By Friday, more than 200 people had already arrived at the D-Day Adventure Park near Wyandotte to set up camp for the week-long event that kicks off today.
Noted as the world’s largest paintball event, more than 3,000 are expected to participate in Oklahoma D-Day 2010, according to park owner Dwayne Convirs.
Convirs started the event in honor of his father, a WWII veteran who participated in the 1944 D-Day landings in Normandy.
Each year, the park grows and more features are added to make the event as close to the actual D-Day landing as possible. Convirs has acquired replications of bombed-out ruins and military vehicles.
Participants say the event is more than just a game of paintball - it is a history lesson. Many leave the event with a new appreciation for all veterans.
Ponca City resident Jake McNiece will celebrate his 91st birthday with a USO-style show at 7 p.m., Wednesday, at the on site D-Day Cafe. McNiece, who took part in the June 6, 1944, invasion of France, was the leader of a unit in the 101st Airborne Division nicknamed The Filthy 13.
Other highlights this year include the unveiling of a number of newly constructed buildings, which have been built to look similar to what soldiers encountered as they fought their way across Europe.
The park is located at 66800 E. 175th Rd Wyandotte. For more information call 918-666-3411.