Hundreds Expected In Pawhuska For Rocket Launch Event

Friday, September 23rd 2016, 8:27 pm
By: Tess Maune

A Green Country runway will serve as a launch pad for about 400 rockets this weekend.

It's the only event of its kind in Oklahoma; where kids can watch rockets soar into the sky and where it’s okay for adults to act like kids again.

“There'll be kids out here like crazy,” said Tulsa Rocketry co-founder, Hal Ellis. “It's just irresistible.“

Tulsa Rocketry is a club that's been around since 1989.

Ellis said, “We're kind of like big kids that never quit playing with these toys. Essentially, we're just playing with bigger toys now.”

Friday, members set up at the Pawhuska Municipal Airport for the club's biggest event, the High Frontier rocket launch.

There will be hundreds of rockets at the event; some will go up to about 2,000 feet, but others could soar as high as 15,000 feet.

This is the 13th year for the launch.

“It gets bigger every year,” Ellis said.

And it brings in visitors from all over Oklahoma, as well as four other states.

More than 500 people are expected be there this year, giving Pawhuska a perfect opportunity to showcase its town.

“People go to Texas and Florida to see the big launches, well, these are our own little launches that we can see on our weekend here. It's just a good event,” said Rex Wikel with the Pawhuska Chamber of Commerce.

And people like Ellis would say launching rockets is a fascination that will never fizzle.

“Something you built with your see that slip the bonds of earth,” he said. “Gets ya. Gets me every time.”

The range will open both Saturday and Sunday at 9:00 a.m. and close at 5:00 p.m.