GUTHRIE — The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation and a coalition of conservation organizations, agencies and sponsors have come together to present Oklahomans with an annual Wildlife Expo Program.
The expo, which began Friday and continues through Sunday, runs 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at the Lazy E Arena, southeast of Guthrie. There is no admission or parking charge.
“This is a way to expose Oklahomans to the nature and wildlife that surrounds them,” said Mike Chrisman, wildlife information officer and volunteer organizer.
Chrisman said last year's three-day event was attended by about 55,000 people.
The Department of Wildlife Conservation dedicated the first day of the expo to children, who came on school field trips.
Chrisman said that on Saturday and Sunday, mostly families or a mixture of adults and children will attend, although participation is open to everyone for all three days.
“If children come as part of a school field trip, a parent has to accompany them,” said Jesse Tordillo, a teacher's assistant at Bishop Public School in Lawton. “It's a nice way to encourage family involvement.”
Tordillo accompanied her son, Kekoa Tordillo, 10, who said his favorite part of the trip was kayaking in the expo's indoor water pool and learning about the animal species native to Oklahoma.
“We are from Hawaii, so this is all very new to us,” Jesse Tordillo said.
“It's really educational.”
In addition to kayaking, the expo offers participants the chance to try archery, fishing, knot tying and arts and crafts.
Educational seminars regarding Oklahoma wildlife also are offered.
Sponsors and participating organizations that have booths in and outside of the arena offer participants the chance to learn about hunting, shooting, wildlife species and traditional cooking.
Nestled outside near a pond where children learn how to fish, members of Heartland of the Prairie Dutch Oven Society's Guthrie branch showed onlookers how to use a Dutch oven to cook everything from Mississippi mud pie to duck stew.
“It's a lost art,” club member Lorri Lyn said.
“Dutch ovens are old cast-iron pots that pioneers would bring with them while traveling across trails. They're hundreds of years old, but still perfectly good to cook with.”
If you go: Wildlife expo
• Saturday: 8 a.m.
to 6 p.m.
• Sunday: 8 a.m. to
• Information: To learn more, go to www.wildlife