An original way to enjoy the pre-Christmas season is the 25th Annual Minco Honey Festival.
The chamber of commerce of Minco organized the event to attract people to this city of only 1,654 residents. “The idea was to offer a ‘small town Christmas’ environment and it’s been a success as thousands of people continue to visit Minco every year for the festival,” said Jamie Reed, beekeeper at the Ross Honey Company and owners’ daughter.
A pancakes and sausages breakfast is held for early morning people, from 7 to 10 a.m. at the First Methodist Church on highway 81, two blocks north of Main Street.
Then the main activities will start at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. with among other, the wind farm tours, a quilt exposition made by locals in the Baptist Church Fellowship Hall and handcrafts market of items and foods with over 100 vendors in the Minco High School.
In addition tours at the popular Ross Honey Company will help people to understand all the processes necessary in the production of honey. Also named Clover Bloom Honey, the company was founded in 1935 by Glenn and Kay Gibson and relocated during the 40s in Minco. Today the Ross family, the 2nd and 3rd generations, manages the biggest honey farm in Oklahoma.
“We were able to still pack over 16,000 pounds of honey last year,” Reed said. “We are all passionate about our wonderful product and have many loyal customers who come from all over to purchase it.”
In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Clover Bloom Honey, the company has published a honey recipe book available at the festival.
The notorious Lucas Ross, another member of the Ross family and a multi-awarded polyvalent artist, will be present through the day signing autographs and playing his album “Son of beekeeper”. He will play with his unique banjo decorated for the celebration of the 80th year of his family company.
“Most of the songs are inspired by my parents’ business,” Ross said. “Being a Ross from Minco, it’s just part of our life. The first time I ever performed live comedy in front of an audience was at the first honey fest in 1990.”
Minco is also famous for its production of milk, and a distribution of free samples of cheese, chocolate milk and milk will run at the city hall during the event.
The United States produced 178 million pounds of honey in 2014 according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Due to a lack of data collection concerning the honey business in Oklahoma, the last report, dated from 2012 with 264 farms, reported collected honey for a total of 86,894 pounds. One reason is that the registration of an apiary is on a voluntary basis according to the Oklahoma apiary act and rules.
For more information concerning the 25th Annual Minco Honey Festival go on http://www.minco-ok.com/minco/festival.htm.