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Best of fests


Festival season has sprung up again, and the metro is brimming with options to witness the diversity of Oklahoma’s entertainment culture.

Charles Martin March 23rd, 2011

As the winter chill thaws and Oklahomans get restless for outdoor fun, festivals spring up all across the state, drawing art aficionados, history buffs, food connoisseurs and gearheads.

There is no shortage of events within the metro — such as the Norman Music Festival, April 28-30 — but those trying to purge cabin fever shouldn’t rule out hitting the highways to explore what the rest of the state has to offer.

Renaissance fairs are a classic way to soak in the sun. Medieval Fair of Norman has been turning the clock back since 1977 and will take over Reaves Park, 2501 S. Jenkins, April 1-3.

If that isn’t enough to satisfy one’s taste for jousting and codpieces, head to Muskogee for the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, every Saturday and Sunday starting April 30 and running through May. Admission is $14.95 — a small price to pay to help re-create 17thcentury England.

from left Norman Music Festival, Medieval Fair and El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day

Ren fairs aren’t the only game in town for period costumes. The metro’s growing steampunk contingent debuts the Oklahoma Steampunk Exposition, April 15-17 at the Clarion Hotel & Conference Center, 6200 N. Robinson. The expo will delve into the culture of Victorian-styled science fiction for a pop-culture conference with gaming, vendors, panels and artists to explore all things steampunk.

Keeping the steam theme going, the Steam and Gas Engine Show in Pawnee will explore the more technical side of the late 19th century with a bevy of gas tractors, steam-powered sawmills and all manner of antique machines, on display at the Steam Park Grounds, 409 E. Beck Drive in Pawnee, May 6-8.

War history buffs can drive to Tahlequah on April 2 or 16 for the Cherokee Civil War History Tour, discussing the ties between the Cherokee Nation and the Confederate States, as well as traveling to notable Civil War sites within Indian Territory.

Of course, no spring season is complete without an Oklahoma Land Run celebration, and our original capital city will stage its 82nd annual celebration of the state’s pivotal event. Guthrie’s ’89er Day Celebration runs April 26-30, featuring a rodeo, an “old-timer” baseball game and a carnival.

Sometimes, all you need to draw out a crowd is something as simple as the world’s largest onion burger, which will be fried in downtown El Reno on May 7 as part of the annual El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day. The celebration of the city’s native sandwich will include a battle of the bands and more than enough burgers to go around.

Car shows are custom-fit for the spring season. Two of the many include the Southwest Street Rod Nationals April 15-17 at State Fair Park, and April 2’s Corvette Expo at the Chisholm Trail Expo Center in Enid.

 
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