It seems that the Lupps, featured in Prairie Hive Issue 3, were following right along “The Main Street of America” when they moved from Chicago, the starting point of Route 66, back to Jennifer’s family’s home in Bristow, Oklahoma. Right through the heart of this charming towns runs the Historic Route 66, a portion of it acting as Bristow’s own Main Street.
image via Oklahoma Historical Society
Once The Railroad Depot, this building is now home to the Bristow Historical Society Museum and Bristow Chamber of Commerce
image via Bristow Historical Society
Bristow is located in Creek County, Oklahoma and is situated along Interstate 44, between Tulsa and Oklahoma City. The town has a history that dates back to 1898 when the St. Louis and Oklahoma City Railroad expanded through the area and a post office was established. Prior to that, there was a trading post in this Creek Nation Indian Territory. The early residents in Bristow dealt primarily with cotton and produce, until the Oil Boom in the early 1900s. With the prosperity of this time, a great number of people, including many businessmen of Syrian-Lebanese descent, settled in this boom town of Creek County.
To celebrate their rich Lebanese heritage, Bristow throws an annual Tabouleh Fest on the second Saturday in May, on the historic downtown Main Street. Tabouleh (or tabouli) is a popular Middle Eastern salad consisting of bulgur, tomato, cucumber, parsley, mint, some onion and garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and salt and is served cold on romaine lettuce. It makes for a tasty and filling side dish. And it’s rumored that 40+ gallons of it are served at Tabouleh Fest!
The festival has a wide array of events. It hosts the Wildflower Run, a carnival, a rodeo and dance, live entertainment, craft booths, the Little Miss Tabouleh Pageant, the Bristow Idol Contest, tours of Bishop Brothers Tabouleh Factory, a Taste of Heaven Luncheon and, of course, a sprawling Tabouleh Bar.
This festival sounds like so much fun! Make plans for a little road trip in May and go check out all that Bristow, OK has to offer.
In the meantime, for more yummy tabouli and Lebanese steakhouses, you can visit Slyman’s Lebonese Foods grocery store in Bristow; Freddie’s Bar-B-Que and Steak House in Sapulpa, OK; or Eddy’s or Jamil’s in Tulsa or Oklahoma City (Jamil’s first restaurant was opened in Bristow!). (Read this interesting article about the history of these restaurants!) Or you can buy Bishop Brothers’ tabouli salad mix and make your own!
Check out VisitBristowOK.com or take a trip to the Bristow Historical Society Museum, which used to be the original train station, to find out more about this interesting town’s history (and some ghost stories, too!).