Six Grady County attractions nominated for “Best in Chickasaw Country”

by Jessica Lane, The Express-Star

The 10th Annual “Best of Chickasaw Country” includes six nominees from Grady County.

In January, the Chickasaw Nation accepted nominations of businesses, restaurants and other attractions in south-central Oklahoma. Chickasaw Nation residents will vote for their favorites among the top five nominees in 14 categories.

Voting will take place between Feb. 10 and 28. Vote now at The winners will be announced on March 22.

Grady County nominees include:

Best Festival: Festival of Light in Chickasha

Best Wedding Venue: The Plantation at Coal Creek in Tuttle

Best Run or Ride: Rock Island Ride in Chickasha

Best Museum: Grady County Historical Museum in Chickasha

Best Live Performance Venue: Washita Theatre in Chickasha

Best Casino: SaltCreek Casino in Pocasset

Festival of Light 

The Chickasha Festival of Light returns to the ballot in 2022 after claiming the winning title as Best Festival in 2021. The Festival of Light will celebrate its 30th anniversary this year. The festival has grown to include carnival rides, food trucks and a skating rink. Last year, the festival debuted a shuttle bus to transport visitors from downtown Chickasha, directly to the festival.

The Plantation at Coal Creek

This event center in Tuttle has the capacity to host a variety of events including weddings, proms, birthdays—including quinceaneras—reunions, outdoor festivals and more. The facility can accommodate a guest list of up to 450 people. The Plantation at Coal Creek is set on 45 acres with 25 acres dedicated for the Coal Creek Winery and Vineyard.

Best Run or Ride

There is a route for every level of cyclist in the Chickasha Rock Island Ride. Riders can take it easy with no hills, no frills or get their calves burning on more challenging terrain. The bike ride raises thousands of dollars every year for local charities. In 2021, the Rock Island Ride raised and distributed $9,000 which was distributed among the Chickasha Emergency Food Pantry, Mobile Meals of Chickasha, the Salvation Army of Grady and Caddo Counties and the Chickasha Shop with a Cop program. The ride is held in conjunction with the Rock Island Arts Festival and Oklahoma Food Truck Championships in the fall.

Best Museum

The Grady County Historical Museum is nestled within the Dixie Building on Chickasha Ave. There is a surprising number of artifacts and documents stashed within the space that tell the story of Grady County. The Grady County Historical Society Facebook page also regularly features many of these pieces of local history.

Best Live Performance Venue 

The Washita Theatre is the home of the Chickasha Community Theatre. The performance art venue has a vibrant schedule of plays featuring local thespians. In a previous life, around mid-century, the historical building was a movie theatre. The iconic movie marquee now announces the name and dates of upcoming theatrical performances.

Best Casino

Those who visit the SaltCreek Casino in Pocasset may find themselves staying awhile. The casino has more than 600 electronic and table games, food at the Fork Café and drinks at the Brook Bar. Patrons may also leave the casino with a few souvenirs from the Reflections Gift Shop.

The Best of Chickasaw Country includes eight other categories in south-central Oklahoma: Best Attraction, Best BBQ, Best Boutique, Best Family-Friendly Attraction, Best Lake, Best Golf Course, Best Lodging and Best Overall Dining.