Gov. Brad Henry declared the day a state holiday, giving thousands of workers and students the day off.
Oklahoma, which means “land of the red people” in the Choctaw language, joined the Union on Nov. 16, 1907, when President Theodore Roosevelt signed a statehood proclamation.
In Guthrie, which served as the capital until 1910, a re-enactment of Statehood Day events was planned. People arrived early, some in period attire.
“I don't think I'll be around for the next one,” Lois Strate, 53, of Stillwater, said as she set up a lawn chair. “We're kind of a secret. We've been through so much and everyone has stuck together.”
Events planned for Guthrie included a re-enactment of the presidential announcement that declared Oklahoma a state. Following that will be recreations of the gubernatorial inauguration with the great-grandson of then Gov. Charles Haskell portraying Haskell and using the same Bible that Haskell used.
Also planned were recreations of the inaugural parade and a ceremonial wedding between Miss Indian Territory and Mr. Oklahoma Territory.
On Thursday, state lawmakers and other officials took a train from Oklahoma City to Guthrie to attend a ceremonial session of the Oklahoma Legislature.
Tonight in Oklahoma City, a centennial concert will be held in the Ford Center, featuring many of the Sooner State's musical stars, including Vince Gill, Reba McIntire, Toby Keith, Garth Brooks, Carrie Underwood and The Flaming Lips.
Other state celebrities scheduled to be involved in the event include former University of Oklahoma football coach Barry Switzer, Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnasts Bart Conner and Nadia Comaneci, baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, comedian Argus Hamilton and the five living Miss Americas from the state - Jane Jayroe Gamble (1967), Susan Powell (1981), Shawntel Smith Wuerch (1996), Jennifer Berry Gooden (2006) and the current Miss America, Lauren Nelson.
“We all need a sense of validation every once in awhile,” Conner said. “I think this whole Centennial celebration is a validation of the wonderful things that have happened here, happen here and will happen here. That's a powerful thing to connect into.”
Not everyone in the state planned to celebrate Friday, however.
Some members of Oklahoma-based American Indian tribes were marching at the state Capitol to raise awareness that their ancestors were force-marched to what is now Oklahoma and given land, only to have it taken away in land runs that began in 1889.