Muskogee gained worldwide recognition when Merle Haggard released his famous country song "Okie from Muskogee." The Port of Muskogee still has the same relaxed western atmosphere it had 40 years ago when the song was most popular. The Port of Muskogee has many attractions throughout the year, including the annual Azalea Festival, the wintertime Garden of Lights, and the annual induction ceremonies of the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. The fascinating Five Civilized Tribes Museum makes clear the rich heritage of Native Americans in the Port of Muskogee. Located where three rivers meet, the Port of Muskogee is home to a new water park, River Country, and to Three Forks Harbor where marine recreation is popular.
The Port of Muskogee has a humid subtropical climate with hot humid summers and mild winters. While snowfall is unpredictable, winter ice storms are more common. Even so, winters in the Port of Muskogee are normally above freezing. Temperatures in the Port of Muskogee range from an average high of 28°C (82°F) in July and August to an average low of about 2.7°C (37°F) in December and January. Precipitation varies greatly throughout the year, peaking at almost 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) in May and 13 centimeters (five inches) in September. Precipitation is lowest in late July and August and in January at about five centimeters (two inches). Humidity levels range from a high of about 85% in the summer to a low of about 75% in April. Snow is light in the Port of Muskogee, falling from early November to early April and peaking in January at just over 7.6 centimeters (three inches).
The Five Civilized Tribes Museum in the Port of Muskogee preserves the art, history, and culture of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Seminole tribes. Housed in the 1875 Union Indian Agency building, the "Five Civilized Tribes" did not exist until a year after the building opened. For a time, it was an orphanage and school for Creek Freedmen. After the First World War, it was used for dances by area residents before falling into disrepair. In 1966, as a result of the work of a local Native American women's group, the Da-Co-Tah Club, the building was restored and opened as a museum.
Exhibits on the first floor at the Port of Muskogee's Five Civilized Tribes Museum inform visitors of the lives, history, and cultures of the people. The upper floor contains displays of artifacts and art created by tribal members including works by renowned wood sculptor and Native American artist Willard Stone. Artwork on display includes traditional works by outstanding Native American artists including a large collect of original works by Jerome Tiger, a Creek-Seminole and native Oklahoman.
The Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in the Port of Muskogee was authorized by the State Legislature in 1996. Since 1997, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame has recognized diverse musical styles and talents representing Oklahoma's music. In 2003, the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame moved into its own building, complete with a museum.
By 2008, the Hall of Fame and Museum had honored 75 people and groups and produced over 30 concerts. Among the inductees are such well-known performers as Broadway showman Sam Harris, American Idol Carrie Underwood, Hoyt Axton, Leon Russell, Roger Miller, Kay Starr, Roy Clark, Vince Gill, Gene Autry, and Woodie Guthrie, among many others.
Located just south of the Port of Muskogee's downtown business district, the Oklahoma Hall of Fame and Museum is open from 10am until 4pm on Thursday, Fridays, and Saturdays (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day). Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for students and seniors. Children under three are admitted free.