Geronimo wraps up weekend of birthday celebrations

Published: Sep. 19, 2021 at 5:50 AM CDT
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GERONIMO, Okla. (KSWO) - The town of Geronimo wrapped up a weekend full of birthday celebrations on Saturday night.

Geronimo is a small town with a big heart.

According to Mayor Lesley Mallow, at 115 years old, there’s a lot to celebrate, but maybe the thing worth celebrating the most is how tight-knit the community is.

“We just like spending a lot of time together, doing things together, we like to make sure that we have our community involved,” Mallow said. “We’re small. We’re like a little family, so it’s very important for us to continue to be able to spend time together.”

According to Mallow, the birthday celebration actually started back in the 80s when her father was the mayor.

She said after four people died in the Geronimo bank robbery in 1983, the town became like a family.

“We tend to take care of each other and make sure that just the school, the city, the fire department, the police department, we’re all just so intertwined that we just continue to grow and bring people into our little family,” Mallow said.

Norman Leveille is the fire chief for the Geronimo Volunteer Fire Department.

He’s served the community as a firefighter for 38 years and helped plan the birthday celebrations, which he says were long overdue.

“We didn’t get to have it last year due to the COVID pandemic,” Leveille said. “We cancelled it out of safety concerns and this year, we just felt that it was time to go ahead and try to get back to some normalcy.”

There was no shortage of entertainment -- activities included everything from a powwow to live music to a fishing derby.

He echoed what Mallow said about Geronimo: it’s a special place with special people.

Leveille: “People still care about one another and if something happens to someone, it’s usually someone you really know and people pull together to help them out. I grew up here, I love living here and I always will.”

Leveille said the turnout for the weekend events was phenomenal.

A local business even donated $5000 to the Geronimo VFD on Friday night.

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