The tornadoes may have knocked it down, but it's back! Four months after the May storms tore through the Orr Family Farm, the community helped get it back on its feet. Fox 25's Kisha Henry shows us, the Orr family is now paying them back with an even bigger and better farm than before.
On September 28th, at 10 a.m., the Orr Family Farm will reopen its gates.
"This is our 10th anniversary... and what a way to celebrate it!" giggles Dr. Glenn Orr, of the Orr Family Farm. Dr. Orr says Oklahomans mourned the loss of the farm right along with him after those deadly May tornadoes. "One man drove up with his nine-year-old son and he said his son cried when he heard about it being destroyed," says Dr. Orr, tearing up.
"We had a couple buildings that were total losses, but just about every building had to be stripped down and rebuilt from the ground up," says Shanain Kemp, Event Coordinator for the Orr Family Farm. "It's indescribable. You can't even imagine what it's like to go inside and 10 minutes later, come out and it's something like you never thought you would see before," says Kemp, remembering May 20th.
"The thing that helped us decide that we must rebuild was all of the outpouring of love and prayers, not just here in Oklahoma, but all over the United States," says Dr. Orr. On one Saturday, he says over one-thousand people showed up to help. He starts to cry as he tells of a fourth grade class in South Carolina who raised and donated $3,000. "Just to think that some would be so unselfish and so caring from so far away and they would never be able to enjoy the farm," says Dr. Orr.
"It's a miracle itself that we can get back to normal this fast," says Kemp. "Clean up took us about two months. It would have taken us probably years to clean up, but we were able to do it within a couple of months with all the volunteers that we've had," she says. And, for that, the Farm is rewarding its visitors.
"We decided to make it better and bigger," says Dr. Orr. "We've doubled the size of the train station. We've increased the size of the main barn for corporate groups and wedding receptions," he says.
"We have a sweet shop that we changed over into a grill, which will be another concession area. We'll sell some items in there that we've never sold before," says Kemp. "We're adding a Farm Fun Yard, so we'll have lots of games and things in there that kids can play. We'll be open for our pumpkin patch and hayrides and all of our normal activities that we usually have," she says. The Farm is even taking the tragedy and turning it into a teaching lesson. "We have a corn maize that's actually in the shape of a tornado this year, so we'll have some interesting facts about tornadoes and weather and what causes tornadoes," says Kemp.
When visitors step foot back on the Farm, Dr. Orr hopes they'll enjoy it even more than before. He hopes they'll take away a feeling of wholesomeness and family. "When they enjoy it, I enjoy it," he says. "We don't allow smoking, we don't allow alcoholic beverages, we don't allow even cursing.... and people love to come here to have that kind of environment," he says.
"A lot of people make this a tradition. This is their Fall tradition to come out to the pumpkin patch," says Kemp.
Want to visit the Orr Family Farm, click here to see upcoming events!