Americana Calendar – Beaver, OK Cow Chip Throwing Contest

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The 39th Annual Cow Chip Throwing Contest will be held in Beaver, Oklahoma on April 19, 2008. It is the grand finale of a week-long festival sponsored by the Beaver Chamber of Commerce.cow_chip_throw_lightened_470k_2pta.jpg

The festival commemorates the rugged self-reliance and individualism of the region’s pioneer settlers. In a land with few trees and no coal or peat, they desperately needed fuel to cook and heat their homes. Buffalo hunters found buffalo chips could be used to burn with adequate results. Since all the buffalo had been hunted to near extinction by the time the settlers showed up, they used cow chips instead.

Every fall settlers would take their wagons out to pastures and load up on cow chips for the winter. With the whole family along, it became a sport to see who could throw the chips into the wagon with the most accuracy.

In the 1970s, in a search for an identity, the town fathers decided to make a sport of throwing cow chips. The Cimarron Territory Celebration is held in Beaver in remembrance of these early pioneers. Only now, instead of throwing chips into wagons, competitions are held to see who can throw them farthest from the wagon.   Competitions are divided into Mens, Ladies, and VIPs.  

Only local chips can be used.   Judges have stopped competitors from Texas trying to sneak in Texas-sized chips.

The record heave is a 182’3″ toss by Leland Searcy in 1979.

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