“The stage, in the past, it's just kind of become background to everything else that's going on, and that's not fair to the performers,” Vails said. “So why not bring them out into the crowd a little more where it's a little more intimate? ... We've got all these wide sidewalks, we might as well use them.”
For the second year, the Fowler VW Tent will invite festivalgoers of all ages to let loose their wild side with a Bigfoot Calling Contest. Participants can watch the 1987 film “Harry and the Hendersons” for inspiration or devise an original Bigfoot call.
“I think the Bigfoot call really is more in spirit than it is a specific call. I think it's a feel that's given off by the caller, you could say,” Fowler said playfully, adding that the allegedly mythical creature again will be lurking at this year's festival.
Plus, the festival's Kidapalooza will feature the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's musical instrument playground, interactive art activities by Norman's Firehouse Art Center, Metro Library System activities, a photo booth, face painting and sidewalk chalk. Children will get to contribute to a community mural that artist Dusty Gilpin has designed as a sort of giant coloring book, Vails said.
“The festival's really our opportunity to provide lots of art activities for the neighborhood and for anyone who comes down,” she said. “It's just like a big party. And it's fun, every year there are new businesses to highlight.”
This year, an artisan sandwich shop known as The Mule will be among the newcomers. Urban Wineworks executive chef Jonathan Turney looks forward to getting outside to share his passion for pork, produce and other locally sourced food during the festival.