Enthusiasm Registered for Tulsa Convention / for State Legislatures Next Year

Article excerpt

Conference of State Legislatures Convention in Tulsa next summer will be ``bigger and better'' than the recent meeting that drew 7,200 people to Reno, Nev.

A large contingent of Oklahomans - including 25 legislators and several legislative staff members - attended the Reno convention and said they got an enthusiastic response about the Tulsa meeting.

``According to the response of the people visiting our exhibit at Reno, everybody is planning on coming to Oklahoma next August,'' said Jeri Trope, host committee cordinator for the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Tulsa next Aug. 6-11.

She said Oklahoma had ``a fabulous'' booth at the Reno convention hall that featured an 8-foot-tall mirrored tepee and Indian art.

She said the exhibit breaks down and will be used by the Department of Tourism and Recreation for other activities promoting Oklahoma.

The theme of the booth was ``Oklahoma: Tying Our Heritage to the Future,'' she said. She said it was designed along the lines of a recommendation in a Price-Waterhouse report that the state should make greater use of ``our Native American culture and heritage'' in promotions of the state.

Paul McElvany, director of the Legislative Service Bureau, said the Oklahoma exhibit and a group of Indian dancers who performed traditional dances were the hit of the exhibit hall.

``They put on one of the darnedest shows you ever saw,'' McElvany said. ``The response was just overwhelming.''

Kaylene Shane, Miss Red Earth 1988, and state Sen. E. Kelly Haney, D-Seminole, were among those in Reno promoting the Tulsa meeting.

Haney, a Creek-Seminole Indian and well-known Indian artist, is executive vice chairman of the host committee and is on the 32-member executive committee of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Trope said sponsors of the Tulsa convention are stressing a ``family theme'' and encouraging visitors to ``make a vacation'' out of their trip to Oklahoma by visiting various tourist attractions in the northeast Okalhoma area and across the state. …