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Cook-off and Downhill Derby Competitions Part of Crowder Lake Opening Day

A full day of free activities—including a playground groundbreaking, Dutch Oven Cook-off, Downhill Derby competition and Volkswagen Club of Oklahoma cruise— are planned Saturday, March 27, as part of Crowder Lake Opening Day for the 2021 summer season.

The Crowder Lake University Park, located seven miles south of Weatherford, is operated by Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU).

Meals and snacks will be available for purchase from a variety of different food trucks. COVID precautions such as responsible distancing and wearing facial coverings when distancing is not possible will be in place to keep this a safe, fun outdoor event for all.

The Dutch Oven Cook-off consists of two categories: dessert and entree. Each team can have up to six members. One team member must always stay in the cooking area, and all members must practice safe cooking and handling procedures. Teams are expected to provide their own food products, cooking utensils and Dutch ovens. All food should be cooked onsite, and teams are only allowed one entry per category. The cooks meeting will take place at 10 a.m., and judging will begin at 3 p.m. Food may be served to the public at 3:30 p.m. if the teams want to serve their food.

The Downhill Derby will consist of a junior division for ages 7-18 years old and a senior division for ages 18 and up. Each team competing in the derby can have up to three members. A starting push will be allowed, but the person pushing must be the same age as the driver. The driver must wear a helmet, adequate footwear and protective clothing. The car must be able to steer and stop, and it must be able to pass an inspection. The car cannot have a motor or pedals. The inspection time for cars will be at 1 p.m., and racing will begin at 2 p.m. It will be a double elimination tournament.

For competition registration and rules for both contests, please email

At 11 a.m., a groundbreaking ceremony will be held for the Dr. Ken Rose Memorial

Playground. Rose was an instrumental SWOSU leader who helped oversee the transition of Crowder Lake from the Oklahoma State Parks system to an outdoor classroom overseen by SWOSU. The playground is a joint effort of the Weatherford Rotary Club and the SWOSU Foundation, Inc.

The Volkswagen Club of Oklahoma will be cruising in the park during the day as well.
Schedule of events:

10 a.m.- Dutch Oven Cook-off Participants meeting

11 a.m.- Dr. Ken Rose Memorial Playground groundbreaking

1 p.m.- Downhill Derby Race check-in and inspection

2 p.m.- Downhill Derby Race

3 p.m.- Dutch Oven Judging

For more information on opening day, please contact the Crowder Lake University Park Office at 580-774-6015 or email Paul Hummel at