About the Foss Lake Christmas in July Festival

Our Origins: Honoring Desert Storm Veterans

Have you ever wondered how or why the Foss Lake Christmas in July Festival was started 30+ years ago? It all began with a group of residents at Foss Lake who wanted to honor the men and women who had been involved in Desert Storm. They felt like these Veterans who served never had the kind of recognition they deserved.

Founders and Visionaries: L. C. Murphy, Carman Mikles, and Bill Farmer

Three of the men who began the festival were L. C. Murphy, Carman Mikles, and Bill Farmer. In the beginning, there was a lighted boat parade followed by a huge fireworks show. The festival was only 1 day, which was Saturday. In just a few years, the festival began to grow.

Lighting up the Lake: The Early Years of the Festival

Vendors were added, and several special events were incorporated, beginning with a special program on Friday evening where the Veterans and current military people are honored. As the festival grew, the Foss Lake Association began to take on projects around the lake with money made from the festival.

Growing in Size and Scope: From 1 Day to a Weekend Celebration

Some of the projects the Association has provided include storm sirens around the lake, habitats for the fish, repairs on some of the docks, purchase feed for the buffalo, while they were there, and help purchase a Side-scan sonar for Foss Lake, which helped solve two 40-year-old cases of missing people. Annually, the Association gives a sizable donation to the Veterans Center at Clinton. There are numerous other areas that the Foss Lake Association has been able to help with improvements throughout the years.

Uniformed men presenting the American and Oklahoma flags at Foss Lake Christmas in July.
Color presentation at Foss Lake Christmas in July, with uniformed men proudly displaying the American and Oklahoma flags.

Special Events and Programs: Honoring Veterans and Military Personnel

As the festival grew, several special events and programs were incorporated to honor Veterans and military personnel. These events provide a platform to express gratitude and show appreciation for their service and sacrifice.

Giving Back to the Community: Projects by the Foss Lake Association

The Foss Lake Association actively takes on projects around the lake, using the funds generated from the festival. These projects aim to enhance the community and contribute to its well-being. Storm sirens, habitats for fish, dock repairs, and the purchase of a Side-scan sonar are among the many initiatives undertaken by the association.

Enhancing Safety: Storm Sirens and Lake Improvements

One of the significant projects funded by the Foss Lake Association is the installation of storm sirens strategically placed around the lake. These sirens play a vital role in ensuring the safety of residents and visitors by providing early warnings during severe weather events.

Protecting Wildlife: Habitat Creation and Preservation

The association has also focused on creating and preserving habitats for the fish in Foss Lake. These efforts contribute to maintaining a balanced and healthy ecosystem, benefiting the diverse wildlife that calls the lake home.

Solving Cold Cases: The Role of Side-scan Sonar

Through the purchase of a Side-scan sonar for Foss Lake, the association played a pivotal role in solving two 40-year-old cases of missing people. This advanced sonar technology enabled the discovery and resolution of these long-standing mysteries, bringing closure to the families involved.

Supporting Our Veterans: Donations to the Clinton Veterans Center

An integral part of the festival’s mission is to support and honor our Veterans. As part of this commitment, the Foss Lake Association makes a substantial annual donation to the Veterans Center located in Clinton. This contribution aids