A town that’s been all but erased comes back to life every December when the Picher-Cardin All-School Reunion Committee hosts a Christmas Parade.
It’s held the first Saturday of December each year, from the headquarters of an old pharmacy that was the last business to close.
“We just miss each other,” said Susie Stone, who helps organize the parade. “So we thought we'll do it and if 100 people show up, we'll make 100 people happy, and it blossomed. It's so much fun, so much fun.”
Now in the seventh year, the 'Coming Home for Christmas' parade was a mile long, with more than 65 entries and more than a thousand people watching.
“People still love Picher and that's why they come out,” said Bud Dunning. ”Everybody comes back to Picher if they were born here, raised here, or lived here,” said Fred Barnett.
With almost all of the old homes cleared, most streets abandoned and blocked, and large piles of chat left behind, there’s not much to attract people except the memories of their hometown.
“No one knows what it's like to lose your home, your church, your friends, your history,” said Susie Stone. “You lose everything that's a part of you. And this gives us one day to have it back.”