• Erica Bass

2022 Photo Contest Winners Announced: Images to inspire visitors to find adventure in Shawnee, OK

Updated: Sep 15

Four images by local photographers have been selected as the winners in Visit Shawnee's 2022 Find Your Adventure photo contest, which challenged photographers to take and submit images that would inspire visitors and residents alike to find their next adventure in Shawnee, Oklahoma.



The winning photographs were chosen by a panel of arts and culture leaders from across the community. The winners by category are:


The Great Outdoors

Lexi Dixon's photograph taken at Shawnee's Twin Lakes Reservoir was the judge's favorite image of the Great Outdoors submissions. Lexi is an employee of Shawnee Milling Company, and recently relocated to Shawnee from Washington State.


"In June this year, myself and two coworkers planned an early morning kayak trip to Twin Lake #2 to catch the sunrise," Dixon said. "I happened to catch this photo of (a friend) enjoying the peaceful, quiet morning with glass-like water and amazing sunrise."


The silhouette of a person on a kayak in Shawnee Twin Lakes is highlighted by the yellow sunrise behind them.
Kayaking Twin Lakes at Sunrise - photograph by Lexi Dixon

Indoor Fun

Lacey Holt's photo of little Cambria, one of the first children to play at Laynie's Treehouse indoor playground at Shawnee Mall, was the favorite image of Indoor Fun entries. Lacey is the Executive Director of Legacy Parenting Center, a nonprofit benefitting Pottawatomie County families.


"Laynie's Treehouse is a project to support the mission of Legacy Parenting Center," said Holt. "We love this photo because Cambria's smile is contagious and so is the fun!"


A little girl with a big blue bow plays inside Laynie's treehouse, and indoor playground in Shawnee, Oklahoma
Having fun a Laynie's Treehouse - photographed by Lacey Holt

Festivals & Events

Amy Jenkins' magical photo of one of this year's Balloon Festival glow wowed the panel and took top honors in the Festivals & Events category.


"I really can't imagine living anywhere else... I'm proud to call Shawnee home, and look forward to seeing how we continue to grow," Jenkins said.


"Firelake's Fireflight Balloon Festival is one of Shawnee’s best events; the music and food vendors are great, but the balloon glow is the crowd favorite. It’s absolutely beautiful!"

Hot air balloons glow in a bright patchwork on yellow, red, blue, and green against a black night sky as thousands look on.
Fireflight Glow - Photographed by Amy Jenkins

People Enjoying Shawnee, OK

Thomas Hibben's photograph of his daughter, June won't stop winning hearts, and also took top prize in the final category, People Enjoying Shawnee.


"This is a photo of my daughter June Bell double-fisting some of Shawnee's best snow cones," said Hibben. "One is never enough, if mom is sitting next to you & not eating fast enough you have to help. She's all about lending a hand!"


A little girl enjoys two snowcones, with lips stained purple and a bright blue spoon straw in each hand.
June has a snowcone (or two) - Photo by Thomas Hibben

Runners-Up

While only the top photograph in each category won a prize, many photographs depicted Shawnee in unique and beautiful ways. View the gallery below to see the runner-up photos.


Marketing Shawnee

"As the City of Shawnee's Department of Tourism, Visit Shawnee works hard to market Shawnee as a weekend destination to people who live fifty miles or more away," said Erica Bass, Travel Industry Communications Manager for the City of Shawnee.


"This fresh imagery of our city and all that it has to offer -- taken from the perspectives of many individuals -- helps us keep our message to would-be visitors new and exciting, and it is fun for our residents too!"


Visit Shawnee is the City of Shawnee, OK's Department of Tourism. You can learn more about the work of this department at VisitShawnee.com/about.


The photos submitted in the contest will be used in future materials by the City of Shawnee, including the annually published Shawnee, OK Visitor's Guide, which can be viewed online at VisitShawnee.com/guide.