Oklahoma Town Using State-Shaped Welcome Sign


Monday, November 1st 2010, 11:45 am
By: News On 6


Craig Day, News On 6

WAUKOMIS, Oklahoma -- It's not often a rock makes the newscast, but you're about to see one unique rock. 

It is out of the ordinary, but yet it should look familiar too all Oklahomans. 

Start the slideshow

Waukomis, Oklahoma is a town of about 1,200 people in Garfield County. 

It's a community getting attention because of a new attention getter on the outskirts of town. 

"We never expected to find one like that," said high school junior Andrew Mack. 

The rock is what the whole town is talking about.  

"Everybody in church was abuzz about it," said Tim Vanover, FFA advisor. 

Abuzz about a giant rock that looks a whole lot like the state of Oklahoma.  It will now be a welcome sign for the town.

"It's a beautiful rock," said Tim Vanover. 

It's beautiful and it's also impressive how this whole thing got started. 

A bunch of teenagers in the Waukomis FFA program wanted to replace their old beat up welcome sign. 

"The drunk driver hit it and tore it all to devil and everything," said Tim Vanover, FFA Advisor. 

"Kind of thought to get a concrete sign, a square one that said welcome to the community, and we found this one," said high school junior Garrett Sharp. 

"We dream about a welcome sign, but we didn't realize our dream was going to get to this size, this magnitude," said Tim Vanover. 

Ten tons, 17 feet long, seven feet tall.  The giant chunk of limestone, which was uncovered on a construction site near Ponca City, hasn't been altered one bit. 

"You would have to do a lot of digging to get a rock that is shaped like Oklahoma like this.  You may not ever find another one again," said Tim Vanover. 

Word spread that the FFA chapter was looking for something out of the ordinary. 

"Started out, it didn't necessarily have to be shaped like Oklahoma.  Just something unusual.  It came out like Oklahoma and it couldn't be any more unusual," said Tim Vanover. 

What isn't unusual is that volunteers donated everything from the rock, to the heavy equipment to haul and hoist it, to materials and sandblasting and engraving. 

It's not just a welcome sign, it's a monument to coming up with an idea, and Oklahomans getting behind it.

"Everybody just kind of comes together, Oklahoma is that kind of state," said Tim Vanover. 

So if you ever travel down state Highway 81, think of that giving Oklahoma spirit. 

"Impressive.  Very very impressive," said high school junior Garrett Sharp.

As you drive by Waukomis' new welcome sign standing tall. 

"We sure enough got a rock big enough that nobody is going to miss it," said Tim Vanover, FFA advisor. 

The sign will be engraved, with something like "Waukomis FFA, our community welcomes you.  Drive Safely." 

The News On 6 wants you to send us ideas for our Oklahoma's Own segment, just give us a tip.