The fall season is a wonderful time of year to enjoy outdoor events in Oklahoma. The month of October kicks off the season with a variety of family-oriented activities in state parks.
Visitors can giddy-up and gallop to eastern Oklahoma for adventures at the riding stables. Grab a flashlight and hitch a ride on the hay wagon for a 40-minute ride around Arrowhead State Park to search for the elusive Bigfoot and other goblins during the Sasquatch Sightings Hayride at Arrowhead Stables. At Lake Eufaula State Park, spirits and ghosts have been known to hang around the old stables waiting for unsuspecting guests to stop by at the Halloween Haunted Stables. Both events begin on the first weekend in October.
On Oct. 19-21, one of Oklahoma's largest free outdoor festivals will be held at Robbers Cave State Park near Wilburton. What was once a small celebration has turned into an event that attracts thousands to the park and surrounding community.
For those who appreciate the beauty and detail of a classic automobile, prepare to feast your eyes on the hundreds of machines that gather at the park on Saturday for this yearly event. Palate-pleasing foods are offered up by a variety of vendors spread throughout the park. Early Christmas shoppers can find gifts at several hundred craft booths that feature homemade items including woodcrafts, jewelry, candles and more. All through the weekend, live music flows throughout the park. . Parking and free tram service is available at the park however festival guests are encouraged to park downtown and take advantage of the free shuttle bus that provides transportation to the event.
The month of November hosts its share of events in state parks. From Nov. 8 through Nov. 10, the Dripping Springs Rendezvous and Fall Encampment will be held at Dripping Springs State Park near Okmulgee. Travel back in time when rugged men and brave women relied on each other and the basics of nature to survive. Participants dress in period clothing and participate in primitive skill demonstrations and competitions in shooting, archery, knife throwing and fire starting. Area schoolchildren attend the outdoor classroom to learn more about history on the Oklahoma frontier. Arts, crafts and food booths will be available.
The smell of firewood, the sight of beautiful hues of autumn leaves, the sounds of banjos and fiddles and the taste of mouthwatering food dishes delight senses at the Beavers Bend Folk Festival and Craft Show. This annual fall affair takes place Nov. 9-11 in the Forest Heritage Center Museum at Beavers Bend State Park near Broken Bow. One of the problems this festival presents is how to fit all of the activities into three fun-filled days.
After taking in all of the unique turn-of the century arts and crafts, candle-makers, lace crafters, musical attractions, quilt displays, handmade wood items and yummy food, you might have to stay in the park a day or two longer to relax. During the festival, children stay entertained by the furry animals at the petting zoo and by listening to wild tales spun by local storytellers.
There are some great choices as you make plans for the busy weekends of events at the state parks. No matter which one you choose, you're sure to satisfy your traveling spirit.
For information on these and other events at an Oklahoma State Park visit TravelOK.com.
Keli Clark is marketing coordinator for Oklahoma State Parks.