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With no mandatory COVID precautions, large weekend events happening across Green Country


The inaugural Route 66 Heritage Festival is being setup in Miami, Okla. (Courtesy Mayor Bless Parker){ }{p}{/p}
The inaugural Route 66 Heritage Festival is being setup in Miami, Okla. (Courtesy Mayor Bless Parker)

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With COVID cases on the rise, there are a lot of big events taking place this weekend in Green Country.

Without a state of emergency in place, many will go on as planned without mandatory precautions.

For the first time ever, the city of Miami will kick off its Route 66 Heritage Festival July 30-31.

Miami Mayor, Bless Parker, said you can get your kicks for free.

"This is the place to be Miami, Oklahoma," Parker said.

Parker was battling COVID in the hospital last November.

As of Thursday evening, Integris Miami said its ICU beds were full and it was difficult to transfer anyone in the NE Oklahoma, SE Kansas, SW Missouri, and NW Arkansas area.

Miami is located in Ottawa County where only 29% of people 12 and up are fully vaccinated according to the state health department.

The Mayor got his shots.

"I had COVID and I didn't want it again," Parker said. "That doesn't mean someone else needs to just because I did. That's a personal choice."

Compared to Ottawa County, Tulsa County has 52% of folks 12 and up that are fully vaccinated.

This weekend the fairgrounds will host the Akdar Shrine Circus, a gun show, and a horse show. Meanwhile, the BOK Center will host the PBR.

Ralph Klumpp, past potentate for the Akdar Shrine, said they won't require those in attendance to mask up.

"We have face masks available on request and sanitizer throughout the building," Klumpp said.

The circus normally comes in February, but was forced to reschedule because of COVID, Klumpp said.

Chad Blakenship, senior vice president for the PBR, said he's happy their event could be in Tulsa during its normal time of year.

"In Tulsa, there aren't presently restrictions, so we are selling at full capacity at this point," Blakenship said. "We are encouraging fans to wear masks. All of our personnel are either vaccinated or participating in a multi-phase COVID testing protocol."

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