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Freedom Oklahoma Annual Rodeo
Lisa Varga and Anita Waggoner
Lisa Varga gets into the bull barrell in Freedom, Oklahoma

Freedom a small country cow town is situated in a beautiful green valley nestled along the Cimarron River in Northwest Oklahoma smack dab in the middle of Tornado Alley, though it is rumored very few tornadoes have ever touched down there. In 2023 the population of Freedom is 179.

Local’s welcome tourists into their town during the third weekend in August each year when thousands of rodeo fans arrive to attend the Annual Freedom Rodeo.

The town of Freedom was established eight years after the 1893 Cherokee Outlet Land Run. The U.S. government originally purchased the land in 1891 from the Cherokee Indians. Freedom was established as a town in 1901.

The Santa Fe Railroad Company built a railway line running between Waynoka and Buffalo, Oklahoma. Its lines ran close to the town of Freedom. By 1928 the town was prospering. Freight trains made daily stop, new businesses developed, and Freedom soon had a grocery store, auto repair garage, drug store, barber shop, lumber yard, meat market, hardware store, produce shop, feed yard, a coffee shop, hotel, and bank.

In 1928 the population of Freedom was two hundred fifty-one. When Cheyenne arrived, the population was two-hundred-eighty-one.

The main street of the old western town features wooden store fronts and wood sidewalks. The town has the potential of becoming a popular Oklahoma tourist destination.

There are no stoplights in this one-horse town. There is a school with grades from one to twelve, town hall, post office, legion hall, tiny western museum, sewing shop, two country cafes, rodeo arena, bank, and a saloon.

Cheyenne once imagined Freedom could easily have been a ghost town in a movie set when she saw tumble weeds blow down the dusty main street.

Cheyenne enjoyed the country lifestyle and the comfort it provided. She longed to be a part of Rowdy's laid back lifestyle.

There was no law enforcement in Freedom… no police, judge, or jail. The town folk seem to  resent any law getting anywhere close to their town. Word spreads fast among them when a state trooper or sheriff’s vehicle is staked out nearby.

Freedom farmers are forever challenged by drought wind, rain, and insects. Many farmers in Northwest Oklahoma seem to exist on a prayer and a shoestring.

Cheyenne thought. Things haven’t changed much around Freedom since the dust bowl and Great Depression!

Cheyenne's favorite time of year was in the early spring when the rolling green wheat fields resembled expansive golf courses appearing to go on forever.


Freedom residents are hard-working, honest survivors who cherish their old-fashioned way of life. They honor their neighbors and value family traditions.

Cheyenne found she needed to be rough, tough, strong, ornery, and a little crazy to survive in Freedom. She thought. What doesn’t kill you in Freedom only makes you stronger!

Cheyenne held her head high. She let the townspeople deal with her attitude. It drove some crazy not knowing who she was or where she came from. It took a special attitude and presence for a newcomer to be accepted in Freedom.

In the beginning, life in the secluded cow town left Cheyenne feeling liberated and free. In the end, it became impossible to stay.



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