American pie

Through its 80 years, Bama Pies has gone from upstart to worldwide success.



Courtesy Bama Cos.

Decades ago, a scrappy Texas woman named Cornelia Alabama Marshall began baking pies to support her struggling family. Word got out, and lines formed down the street outside the small Dallas store where she worked.

People loved her pies. And they still love them today, even if they don’t always realize they’re eating a Bama Pie (or one of the company’s other products).

Eighty years later, Cornelia’s granddaughter, Paula Marshall, is running the company, which under her leadership has grown from a respectable $30 million in sales in 1984 to a pie powerhouse with over $350 million in sales last year.

Marshall traces the company’s success back to her grandmother, whom she calls “Grandma Bama,” the great matriarch who not only enabled the whole business with her pie-making proficiency, but also infused an ethos that is baked into the company’s formula for success to this day.

Cornelia Alabama “Bama” and Henry “Big Dad” Marshall // Courtesy Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County Library and Tulsa Historical Society, and Bama Cos.

 

“She was absolutely the heart and soul of the company,” Marshall says. “The recipes for the pies, and the desire to make only high-quality, good products came from her. She insisted on good ingredients and always making things the right way and training people how to do it. These were the tenets of her business.”

Turns out, the apple pie doesn’t fall far from the production line. One can imagine seeing in Paula Marshall what one likely would have seen in her grandmother: a spunky, energetic woman, determined to succeed in business the right way, with a focus that puts quality and people at the top.

“Our philosophy is to make high-quality products, sell them to our customers and to treat people right,” Marshall says.

In case anyone should forget, this uncompromising conviction is enshrined on a plaque on the stone façade of Bama’s famous Route 66 factory (Pie Land USA) located on the corner of East 11th Street and South Delaware Avenue.

The effect of this philosophy is seen in the fact that the Bama Cos. employ over 900 people and operate factories worldwide. Bama also counts among its clientele two of the world’s biggest fast food entities: the No. 1 hamburger restaurant chain and the No. 1 pizza restaurant chain. Bama supplies handheld pies, biscuits and pizza dough to these food giants.

 

Building a company; not as easy as pie

From its early days, the company was a family enterprise that grew organically as Grandma Bama’s husband, Henry, worked hard to sell his wife’s pies as far and wide as possible.

“My parents used to joke that my granddad had two left hands and two left feet and was a complete klutz in the kitchen, but he never met a stranger and he had a knack for sales,” Marshall says. “He could sell dirt to farmers.”

It was good pies, pure grit and a little bit of luck that kept Bama going through the difficult years of the Great Depression in the 1930s. And, as her children grew older, they took their mother’s recipes and their father’s sales moxie and fanned out to different cities in the Midwest, starting Bama Pie outlets in each. One of those cities happened to be an oil boomtown called Tulsa, where Marshall’s parents settled.

Marshall’s father, Paul, had dropped out of school after eighth grade to work in the family business. According to Marshall, he was nothing if not determined to sell as many of the big, round pies to as many customers as he could find. During World War II, he learned to fly and would deliver pies to air bases around the country. However, the pie business was a grind, with long hours spent overnight in the factory, on the road or in the air.

“My dad, he hated getting up at midnight, working through the night and delivering products the next day,” Marshall says. “He wanted to find a better way. He was always looking for the next thing.”

One of those “next things” was freezing the pies overnight, which allowed Bama to switch to more normal business hours. The frozen pies became extremely popular with women working in factories during the war who didn’t have time to do baking themselves. Paul also landed some large accounts, including Safeway and Bob’s Big Boy. Still, it wasn’t enough. Marshall remembers her father being gone most of the time, his car crammed with frozen pies as he set out to find even more customers.

“He kept saying he had to find a customer that would sell a million pies,” Marshall recalls. “And that’s when he started playing around with the concept of a handheld pie product and began to move away from the big, round, frozen pies. My mom would look at him like he was crazy, not believing there would be customer that would sell a million of them.”

Courtesy Bama Cos.

 

Pie-in-the-sky innovation lands huge customer

Nevertheless, Paul went to work to develop a machine that could produce a small, handheld pie.

“I’ll never forget — he woke up the entire family in the middle of the night to come see this contraption he had made,” Marshall recalls. “I was complaining because I was tired and it was so early, but he had this machine where you put the pastry in, added fruit in the middle and then you turned the crank and pie came out. He only had an eighth-grade education, but he was a brilliant guy.”

It was a huge moment in Bama’s history. Now all that was needed for this pie-oneering invention was a customer. As fortune would have it, another up-and-coming business at the time was catering to America’s growing demand for tasty food on the go. That company was McDonald’s, and Paul Marshall saw a huge opportunity.

“My dad made a cold call on Ray Kroc (McDonald’s co-founder), and that was definitely the turning point for us,” Marshall says.

Kroc agreed that a 10-cent handheld pie was the perfect complement to McDonald’s food-on-the-go model of burgers, fries and shakes. The result was the formation of a longstanding relationship with Bama that has resulted in the sale of countless millions of apple and cherry pies.

By 1969, the Bama bakeries run by other family members had closed, and only the Tulsa factory remained.

“Out of five sisters and two brothers, my dad was the only one left,” Marshall says. “He was the one who had the big vision and saw the future in fast food. He moved away from doing business the old way by getting a great customer who would buy in volume and pay the bills.”

Bama Pies at East 11th Street and South Delaware Avenue in 1943 // Courtesy Beryl Ford Collection/Rotary Club of Tulsa, Tulsa City-County LIbrary and Tulsa Historical Society, and Bama Cos.

 

Proving herself and doing it her way

Although landing McDonald’s was a transformative event for Bama, rough times lay ahead as the elder Marshall suffered a heart attack. Suddenly, company succession became an issue. However, none of the sons appeared willing or ready to take over. Paula, who had been working in the factory for years and was a college student at the time, ultimately got the nod, if somewhat reluctantly, from her father.

“My dad always said he wanted a boy, a son, running the company, but the problem was that he and my brothers disagreed a lot and my dad kept defaulting to me for things,” she explains.

Paula Marshall continues her family’s storied tradition in the Bama Cos. The family-run business is based in Tulsa, but has an international reach that touches millions each year. The company has garnered several awards over the years, including the recent B Corp certification by the independent B Lab, a nonprofit focused on bettering society through businesses that meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency.

 

In her early 20s, Marshall was thrown into the fray, understanding the weight of her tasks at hand.

“I knew the seriousness of getting it right, but I also realized I had to do it my way,” Marshall says. “I guess I didn’t manage to screw too many things up,” she says with a laugh.

By the skin of her teeth, Marshall proved her worth and then progressively set about restructuring the company under the auspices of her business mentor, W. Edwards Deming.

“I’m such a big Deming zealot, you can’t believe it,” she says. “I love his philosophy.”

When Marshall took the reins in 1984, she began an unrelenting effort to improve the company by doing what her Grandma Bama had always done: focus on quality products. Bama gradually began diversifying its customer portfolio and building new factories in overseas markets. The corporate culture also began to change.

“My dad, as much as I loved him, he did things differently; it was more fear-based and militaristic,” Marshall says. “He did build a great company, but some things needed to be fixed. For example, when he got sick and was in the hospital, no one knew what to do. I had no idea where the formulas were; he used to keep key company information on napkins or paper towels with these little tick-marks on them.

“He didn’t really trust that people wouldn’t steal his stuff,” she explains. “I think it came from that Depression mindset that he had lived through.”

Today his daughter’s mindset, shaped by Deming, is helping position the company for continued success in the future.

 

Passionate about keeping it in the Bama family

Paula Marshall and her son, Jacob Chapman

That future, it appears, is one in which Bama will remain a family-held business. Marshall’s adult children are actively engaged with company
decision-making.

“I believe the one who works and has sweat equity in the business should have voting power,” she comments. “You see too many families that give everyone power, but they’re not invested in the business and so they’re not passionate about the company.

“We’re going to keep the business going with family members who have a passion for what we’re doing here,” she continues.

Her son, Jacob Chapman, has spent time on the factory floor and analyzing the efficiency of some of Bama’s manufacturing processes.

“I’m very passionate about it,” says Chapman, who also is a college student working on a business degree. “My own perspective is that the business has to stay in the family. We (family members) all have our own perspectives, but it’s great we can be in business together.”

Bama has hit a few rough patches over the decades, but today the private company — which does not disclose its financials — appears to be in its best shape ever. Marshall seems confident that when she is ready to hand over the reins to a successor, the company will continue to flourish.

“It’s about the business prospering and going forward, and that takes passion for the work and passion for the people, and if you have those, you’ll be successful,” Marshall says. “Then everyone around you will have that same goal, and that will keep the business alive and thriving.”

That’s a recipe Grandma Bama certainly would be proud of.

 

A Deming disciple

Probably no single person outside her immediate family has had a greater influence on Paula Marshall’s business management style than W. Edwards Deming.

You might call her a Deming disciple.

W. Edwards Deming // Courtesy the W. Edwards Deming Institute

Deming, a statistician, engineer and professor, had a profound impact on the way business management is conducted today around the world, and he is often credited with transforming Japan’s post-war economy, turning the defeated nation into an economic powerhouse.

Under Deming’s tutelage, Marshall transformed Bama’s management style and production processes, growing the company, reducing costs and waste, and increasing profitability.

Marshall was first introduced to Deming and his methods during a seminar in the 1980s as she struggled to fix Bama’s problems after taking the helm of the company. Through the years, she continued to absorb his teachings, and, more importantly, to implement them at Bama.

“With Dr. Deming, I wanted to bring in his quality management tools and to really revolutionize the company by putting processes in place that would bring us up to a standard of which we could be proud and our customers, like McDonald’s, could be proud,” Marshall says.

The key to Deming’s business philosophy is that it focuses a business on improving quality rather than focusing on reducing costs. He found that when companies did focus on quality, that products improved and costs came down.

Shortly after taking over at Bama in the mid-1980s, Marshall realized the company needed to focus on quality. When they did so, the improvement was dramatic. Instead of losing up to $4 million annually in scrap (12 to 17 tons a week) from poor quality, waste was cut to negligible levels.

“It was a great leap forward in quality,” Marshall comments.

With that focus, Bama went on to expand, building new plants in China and Europe to service a growing list of customers.

Deming’s teachings have allowed Bama to become a company that now sets quality standards, evidenced by its prestigious Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in 2004.

“We’ve come up from the bottom, and now we’re a company that our customers consider a strategic partner that they want their other suppliers to emulate,” Marshall says.

 

42 years of Wanda’s Bama Pie

Wanda Denton

Bama Pie has been a fixture in Tulsa for 80 years now.

Wanda Denton has been a fixture at Bama for over half that time.

She has worked at Bama for 42 years, each day donning her apron, putting on a hairnet and helping churn out millions of pies and other baked goods destined for pastry lovers near and far. “Working at Bama has become like a second home to me,” Denton says.

After decades of dedicated labor, she is now a production supervisor, overseeing the manufacture of signature Bama products, including biscuits, cookies, dough and, of course, pies.

On March 17, 1975, just as shag carpet and polyester bell-bottoms were peaking, Denton walked into the famous Pie Land USA factory at East 11th Street and South Delaware Avenue and went to work on the pie production line.

“My husband didn’t want me to work, but I thought I’d try it and maybe give it six or seven months — and here I am, all these years later,” Denton says.

She would box and stack freshly made apple and cherry pies made for Bama’s biggest customer, McDonald’s. Back in those days, the pies were fried. Today, they’re baked.

What’s her most striking memory? Heavenly aromas.

“Oh my! The smells,” Denton gasps. “They are amazing! The fresh pies right off the line or out of the oven, you can’t beat them. I tell every new employee, ‘You’ll put on 20 pounds just because of the smells.’”

The Tulsa native and Central High School graduate has seen millions of pies fly off the line and out Bama’s doors over the decades. During that time, she has seen her share of change at Bama for the better.

“They’ve always taken good care of us, but through the years there’s been a lot more focus on human safety, food safety and quality,” she explains.

She adds that production processes have become much more efficient as productivity and quality has increased. Production waste and scrap, which erode profits and customer confidence, have been cut drastically from decades ago.

Bama also added a Caring Center for employees that provides counseling and training to help workers overcome any obstacles or problems on the job. The goal is to minimize employee loss in the early stages of employment when turnover can be high.

What has kept Denton at Bama?

“The people,” she says. “They care about you here. They treat you right and respect you. They focus on quality training and safety and have good benefits. They take good care of their people.”

 

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American pie

Through its 80 years, Bama Pies has gone from upstart to worldwide success.

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Where:
The Coffee House on Cherry Street
1502 E 15th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
Centennial Lounge at VFW Post 577
1109 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $8

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Loony Bin
6808 S Memorial Dr
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival, Arthouse 18 presents the quintessential photo exhibit of this groundbreaking rock festival. The photographs are from the...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Zarrow Center for Art & Education
124 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-631-4400
Website »

More information

This photographic journey shines a bright light on true game-changers who had something poignant, meaningful and often prophetic to say – people who pondered, practiced, processed and...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Zarrow Center for Art & Education
124 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-631-4400
Website »

More information

On Jan 18, Kendra Scott will hold a special event in her Utica Square Store where shoppers can enjoy champagne, wine, non-alcoholic drinks and sweet treats from 5 - 7 p.m.  A portion of the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kendra Scott
1842 Utica Square
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: LIFE Senior Services
Telephone: 918-664-9000
Contact Name: Emily Fox

More information

In this exhibition, 108 | Contemporary will feature Oklahoma artist members by hosting a juried survey of their work. Included pieces will be constructed from fiber, wood, ceramics, metal, and...

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

Kendra Gives Back Join us for a Kendra Gives Back Event on Thursday, January 18, from 5 - 7 p.m. Enjoys sips, sweets and jewels in an upscale shopping experience. Twenty percent of the proceeds...

Cost: Free admission

Where:
Kendra Scott
1842 Utica Square
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: LIFE Senior Services
Telephone: 918-664-9000
Contact Name: Emily Fox
Website »

More information

TU's music and discussion series continues with violinists Maureen O'Boyle and Pete Peterson and cellist Lorelei Barton.

Where:
Meinig Recital Hall, Lorton Performance Center
550 S Gary Pl
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Garden CEO Dr. Todd Lasseigne will get you ready for spring with lively and informative talks on the third Thursday of each month. Talks begin at 6 p.m. Free for Garden members; regular admission...

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

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
Lot No. 6
1323 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $30-$50

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Paradise Cove
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Crow Creek Tavern
3534 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Cost: $4-$10

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 E 21st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Soundpony
409 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $10

Where:
The Vanguard
222 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Guests at this local talk show will include Chuck Stikl of Z104.5 The Edge and The Sports Animal, medical marijuana proponents Oklahomas for Health, musical guests Dane Arnold & The Soup and Kaito...

Cost: $5

Where:
The Venue Shrine
112 E 18th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
The Fur Shop
520 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
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This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

For only January and February - four-legged family members can join you for a walk at the Botanic Garden - Fridays and Saturdays in January and February only.  Dogs must be on a leash (no...

Cost: FREE for Garden members and member dogs; Regular admission for non-members and $

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival, Arthouse 18 presents the quintessential photo exhibit of this groundbreaking rock festival. The photographs are from the...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Zarrow Center for Art & Education
124 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-631-4400
Website »

More information

This photographic journey shines a bright light on true game-changers who had something poignant, meaningful and often prophetic to say – people who pondered, practiced, processed and...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Zarrow Center for Art & Education
124 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-631-4400
Website »

More information

In this exhibition, 108 | Contemporary will feature Oklahoma artist members by hosting a juried survey of their work. Included pieces will be constructed from fiber, wood, ceramics, metal, and...

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

Contact improv is about choices, listening, sharing and generosity. It is a partner dance form based on the physical principles of touch, momentum, shared weight, and most quintessentially -...

Cost: $18.75 or $15 with punch card

Where:
Fly Loft studio 3
117 N Boston
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »

More information

Where:
Lefty's On Greenwood
10 N Greenwood Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Fassler Hall
304 S Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
Osage Casino Tulsa - NINE18 Bar
951 W 36th St N
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Music Educators Association presents concerts featuring their Honor Band, All-State chorus, and All-State instrumental ensemble.

Cost: $18

Where:
Chapman Music Hall, Tulsa PAC
110 E 2nd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Centennial Lounge at VFW Post 577
1109 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $13-$54

Where:
BOK Center
200 S Denver Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Bistro at Seville
10021 S Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Crystal Skull
1005 S Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Wyld Hawgz
6151 E 31st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $13-$54

Where:
BOK Center
200 S Denver Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Philbrook Downtown hosts a special conversation with guest curator Colin Tuis Nesbit on the New/Now show, which features works by Tulsa Artist Fellows. The show will feature behind-the-scenes...

Cost: $20

Where:
Philbrook Downtown
116 E M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
The Run
3141 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
The Starlite
1902 E 11th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

For only January and February - four-legged family members can join you for a walk at the Botanic Garden - Fridays and Saturdays in January and February only.  Dogs must be on a leash (no...

Cost: FREE for Garden members and member dogs; Regular admission for non-members and $

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

This marks the first time this remarkable collection has been exhibited internationally. OKCMOA will present some of the most important works from the Victoria and Albert’s outstanding...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

This photographic journey shines a bright light on true game-changers who had something poignant, meaningful and often prophetic to say – people who pondered, practiced, processed and...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Zarrow Center for Art & Education
124 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-631-4400
Website »

More information

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival, Arthouse 18 presents the quintessential photo exhibit of this groundbreaking rock festival. The photographs are from the...

Cost: Free and Open to the Public

Where:
Zarrow Center for Art & Education
124 East M.B. Brady Street
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Telephone: 918-631-4400
Website »

More information

All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be allowed in to all 2017-18 ORU Athletics ticketed sports. ALL KIDS – IT’S FREE! is strictly a promotion. These tickets have no...

Cost: $12, $17, $22

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Sponsor: Mabee Center
Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Green up your surroundings in January! Register now for this hands-on workshop where you will create a living art piece (12" x 12") of succulents nestled into a wood frame. You can keep...

Cost: $85 for Garden members; $95 for non-members

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Website »

More information

In this exhibition, 108 | Contemporary will feature Oklahoma artist members by hosting a juried survey of their work. Included pieces will be constructed from fiber, wood, ceramics, metal, and...

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

Toyland Ball, held every January, is The Parent Child Center of Tulsa’s annual signature fundraising event. This black tie gala with a whimsical theme offers an elegant evening of dinner and...

Cost: $300-$25,000

Where:
Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: The Parent Child Center of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-599-7999
Contact Name: Melody Hughes
Website »

More information

All children ages 13 and under, accompanied by an adult, will be allowed in to all 2017-18 ORU Athletics ticketed sports. ALL KIDS – IT’S FREE! is strictly a promotion. These tickets have no...

Cost: $12, $17, $22

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Sponsor: Mabee Center
Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Box Office
Website »

More information

Planned Parenthood Great Plains hosts this Women's March after-party, which will feature a Feminist Art Wall where purchases benefit Planned Parenthood.

Where:
Mainline
111 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

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
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

The Spontaniacs! present “The 2018 Show”.  Yes, it's really here!  The show that's been 2,018 years coming!  Join us now as centuries of anticipation culminate at...

Cost: $8.00

Where:
pH Community House
306 S Phoenix Ave
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: The Spontaniacs!
Telephone: 918-521-9345
Contact Name: Eric Peterson
Website »

More information

Where:
El Coyote Manco
2160 S Garnett Rd
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Crystal Skull
1005 S Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $20-$35

Where:
Cain's Ballroom
423 N Main St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Cabin Creek
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Hard Rock Casino - Riffs
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Magoo's Billiards
5002 S Memorial Dr
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Lot No. 6
1323 E 6th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Lefty's On Greenwood
10 N Greenwood Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
C'Yote Club
822 S Sheridan Rd
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Bull and Bear Tavern
5800 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $8

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $13-$54

Where:
BOK Center
200 S Denver Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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
View map »

More information

Cost: $10-$40

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $15-$44

Where:
Reynolds Center
3208 E 8th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $37-$62

Where:
Brady Theater
105 W M.B. Brady St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
Bad Ass Renee's
6373 E 31st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
River Spirit Casino - 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

The Mindfreak unplugged.

Cost: $99-$129

Where:
The Joint at Hard Rock Casino
777 W Cherokee St
Catoosa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

The Quartet in Residence at The University of Delaware, Serafin String Quartet takes its name from master luthier Sanctus Serafin, who in 1728 crafted the violin SSQ violinist Kate Ransom plays.

Where:
Gussman Concert Hall, Lorton Performance Center
550 S Gary Pl
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $35-$55

Where:
River Spirit Casino - Paradise Cove
8330 Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

This free event will feature yoga workshops and lectures on alternative forms of medicine, including Reiki, Ayurveda, and herbal health.

Where:
Peace of Mind Books
1401 E 15th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

The Scottish Club of Tulsa and ScotFest host their annual tribute to the national bard of Scotland, Robert Burns. The event features a haggis dinner, scotch whisky,and readings of Burns' poetry.

Cost: $70-$110

Where:
Wyndham Hotel Tulsa
10918 E 41st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $15-$44

Where:
Reynolds Center
3208 E 8th St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $10-$40

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $8

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $13-$54

Where:
BOK Center
200 S Denver Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Wyld Hawgz
6151 E 31st St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
The Fur Shop
520 E 3rd St
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Cost: $5

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


Website »

More information

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


Website »

More information

Where:
The Pit Stop
816 Sheridan
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
The Run
3141 E Skelly Dr
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

Where:
Osage Casino Tulsa - NINE18 Bar
951 W 36th St N
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Website »

More information

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TULtalk


What are you doing this weekend?

Stumped on what to do this weekend in Tulsa? Take this short quiz and we'll plan the weekend for you, January 18-21.

Comments

QUIZ: Which Iconic Tulsa hat are you?

Find out whether you're a wide-brimmed wonder or ten-gallon titan.

Comments

QUIZ: What kind of soup are you?

Are you more of a sassy sweet potato curry or a cool cucumber gazpacho? Find out in this fun quiz, then get the recipe!

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2018 Charitable Events Calendar

A comprehensive look at at Tulsa's charitable events of 2018.

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GIVEAWAY: Win 2 tickets to NYE at the Mayo!

Take an intergalactic journey into 2018 at the Mayo Hotel's Interstellar Soiree!

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