W To Spend Fourth in Oklahoma

No one in Woodward, Okla. expected Bush to accept the invitation -- but he did

When the middle-of-nowhere town of Woodward, Okla., invited George W. Bush to its Fourth of July celebration, no one really expected the former president to accept.

But he did.

Now the western Oklahoma town of 12,000 is rushing to prepare for what some locals are calling the biggest thing ever to happen to Woodward, a place where cattle outnumber people.

Bush's paid speaking engagement at Woodward's Let Freedom Ring 2009 celebration will be his first Fourth of July since he left the Oval Office. It's also the latest in a series of small, under-the-radar events that he has dropped in on as ex-president.

Most of the rooms at the half-dozen or so hotels around town are booked. Woodward's 30-officer police force canceled vacations and days off, and sheriff's deputies from the surrounding areas are being called in.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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