Regardless of what the calendar says, Memorial Day weekend marks the start of the summer season for many fun-loving Oklahomans.
Numerous events across the state offer the chance to honor the troops, hear live music, experience the arts or otherwise liven up the three-day weekend. While the Boley Rodeo and Barbecue Festival, Claremore's Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo and the Paseo Arts Festival are celebrating big anniversaries, this holiday will bring a couple of inaugural events to the Oklahoma City metro area: the Bethany 66 Festival and Edmond's Rhythm Q's & Blues.
To learn about more events, go online to www.
• 45th Infantry Division Museum's Memorial Day Ceremony: 10 a.m. Monday at the museum, 2145 NE 36. The ceremony honoring U.S. servicemen and women will include a military flyover, massing of the colors and a distinguished guest speaker. Admission is free. Information: 424-5313 or www.
• Celebration of Freedom: Activities begin at 9 a.m. Friday, 8 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday in Hobart. The event will include a fly-in, parade, concert by Aaron Tippin, 1940s-style dance with Talk of the Town Orchestra and Gen. Tommy Franks book signing. It will coincide with the annual Arts on the Square arts and crafts show and Kiowa County Quilt Show. Information: (580) 726-5900 or www.
• Rocklahoma: Music begins at noon Friday through Sunday at Catch the Fever Festival Grounds in Pryor. This year's festival will feature headliners Whitesnake, Staind, Motley Crue, Poison, Sebastian Bach and Oklahoma City-based rockers Hinder, along with many more modern rock and '80s hair bands playing four separate stages. Information: www.
• 35th Annual Paseo Arts Festival: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday in the Paseo Arts District. The festival will feature more than 80 artists, live music, festival foods, children's activities and more. Admission is free. Information: 525-2688 or www.
• Bethany 66 Festival: 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Saturday in downtown Bethany. Activities include downtown sidewalk sales, children's activities, classic car show and live music, including performances by local favorites Edgar Cruz and Kyle Dillingham. The first-ever fest will close with a concert by Mountain Smoke at 6 p.m. at Southern Nazarene University's Cantrell Hall. Information: 312-0155 or www.
• Rhythm Q's & Blues: Edmond's inaugural “celebration of rhythm, barbeque and blues” begins at 10 a.m. Saturday at Hafer Park, 1034 S Bryant. The event will feature a barbecue cook-off officially sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society with more than $10,000 in prize money awarded to a field of 40-plus teams, along with muscle cars, live music and children's activities. The people's choice competition and public tasting is set for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., or until the food runs out. Information: 340-4481 or www.
• Edmond Jazz and Blues Festival: 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 2 to 10 p.m. Sunday at Stephenson Park, Boulevard and Fifth. The event includes live jazz and blues, festival foods and free parking and shuttles. Admission is free. Information: 341-3321 or www.
• Centennial Boley Rodeo and BBQ Festival: Activities begin at 8 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Boley's Main Street and rodeo grounds. The 100th anniversary event features rodeo action, barbecue and a parade at 11 a.m. Saturday. Concerts will follow the rodeo Friday and Saturday. Information: 824-8705 or www.
• Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children's Cowboy Festival: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63. It will include outdoor cooking, children's activities, live Western music and more. Information: 478-2250 or www.
• Fifth annual Music and Mayhem: 4:15 p.m. Saturday at Eufaula Cove Amphitheatre, 399 Lakeshore Drive, Eufaula. Hear Gary Allan, Randy Rogers Band, Jason Boland and The Stragglers, Cody Canada and The Departed and Left Foot Sally. Doors open at 3 p.m. Information: (866) 977-6849 or www.
• Oklahoma Renaissance Festival: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday through Monday at the Castle of Muskogee. The family-friendly festival includes magicians, musicians, jugglers, jesters and other medieval-style performers, festive food and shopping for handcrafted items. Information: (918) 687-3625 or www.
• 65th annual Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo: 7:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday at Will Rogers Round-up Arena, E Blue Starr Drive, Claremore. The event will feature steer wrestling, calf roping, bronc riding, barrel racing and mutton busting just for the youngsters. Information: (918) 798-5005, (918) 798-3201 or www.
• Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship: Games start at 3:15 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. Saturday, with the championship game at 1 p.m. Sunday at RedHawks Field in Bricktown, 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive. Information: 218-1000 or www.
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