Stratford, Oklahoma was established in 1906, when the Central Railway bypassed the town of McGee. The settlers of McGee moved two miles over to the railroad and the town of Stratford was formed. With 900 acres, Stratford is the self-proclaimed peach capital of Oklahoma and hosts the Peach Festival and rodeo every summer. The peach festival has been an annual tradition since 1976 and the towns first rodeo started in 1936.
While in the area, take a day trip to Peach Tree Farms to pick your own juicy peach!
Come Play In A Peachy Keen Oklahoma Town...
Did you know that Stratford, Oklahoma just happens to be home to some of the sweetest peaches on the planet... or so we believe! Located in Garvin County, the town of Stratford was first established in 1891 and originally known as McGee. In 1906, after the institution of the Oklahoma Central Railroad two miles south of town, the community placed its buildings on wagons and trundled over to relocate near the tracks. The new town was first renamed Walling, and then changed officially to Stratford in October of 1906. As the self-proclaimed “Peach Capital of the World”, you will be delighted to find over 900 acres of peach orchards abloom in and around the town. According to the locals, the mixture of the area’s sandy soil and naturally hot climate makes for the perfect peach.
Every year since 1976, the community has celebrated their fruitful fortune with a commemorative festival or what you may know as the famous Stratford Peach Festival. So, as the festival rolls around, the town of Stratford transforms into a peach paradise, overflowing with peach-themed festivities for all ages to enjoy. Not only does this festival feature the most flavorful, freshly picked peaches you can imagine, it also a feast of phenomenal peach-infused delights like homemade peach ice cream, sweet peach tea and fried peach pies. From the crowning of the Peach Royalty Princess to talented singers going mic to mic in the Peach Idol Competition to local chefs slicing up in the Peach Cook-Off for the title of best peach-flavored dish, this festival has excitement ripening all around. Attendees are encouraged to arrive early that day to stack up on the free pancake breakfast before squeezing in a little pre-festival fitness at the 5K Bulldog Run and 1 Mile Fun.
There are also plenty of other activities for festival-goers to enjoy from helicopter rides, live entertainment and a rodeo to a park full of local arts, crafts and food booths to peruse. Old-fashioned fun is another festival highlight with classic contests held throughout the day like sack races, turtle races and three-legged races to an annual water balloon toss, hula hoop contest, hay toss, frisbee throw and a best-dressed animal and ugly dog contest. Before heading out, it is a custom for visitors to pick up a bushel of fresh peaches from one of the seven area orchards.
If you find yourself in Stratford, whether for the Peach Festival or during another time of the year, be sure to get your feet wet and explore the lovely shops and local eateries during your stay. Check out these top picks that make the list for Stratford’s Cream of the Crop!
- Stratford’s Cream of the Crop -
---- JANICE'S BAR-B-Q ----
About: Serving barbecue at its finest for over twenty years, Janice's is a popular local joint boasting famous fall-off-the-bone ribs as well as the biggest and freshest fried fish in Oklahoma.
Must-Try’s: Fish and Rib Special, Brisket Sandwich, Indian Tacos and Signature Coleslaw
---- COWKICKER'S RESTAURANT & PIZZERIA ----
About: One of Stratford’s downtown restaurants, Cowkicker's offers a little slice of Italy with lots of southern soul - from hearty homestyle breakfasts to deep fried delights to fresh Italian favorites with a southern kick
Must Try’s: Bar-B-Q Cow-a-zone, Southwestern Philly Sub, Frog Legs, Catfish and Calf Fries
---- McGEE'S CAFE ----
About: Named after the town’s original name, McGee’s is a spirited local diner known for their unique blend of sizzlin’ southern cuisine, Okie-style Tex-Mex and ½ lb. burger creations.
Must Try’s: Fire Cracker Burger, Chili Cheese Burrito Supreme, Friday Catfish Special and Sweet Potato Fries
---- UNIQUES ----
About: With “big city feel and small town prices”, Unique’s tops the charts for show stopping shops in Oklahoma - trending with the coolest shades of boutique clothing, accessories, furniture, home décor, and specialty gift items.
Must Shop’s: Line of ‘Okie’ spirit wear, custom-made kid’s clothing and chevron island
Bonus Feature: Embellished with an ultra-vibrant theme and eclectic décor throughout, a stroll around this boutique is kind of like shopping on a retro rainbow that landed down in the middle of Peach Town, USA. Even Lady Gaga's creative fuse doesn't hold a match to this place!
Now that you know all the picks, it’s time to start planning that perfect peach getaway to Stratford. Whether the thought of spending a leisurely day exploring the local scene, touring peach farms or hitting up the annual Peach Festival hones your interest, Stratford - with orchards of fresh fun. Come sink your teeth in and see for yourself!