Oklahoma Festivals spring into action

Springtime brings outdoor festivities throughout Oklahoma.
by Brandy McDonnell Modified: March 28, 2013 at 3:46 pm •  Published: March 29, 2013

From the mellowing of the temperatures to the greening of the land, Oklahomans love spring.

I'm talking total adoration, as proven by the unusually cranky attitudes about last week's unseasonably cold weather surrounding the springtime equinox.

Here in the Sooner State, spring means many, many festivals, grand outdoor celebrations that have become as much a part of the season as longer days and budding trees.

In the Oklahoma City metro area, the downtown Festival of the Arts has become a veritable rite of spring, the Norman Music Festival has grown into a seasonal powerhouse, and Norman's Medieval Fair has annually revived jousting tournaments, human chess and minstrels.

Throughout the state, festivals centered on themes ranging from area wildlife and regional cuisine to native plant life and local heritage are planned for the coming weeks. Even better, many events offer free admission.

Here is a sampling of the festivities, and to learn more about Oklahoma's spring festivals, go to www.wimgo.com or www.travelok.com.

Festival of the Arts: For many Oklahomans, it just isn't springtime until the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and its legion of volunteers convert downtown into a sprawling community celebration of the visual, performing and culinary arts. Complete with Strawberries Newport, naturally. Information: 270-4848 or www.artscouncilokc.com. (April 23-28)

Norman Music Festival 6: Retro rock singer-songwriter JD McPherson, who hails from Broken Arrow, and alt-pop/rock band The Joy Formidable, which started in North Wales and is now based in London, are headlining the growing festival, which annually transforms the downtown Arts District into a massive celebration of original music of many genres and the local, regional and national performers creating it. Information: www.normanmusicfestival.com, www.Facebook.com/NormanMusicFestival or Twitter.com/NormanMusicFest. (April 25-27)

Medieval Fair, Norman: Get your chain mail and other period finery ready for the 37th annual fete, which brings arts and crafts, food, games, jousting tournaments, human chess games, costume contests, minstrels, mermaids and more to Reaves Park, 2501 Jenkins. Information: www.medievalfair.org. (April 5-7)

89er Days Celebration, Guthrie: Oklahoma's first capital commemorates the 1889 Land Run that birthed it with a carnival, rodeo, chuck wagon dinner, parade, old-time baseball game, the Stake Your Claim 5k run and more around town. Information: www.89erdays.com. (April 16-21)

Montmartre Chalk Art Festival, Chickasha: Hundreds of imaginative minds of all ages get down at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma every April to create original but temporary works of art on 6-foot-by-6-foot squares of pavement. Information: 574-1303 or http://projects.usao.edu/usao-art/montmartre.html. (Thursday)

El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival: Live music, children's entertainment, a car and motorcycle show and more are annually featured at the event in downtown El Reno. But the primary draw is the 850-pound version of El Reno's famous delicacy that local firefighters cook up every year. Information: www.elrenoburgerday.com. (May 4)

Prague Kolache Festival: If you prefer your festival-focused local fare on the sugary side, it's hard to beat the flaky, fruity tastiness of these Czech pastries. But this festival isn't just about snacking on little sweet breads filled with cherry, apricots and my personal favorite, poppy seeds, it's also a fun salute of the town's Czech heritage. Other activities happening on Main Street and around town include polka music, dancing, a parade, carnival and fireworks. Information: www.praguekolachefestival.com. (May 4)

Tulsa International Mayfest: Downtown Tulsa takes its celebration of arts and music outside with an array of fine arts and crafts, four stages of performing artists and a KidZone. Plus, five indoor galleries will be showcasing a variety of artwork. Information: (918) 582-6435 or www.tulsamayfest.org. (May 16-19)

Italian Festival, McAlester: Southeastern Oklahoma honors its Italian immigrant heritage with two days of arts, crafts, live entertainment, games and, of course, scrumptious food at the Pittsburg County Expo Center. Information: www.themcalesteritalianfestival.org. (May 18-19)

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by Brandy McDonnell
Entertainment Reporter
Brandy McDonnell, also known by her initials BAM, writes stories and reviews on movies, music, the arts and other aspects of entertainment. She is NewsOK’s top blogger: Her 4-year-old entertainment news blog, BAM’s Blog, has notched more than 1...
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