also sip on craft beer provided by Canadian River Brewing, explore the Rock Island Arts Festival or participate in mobile axe-throwing competitions. For a taste of Oklahoma, paired with plenty of fall fun, head to the annual Oklahoma Food Truck Championship in Chickasha.
Ride the Rock
A charity bicycle ride featuring routes of varying distance run by Chickasha Rock Island Ride, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit. Held in conjunction with the Rock Island Arts Festival and the Oklahoma Food Truck Championship.
The Chickasha Community Theatre provides year-round entertainment with locally produced plays and shows. Our community theatre will become addictive for everyone who loves the fun and entertainment of live theatre.
April’s Dance Studio
Children at April’s Dance Studio receive the finest training in the area. The studio offers ballet, tap, jazz, pointe and hip hop for students beginning at pre-school age through adult. The Dance Studio has earned the reputation of a top quality school that puts the children first and focuses on dance education and performance. The instructors use a progressive learning system that stresses good, clean technique.
Gina Zhidov Photography offers a variety of photography classes, from the most basic level to more advanced techniques and working with Photoshop.
Paint on Canvas is a painting workshop designed for anyone wanting to create a masterpiece on canvas. At each workshop, Carrie Chavers, a gifted artist, will guide you through the stages of completing a painting in just a few hours! Have a night out with your friends. Have a group, or club party where everyone does a beautiful painting to take home.
The Grady County Museum is housed in the former Dixie Department Store building, renovated to house the museum and various vendor spaces. The museum contains area history from all decades focusing on Grady County. Collections include early historical documents from the formation of the state of Oklahoma, records of early pioneers settling in the northwest corner of the Chickasaw Nation and Geronimo Hotel murals dating from pre-statehood.
The museum also features Rock Island Railroad artifacts, military items relating to Borden General Hospital and the W & B Flying School dating from the WWII era, Grady County school artifacts, a barn and homestead house exhibits. The museum also has a vast collection of photographs dating from 1895 that document the development of Grady County.
Lake Chickasha was built in the late 1950s as an alternate water source for our community. Since it’s construction the lake has also provided many water recreation activities. The recreation activities at the lake are under the direction of the Chickasha Parks and Recreation Department.
On January 14, 2014, a Park System Master Plan was adopted by the City Council. This plan included several recommendations for the lake. The Parks Department is working with the City Council to implement a new strategy to make the lake one of our premier parks.
When the program is implemented, the department will start developing new restroom facilities along with new campsites and other infrastructure that will make the lake a nice, family-friendly place to spend time.
Lake Burtschi in southwest Oklahoma is located 10 miles southwest of Chickasha. Lake Burtschi has 3 miles of shoreline and 180 surface acres. Facilities include Boat Ramps, Group Facilities, Outdoor Grills, and Picnic Areas. You can also fish for Channel Catfish, Largemouth Bass, Sunfish, Walleye and White Bass.
Chickasha is an easy drive to many lakes and state parks where you can enjoy camping, fishing, boating, hiking, skiing and other outdoor activies:
- Turner Falls
- Red Rock Canyon
- Fort Cobb Reservoir
- Lake Arbuckle
- Lake Murray
- Lake Hefner
- Lake Overholser
- Lake Arcadia
- Clear Creek Lake
- Lake Texoma
Mount Scott and Medicine Park are a short 40-minute drive from Chickasha. There you can hike, fish, rock climb, swim and camp along with many additional outdoor activities.
Located on the eastern edge of the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, Mount Scott is one of Oklahoma’s most prominent mountains. A three-mile-long paved road leads to the summit and a breathtaking view of southwest Oklahoma. The peak towers 2,464 feet above sea level. Parking is available on the summit so that you can get outdoors and enjoy the vistas and some rock hopping or hiking. Don’t forget to bring your camera to snap photos of the beautiful views from the top of Mount Scott.
Medicine Park, OK
The story of Medicine Park began in 1908, when it was founded as Oklahoma’s first resort town. The founder, John William Elmer Thomas, fell in love with every aspect of it, from the unique cobblestone deposits, to the mountains and plains that surrounded the town, to the wilderness beyond the horizon. He bought the land and began construction on what he called the “Medicine Park Summer Resort and Health Spa”, referring to the medicinal qualities of the nearby Medicine Creek that the Plains Indians had told him about.