Saturday, February 22, 2014
"The Pearl of the Plains..25 Years and Beyond"
As Featured on Discover Oklahoma:
History of our Oyster Fry
Bramlett Johnson didn't know what he was starting in 1952 when he
decided to bring back oysters from the Gulf of Mexico to share with
friends and family! The story goes that he purchased a gallon of oysters
while he was fishing off the coast of Texas. When he returned to Manitou,
Oklahoma, he prepared the oysters and served them to his family, the
Manitou school board, teachers, and their families. Everyone enjoyed
the meal so much that the idea of holding an annual oyster fry as
a fund-raiser for the Manitou PTA was suggested. As they say, the
rest is history!!
The first year of their official fund-raiser Oyster Fry, the Manitou PTA purchased 4 gallons of oysters and charged $1 a plate for the dinner. The PTA made $30 free and clear that first year (1953). They continued to hold the Oyster Fry each year, and it grew a little bit bigger each time. People came from all over Southwest Oklahoma and North Central Texas to get their fill of oysters, fried and raw! In 1983, the Manitou PTA served 120 gallons of oysters to 724 people. That was the last year the event was held in Manitou. The price of oysters had risen to the point that it was not as profitable as it once had been. It was harder and harder to find a place big enough to serve everyone and to find the dozens of volunteers needed to prepare, cook, serve, and clean up after the event. It was decided to discontinue the event after 30 years!
In 1990 the Frederick Chamber of Commerce and Industry revived the Manitou Oyster Fry. Frederick, Oklahoma, continues this traditional Oyster Fry on Feb 22nd, 2014 at the Prather Brown Center, located at 211 South 13th Street. Serving will begin at 3:25 p.m and last until 6:25pm.
The menu includes homemade cole slaw, potato chips, bread, and iced tea, coffee, and, of course, oysters! Some hardy visitors choose to eat their oysters raw, but most would rather have them breaded in Manitou's original recipe and fried to perfection!
Other activities are the Arts & Crafts Show, starting at 11 a.m - 7:00 pm right next door at the brand new Frederick Elementary/Middle School Gymnasium, located just north of the cafeteria where the fry will be.
Admission to the Arts and Crafts show is free and open to the general public. Many visitors come early to do some shopping, antiquing, grab some lunch at a local restaurant, visit Hackberry Flat Wetland, and then tour the Pioneer Heritage Townsite Center. Some even stay overnight after eating their fill of oysters!
Advance Purchase Tickets are $18.00 and can be purchased by internet at www.frederickokchamger.org, phone at (580) 335-2126, or mail from the Frederick Chamber of Commerce, 100 South Main Street, Frederick, OK 73542. We accept credit card orders by internet, phone or mail. Tickets will also be available at several business locations in Frederick - Box, Inc., First National Bank, BancFirst, Jackson Funeral Home, Frederick ACE Hardware, and McFall Pharmacy.
Tickets will be $20 the day of the Oyster Fry.
Due to rising postage costs, tickets Will NOT be
mailed out, they will need to be picked up at the Fry at 211 South 13th Street, or before the Fry at the
Chamber Office at 100 S. Main.
If you need more information on the Frederick Oyster Fry, please call (580) 335-2126, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.