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Oklahoma Christian Revives Red Dirt Night Homecoming Tradition

On Friday Nov. 5, Oklahoma Christian University will be holding Red Dirt Night to close out Homecoming.

The event, which celebrates Oklahoma Christian, as well as Oklahoma’s Statehood, will last from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will lead into a pep rally directly afterward.

Senior Monique McKeever, who oversees this year’s Homecoming festivities, said Red Dirt Night is a chance for all the students to hang out together as they celebrate Oklahoma Christian, and Oklahoma as a state.

“[Red Dirt Night] is a night that pays homage to Oklahoma,” McKeever said. Red dirt is a big thing for Oklahoma and so we do Red Dirt Night to celebrate Oklahoma and celebrate Homecoming.”

This year’s Red Dirt Night will feature a mechanical bull for students to ride in the forum, as well as games such as cornhole. The event will also feature desserts, all colored red, in concordance with the night’s theme.

Student Leadership Coordinator, Katie Martinez, said there would be a lot of things for students to play and participate in during the event.

“There will be different competitions,” Martinez said. “Some of them are surprises, but they’ll all involve Oklahoma somehow. Maybe you’ll see a certain invention that happened in Oklahoma incorporated into the competitions. If some ‘90s country music breaks out, I wouldn’t hate it.”

Red Dirt Night has been a Homecoming tradition during previous Homecoming celebrations at Oklahoma Christian, but over the past few years, it has not been celebrated. This is the first year that Red Dirt Night is back in the fold of Homecoming festivities.

Martinez remembers the original Red Dirt Night she participated in during her time as a student at Oklahoma Christian.

“During that time, we had a celebration of Oklahoma as a state, and especially Oklahoma as the home of OC,” Martinez said.

Martinez said while the spirit of Red Dirt Night stays the same, this year’s Homecoming committee has made some changes.

“Originally, there was sumo wrestling,” Martinez said. “In my mind, I don’t really see how sumo wrestling has anything to do with Oklahoma. So, we eliminated that, and this year we’re doing bull riding.”

Martinez also said finding the original Red Dirt Night plans gave inspiration to bring the event back to Oklahoma Christian.

“According to the records, the first Red Dirt Night was in 2007 or 2008,” Martinez said. “We found those notes and original plans and it brought back a lot of memories.”

Martinez said she brought the concept of Red Dirt Night to McKeever and they both thought it would be a great idea to bring the event back.

McKeever said she was really excited about the entirety of Homecoming, not just Red Dirt Night.

“We tried to include more events for everyone, not just for the clubs,” McKeever said. “We’re also trying to make the events more enjoyable for everyone that wants to go. One of the ideas for Red Dirt Night was to have an event for the whole campus so everyone is already there and having fun.”

McKeever also said having Red Dirt Night was a more natural transition into the pep rally afterwards.

Junior Payton Merideth, who served as McKeever’s club coordinator for Homecoming, said her favorite part of Homecoming was the community.

“Yes, there’s competition, but throughout the night, there’s no separation among anybody. It’s just everybody together celebrating a school tradition and forgetting about school stress and busyness,” Merideth said.

Both McKeever and Martinez said there would be a lot of surprises throughout the night and encouraged everybody to attend.

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