From art walks and rodeos to Cinco de Mayo celebrations and car shows, communities across Oklahoma are celebrating spring in a variety of ways this weekend.
But most Oklahomans know that spring ‘tis the season for festivals, grand outdoor celebrations centered on themes ranging from local wildlife and regional cuisine to live music and visual arts.
Last weekend, the Festival of the Arts and Norman Music Festival got the season off to a smashing start, attracting thousands of art lovers and music fans to downtown Oklahoma City and Norman, respectively. And that's just the beginning of the state's festival festivities, which will last through spring and summer and into autumn.
The first weekend in May is always particularly festive in our fair state, and here are a few of the events going on in the next day or so. To learn more about Oklahoma festivals, go to www.wimgo.com or www.travel
• May Fair Arts Festival, Norman: The one-day fest will feature more than 30 fine artists and quality craftsmen, plus artist demonstrations, live entertainment, children's art activities and a student art show at Andrews Park, 201 W Daws St. A 5k run and 2k fun run have been added to the 38th annual event. Hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday. Information: www.norman.assistance
• Downtown Edmond Arts Festival: About 115 artists from around the country will exhibit their wares, ranging from pottery and paintings to jewelry and sculptures, and the 33rd annual event will offer a children's area, live music and the famed Othello's Spaghetti Slurp-off. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Information: www.downtown
• El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival: Live music, children's entertainment, a car and motorcycle show and a special appearance by Union Pacific's Steam Locomotive No. 844 are all on the agenda Saturday 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. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Information: www.elreno
• 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 Saturday's 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, wine pavilion, a carnival and fireworks. Hours are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Information: www.prague
• Bixby BBQ 'n Music Festival: One of only 23 stops on the Kansas City Barbeque Society's Great American BBQ Tour, this fest is one of the largest barbecue competitions in the state. Live music and children's activities are on the menu, but again, the food is the main attraction. On Saturday, festivalgoers can buy a People's Choice Award taster kit that will let them sample a select number of the teams' offerings and help pick a winner. The festival will be 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday at Washington Irving Park, 137th and S Memorial. Information: www.bixbyrotarybbq.com.
• Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, Muskogee: The family-friendly festival features magicians, musicians, jugglers, jesters and other medieval-style performers, festive food and shopping for handcrafted items at the Castle of Muskogee, 3400 Fern Mountain Road. The 17th annual fete continues 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every weekend in May through Memorial Day. Information: www.okcastle.com.
• Brickfest, Pauls Valley: The festivities will include authentic Oklahoma blues, rock and red dirt music, inflatable games for the kids, a petting zoo, pie-eating contest, the famous brick toss competition in downtown and at the Santa Fe Depot. The Valley Rally Bike Tour traversing 32, 48 and 62-mile courses through the scenic south-central Oklahoma countryside rides off at 8 a.m. Saturday. Hours are 3 to 11 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Information: www.mainstreetpauls
• Rose Rock Music Festival, Noble: Commemorating the town's designation as the “Rose Rock Capital of the World,” the 31st annual downtown event will feature live music, a parade, car show, poker run, carnival and more. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. Information: www.noble
• Yukon's Festival of the Child: Yukon celebrates youth with more than 50 activities, including storytelling, pony rides, kayaking, crafts and more at Yukon City Park and Yukon Community Center, 2200 S Holly Ave. The activities are aimed at children ages 12 and younger. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Information: www.cityof
• Claremore's Lilac Festival: Festivalgoers can buy and plant a lilac bush in honor of Claremore-born writer Lynn Riggs, who penned the play “Green Grow the Lilacs,” which was adapted into the musical “Oklahoma!” Children's activities, live entertainment, a wiener dog race and a car show also are on the
• Okeene Rattlesnake Round-Up: Billed as the oldest rattlesnake hunt in the world, the 73rd annual event has grown into a full-blown, three-day festival including a parade, carnival, pancake breakfasts, street dances, live music, magic show and a special appearance this year by Okie Noodler Thomas Riggs. The downtown festivities uncoil Friday when snake hunt registration begins; participants must be registered to hunt, buy or sell snakes. Although I shudder at the thought, I should probably mention the Den of Death, where attendees can watch snake handlers put on a show with live snakes. Hours are noon to 10 p.m. Friday, 7 a.m. to midnight Saturday and 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Information: www.okeene