Live and let live

The Skunk Whisperer shares his tips on how to keep pests away.



One of Ned Bruha’s earliest lessons in wildlife respect involved a chipmunk bite to the face. So it’s pretty obvious that his moniker, The Skunk Whisperer, is more symbolic than literal. In fact, rather than getting up close and personal with unwelcome critters in and around Tulsa homes, he prefers to remain hands-off.

Bruha is vice president of The Skunk Whisperer Inc., a Tulsa-based company with a “don’t trap, don’t kill” (except in extreme cases) approach to removing various species of “problem” wildlife from residences and businesses.

Even the most humane trapping can be harmful to animals when they’re relocated to unfamiliar habitats — where other territorial critters may kill them, Bruha explains. In contrast, some of his proven wildlife-management tricks include finding and blocking the trespassers’ main entry and exit points or tweaking certain architectural features that are attractive to them.

“There’s a solution for practically every situation that makes it so we can coexist with wildlife,” Bruha says.

Bruha realized this at age 7 when his father instructed him to get rid of chipmunks that were desecrating gravesites near their Wisconsin home. Armed with a pellet rifle, Bruha quickly learned that shooting or trapping all of the furry offenders was impossible. When his dad showed him how to bury hardware cloth around graves to create a barrier for the chipmunks, it was a lightbulb moment.

Because Tulsans live side-by-side with many species, Bruha notes that we must respect these animals and not keep them as pets to minimize our “human imprint,” which often has a detrimental effect on wildlife, and to avoid personal danger and possible infestation.

“Our angle is not just for the animals’ sake but for humans’ sake, too,” he says.

Wildlife prevention tips from The Skunk Whisperer, Ned Bruha

Does it sound like your attic is the Interstate 44 expressway for wildlife? Squirrels in your attic? Bats in your belfry? Raccoon family in your chimney? Skunk spraying your dog?
It can happen to anyone. Millions of dollars are spent each year repairing wildlife damage. Newly built and old homes are equally susceptible to wildlife entry.

Wildlife wants three things: food, water and shelter.

If we eliminate just one of them, they will typically move on to greener pastures.
A few types of shelter include: decks, leaf debris (rats and mice love leaves — snakes love rats and mice), your building crawl space, your attic, brush piles and thick underbrush.

Spring has sprung and, along with it, nature has generously replenished cute, fuzzy little creatures, which can potentially turn your lives upside down.

We are at the beginning of different wildlife species’ birthing seasons. Start preventative measures now.

Squirrels
This time of year, as in the fall, a majority of squirrels make dreys (squirrel nests) in trees and attics throughout the United States.

While these are amusing, cute, fuzzy creatures to some, they are rats with fuzzy tails to others.

Be aware that squirrels do not know the difference between chewing the bark off of a tree and chewing the insulation off of your electrical wiring.

Preventive measures should be taken immediately to head off thousands of dollars of potential damage.


Raccoons
Raccoons will soon be having their young (called kits and cubs) in chimneys and attics.
These adorable masked bandits can pop your attic roof vent off like a soda bottle cap, dismantle your roof, remove your chimney cap and be under your couch before you can bat an eye.

Along with their adorable young, they bring lice and their feces carry roundworm.

Skunks
Skunks are already raising a stink, and their activity is not even in full swing yet.
If you have one under your house, deck or outbuilding, time is of the essence — they are having their young now.

Once their young (called kittens) are born, evicting them becomes a time-consuming task.
Skunks are deadly accurate up to 15 feet with their essence, and it is the strongest, longest-lasting scent known to man.

This is not a pleasant wildlife fact if this smell penetrates your home.

Bats
Most Big Brown Bats never left Oklahoma, and most Small Brown Bats are returning to their summer roosts.

If they decided to make your building their home, you may need professional assistance.
Once their babies are born in mid- to late May, it will be late August or early September until they can be evicted without inadvertently killing the young and making a smelly mess.

Opossums
Opossums will soon create their own posse and invade garbage cans, crawl spaces and attics.

Their prehensile tails and unique hands and feet allow for acrobatic maneuvers that may bring them to your attic or under your deck.

Although their nocturnal, maternal educational program for their young is amusing to watch, you have the power to ensure that this new posse does not invade your castle.

Snakes
You are enjoying your big back yard when, low and behold, the soil moves. Snake behavior is unpredictable, so treat all snakes as though they are venomous.

What to do
Wildlife management professionals can assist you with evicting unwelcome houseguests of the wildlife type.

You can save time, frustration, headaches, heartaches and a lot of money by doing simple preventive measures yourself by purchasing common items at your local hardware store.

A few tips:

  • Be certain that all garbage can lids are tightly closed, and never lay garbage bags on the ground. Your garbage can is an attractive buffet to wildlife.
     
  • Although disheartening to hear, feeding the birds is an invitation for a wildlife invasion. You cannot possibly comprehend how feeding any wildlife can negatively alter your neighborhood eco system drastically.
     
  • Think hard before you feed the hummingbirds. The sweet, nectar smell not only attracts hummingbirds, bees, and wasps, but also skunks, opossums and raccoons.
     
  • Never feed pets outdoors. If you must, bring food in at night. Do not store cat or dog food outdoors.
     
  • Purchase and install a common dryer vent cover if your dryer vents out of a wall.
     
  • Thousands of dollars are spent each year in Oklahoma alone remedying damage caused by wildlife entry through dryer vents.
     
  • The little floppy doors on your existing dryer vent typically are less than adequate.
     
  • This $10 item (and the 10 minutes required to install it) is less expensive than replacing a dryer with a decomposing squirrel, skunk, raccoon or bird in it.
     
  • Keep your garage door closed.
     
  • Do not leave it open for ventilation or for pets to enter and exit.
     
  • Many homes unintentionally introduce wildlife dilemmas by unknowingly trapping wildlife in their garages. Wildlife may find it to be a suitable home, too.
     
  • Do not over-water your lawn. A lawn that is abundant with mole food (earthworms) may be full of dirt mounds quicker than a drier lawn, in some cases.
     
  • Keep your lawn manicured. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.
     
  • Taller grass will encourage snakes and other vermin to call your property theirs.
     
  • Consider having a wildlife management professional inspect your existing home, or your next home.
     
  • Pre-purchase inspections by a wildlife management professional who understands Integrated Pest Management. It can possibly save you thousands of dollars in future damage.
     
  • Eliminate brush and junk piles. Raccoons, opossums, snakes and skunks love this easy shelter.

Trapping
Before you resort to utilizing your Red Ryder BB gun (you’re going to shoot your eye out!), know that contrary to popular belief, it is illegal to use within the city limits.

Place your traps on the back shelf or donate them to Animal Control because there are very few species in Oklahoma that a homeowner can legally trap on their own.

Trapping is typically a waste of time and money if you still have holes in your building that wildlife can enter.

Wildlife is attracted to certain architectural features, and others will soon return to the scene of the crime, even if you fix their entry point.

Trapping is, at best, a temporary solution because another animal will soon fill the void in that territory and you cannot legally release wildlife in Oklahoma without proper permits.
Mother Nature immediately replenishes territorial attic-and- crawl-space-invading wildlife — but she does not do home repairs.

Put away the mothballs and fox urine, and concentrate your efforts on money-saving preventive maintenance.

 

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July 2017

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View map »


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Website »

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View map »


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More information

 join us in welcoming current Tulsa Artist Fellowship participant CARRIE DICKASON and her lively, inquisitive exhibit 'Revealing Patterns'.       'Revealing...

Cost: free

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mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
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Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 599-9200
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Cost: $10

Where:
The Venue Shrine
112 E. 18th St.
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 949-1345
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Cost: $10

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (319) 804-9727
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Where:
Utica Square
21st Street and Utica Avenue
Tulsa, OK
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Philbrook will host a talk with Chicano watercolor artist Wenceslao Quiroz, whose art is currently displayed in Cheech MarinÕs collection.

Where:
Philbrook Museum of Art
2727 S Rockford Road
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $5

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 921-3535
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Presented by The STEMcell Science Shop

Where:
The Boxyard
502 East Third Street
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $20

Where:
Safari Joe's H2O Water Park
4707 E 21st St
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Telephone: (918) 749-7385
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See dozens of 4-H and livestock exhibits.

Where:
Expo Square - Exchange Center & Pavilion
4145 E 21st St
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: $39-$49

Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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This exhibit features the work of Photographers of Tulsa Oklahoma Group, a group of talented local photographers that includes novices to seasoned professionals. PHOTOG members encourage and help...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton
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This traveling exhibition curated by Josephine Stealey, chronicles a history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

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 join us in welcoming current Tulsa Artist Fellowship participant CARRIE DICKASON and her lively, inquisitive exhibit 'Revealing Patterns'.       'Revealing...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

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Performances Fri., July 21 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 23 at 2:30 p.m Thurs., July 27 at 7:00 p.m Fri., July 28 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 30 at 2:30 p.m Tickets Tickets will go on sale...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
Boston Avenue Church
1301 S Boston Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: Music Office
Telephone: 918.699.0138
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Where:
American Legion Post 308
11328 E Admiral Pl
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Ed's Hurricane Lounge
3216 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 587-6426

More information

Cost: $10

Where:
Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (319) 804-9727
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
Smitty's 118 Tavern
118 East Main St
Jenks, OK
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Telephone: (918) 995-2277
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Cost: $30-$40

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Paradise Cove
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Monster mud trucks get down and dirty.

Where:
Tulsa Raceway Park
3103 N Garnett
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 437-7223
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Come face to face with dinosaurs.

Cost: $18-$34

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Telephone: 918.894.4350
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Cost: $10

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 921-3535
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Where:
Inner Circle Vodka Bar
410 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-2400
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - LandShark Pool Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Where:
Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame
5 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 928-5299
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Accio dancing shoes! DJs Uber and Afistaface will be spinning enchanting tunes.

Where:
The Unicorn Club
222 E 1st Street
Tulsa, OK  74135
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Telephone: (918) 551-7447

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Where:
Utopia Bar & Lounge
3508 S Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK  74145
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Where:
Dusty Dog Pub
5107 S Harvard
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 933-5473
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Cost: $10

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 921-3535
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Where:
The Max Retropub
114 S Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 895-6200
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Where:
The Fur Shop
520 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 949-4292
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Where:
The Bistro At Seville
10021 S Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Where:
Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 599-9200
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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-4208
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Broadway at Boston Avenue presents a musical comedy that shows loving families come in all shapes and sizes.

Cost: $10

Where:
Boston Avenue Methodist Church
1301 S Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Where:
Pepper's Grill
2809 E 91st St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 296-0593
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Grab a snack, find a seat, and let your imagination run wild! Each weekend in July, we’ll look at timeless truths from Hollywood blockbusters. At every service, you can expect a...

Cost: Free

Where:
Life.Church
7071 E. 121st Street S.
Bixby, OK  74008
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Sponsor: Life.Church
Telephone: 918-938-0900
Contact Name: Lesley Hemphill
Website »

More information

This exhibit features the work of Photographers of Tulsa Oklahoma Group, a group of talented local photographers that includes novices to seasoned professionals. PHOTOG members encourage and help...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton
Website »

More information

Car need washing?  Bring it on down to Jiffy Lube, 2726 S. Harvard, on Saturday, July 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The car wash will be hosted by Crossroads Clubhouse, a local...

Cost: Suggested donation

Where:
Jiffy Lube
2726 S. Harvard Ave.
Tulsa
OK, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Jiffy Lube
Telephone: 918.743.4720
Contact Name: Jason
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Practice your bird watching skills by picking up a bird species coloring sheet in the Visitor Center before you explore the Garden. Tulsa Botanic Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 for ages 13+; $4 for ages 3–12. 2 & under Free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

This traveling exhibition curated by Josephine Stealey, chronicles a history of American basketry from its origins in Native American, immigrant, and slave communities to its presence within the...

Cost: Free

Where:
108|Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108|Contemporary
Contact Name: Ellen McGivern

More information

Good Morning Bedlam is performing at Starship Records! Good Morning Bedlam's show is an explosion of energy with soaring harmonies, a banjo player that scissor-kicks in the air, a string...

Cost: Free

Where:
Starship Records
1241 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Contact Name: Christian Cole

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Children's Musical Theatre Main Stage production of "ANNIE" features area students ages 7-17 as the cast of this classic musical.  The cast rehearses and performs 4 to 5 shows on...

Cost: $14-$24

Where:
Bartlesville Community Center
300 SE Adams Blvd
Bartlesville, OK  74003
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Sponsor: Children's Musical Theatre of Bartlesville
Telephone: 918-336-0558
Contact Name: Jan Watt
Website »

More information

 join us in welcoming current Tulsa Artist Fellowship participant CARRIE DICKASON and her lively, inquisitive exhibit 'Revealing Patterns'.       'Revealing...

Cost: free

Where:
mainline art bar
111 n main street
tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-704-3330
Contact Name: katy eagleston

More information

Cost: $10-$45

Where:
ONEOK Field
201 N. Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK  74120
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More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
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Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
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Join RSVP of Tulsa at the new ballroom of the River Spirit Resort Casino for an evening of great food, music, dancing, and great silent auction items!  Summer casual attire - feel free to wear...

Cost: $125.00

Where:
River Spirit Resort Casino
8330 Riverside Drive
Tulsa, OK  74136
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Sponsor: RSVP of Tulsa, Inc.
Telephone: 918.280.8656
Contact Name: Jovada Miller
Website »

More information

Performances Fri., July 21 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 23 at 2:30 p.m Thurs., July 27 at 7:00 p.m Fri., July 28 at 7:00 p.m Sun., July 30 at 2:30 p.m Tickets Tickets will go on sale...

Cost: $10.00

Where:
Boston Avenue Church
1301 S Boston Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: Music Office
Telephone: 918.699.0138
Website »

More information

Where:
The Max Retropub
114 S Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 895-6200
Website »

More information

Where:
Crow Creek Tavern
3534 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 749-9100
Website »

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Where:
Elwood's
1924 Riverside Dr
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 949-9090
Website »

More information

Cost: $10

Where:
Comedy Parlor
328 E 1st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 921-3535
Website »

More information

Where:
The Cottage Art Gallery
1443 S Gary Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 728-1928
Website »

More information

Where:
Hunt Club
224 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 599-9200
Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Volcano Stage
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Website »

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Where:
The Wine Loft
7890 E. 106th St. S.
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 970-4766
Website »

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Where:
Mercury Lounge
1747 S Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Website »

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Where:
River Spirit Casino - LandShark Pool Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Website »

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Making plans for this weekend? You can't do better than The Drunkard & The Olio at the historic Spotlight Theater. You know you've always wanted to go, and now's your chance. And if...

Cost: Adults $20, kids $12, seniors & military $17

Where:
Spotlight Theater
1381 Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Inner circle goes tiki with Caribbean cuisine, tropical drinks, live music, and fire performers.

Where:
Inner Circle Vodka Bar
410 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 794-2400
Website »

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Where:
The Colony
2809 S Harvard Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 794-4208
Website »

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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Website »

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Where:
Riverwalk Crossing
300 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Website »

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Where:
Starship Records & Tapes
1241 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 583-0638
Website »

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Where:
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee Street
Catoosa, OK  74105
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Website »

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Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
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Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

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Where:
Soul City
1621 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 607-6005
Website »

More information

Cost: $5

Where:
The Blackbird on Pearl
1336 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Telephone: (918) 949-1345
Website »

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TULtalk


Details Make DoubleShot's New Digs Extra Special

Old bricks and reclaimed barn wood will give the brand-new coffee roasting HQ — set to open March 2018 — a distinct sense of history and place.

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Let's Get Metaphysical at H2Oasis

Whether you’re in need of a therapeutic massage or just spiritual development, the H2Oasis Conscious Lounge has everything you could want for the body, mind and spirit.

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4 things to do to this month at the Tulsa Botanic Garden

Stop and smell the roses with fun events and hands-on workshops.

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Top 4 Things To Do In Eufala This Summer

There's so much more to Eufaula than its namesake lake. Dive into a summer of fun and culture.

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Love and Laughs with Theatre Pops

July 14-16th, two plays, “Constellations” and “Every Brilliant Thing,” will look at two things we want most in life: love and purpose.

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