Nothing says summertime like a festival. Festivals draw communities together, allowing them to enjoy local foods and entertainment with the whole family. Oklahoma City has several festivals coming this summer, giving plenty of opportunity to check out what the city has offer. Whether it is dancing or barbecue, these festivals will help break up the long, hot days of summer.
RED EARTH NATIVE AMERICAN FESTIVAL:
June 2nd- June 4th, 2006
Fri. & Sat.: 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sun.: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Cox Convention Center
The 20th annual event will feature a dance competition with over 1,000 dancers, a fine art competition and market, a parade, several children’s activities, Native American cuisine, and inter-tribal dance exhibitions. Red Earth, Inc., is a nonprofit educational organization that works to preserve the traditions of Native American history. The annual festival is one of the largest and most respected Native American performing arts event in the world. Nearly 100 tribes from throughout North America will participate. The dance competitions are one the rare occasions to see both northern and southern tribes in one locale. Red Earth dance participants are considered the most talented in the world, and include several master dancers. This is truly a unique opportunity to learn about and support American Indian culture.
To kick off the festival, the Red Earth Benefit & Auction will open on Thursday, June 1st, from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Cox Convention Center downtown. The silent auction will run from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Exhibit Hall C. The art auction will have a large variety of original, cultural artwork, including sculptures, jewelry, beadwork, and paintings. All artwork has been donated by previous festival winners, and proceeds benefit Red Earth, Inc. For tickets to the auction, call 405-427-5228. Auction tickets are $50.
On Friday, June 2nd, the Red Earth Parade will proceed through downtown Oklahoma City, beginning at 10:30 a.m. There will be drum groups and dancers from across America, as well as the 2006 Red Earth Ambassador of the Year & Honored One, the 2006 Red Earth Princess, and various other guests and tribal officials. Following the parade, the festival events will begin, including several dance and art competitions. Some Friday highlights include the Chicken Dance Recognition Ceremony and the Gourd Dance.
Saturday, June 3rd, will be a busy, fun-filled day for festival participants and visitors. Registration for the Red Earth 5K Run & 2K Fun Walk begins at 7:00 a.m. at the Regatta Part and River Trails, with the walks beginning at 8:00 a.m. The race also benefits Red Earth, Inc., with registration costing $20 for adults, $15 for students. All participants will receive a t-shirt and an admission ticket into the festival. There are more dance and art competitions, including the Mens All-Around and Mens Clown dances.
Sunday will feature the last of the competitions, followed by award ceremonies. Tickets are available for pick-up at the Ford Center Box Office or online (www.ticketmaster.com) until June 1st. They may be purchased onsite, at the Cox Convention Center, on June 2nd – 4th. One-day passes are $10 for adults, and $7.50 for senior citizens and youths age six to eighteen. Children five and under are free. Red Earth Festival Three-Day passes are also available: Adults $20, Sr.Citizens/Youths $15. There are groups rates available also.
FESTIVAL OF THE PET
June 3rd, Sat.: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
State Fair Park
Pets and their owners are welcome at the annual Festival of the Pet The festival features local merchants and organizations, with proceeds benefitting the organization. The festival will be held in the Oklahoma Expo Hall at the State Fair Park. It will have pet contests, animal adoptions, shopping, animal demonstrations, and several exhibits. Some events scheduled for the day include the Parade of Pets, Blessing of Pets, frisbee games, search & rescue contests, and obedience competitions. Previous Festivals of the Pet have won outstanding event awards, and the festival often hosts over 2,000 paid visitors.
The Best Friends of Shelter Pets, a nonprofit volunteer organization, works to increase pet adoptions and provide for the needs of Oklahoma City Animal Shelter pets. The organization also directs a city SNAP (Spay/Neuter Assistance Program) and provides free ID tags for area pets. For more information, call 405-948-6700
AGEHR AREA IX 2006 FESTIVAL CONFERENCE
June 16th – June 18th, 2006
University of Central Oklahoma
100 N. University Edmond, OK
The first American Guild of English Handbell Ringers held in Oklahoma in over ten years, the festival will include a wide variety of events. The festival will host several national and regional talent, workshops, and classes. There are several special workshops scheduled for Friday, including Ear Training and a New Director’s workshop. National talent Jason Wells (founder of teen ringing group Ring of Fire) and internationally known Fred Gramman will be present. The festival will consist of several rehearsals and concerts, giving everyone ample opportunity to appreciate the age-old art. The festival follows a teen bell-ringing conference.
BRICKTOWN BLUES FESTIVAL
June 16th – June 17th, 2006
Noon- Midnight (Fri. & Sat.)
The 11th annual Bricktown Blues and BBQ Festival provides food and entertainment for the whole family! Held outdoors, under huge tents, the festival is located on the corner of Sheridan & Oklahoma Ave., in the heart of Bricktown. Friday’s line-up include Doc Blue, Dan Danger Band, Act Casual, Miss Amy & Her Sho’Nuf Blues Band, Billy Paul & the Blues Saloon Revue, Zen Okies, and John Lee Hooker, Jr.
Saturday’s performers are Doc Blue, Sweet Brenda, Duane Burnside, Blue Cats, AJ Jonhson & Why Not, Danny White, Big “G” Garrett Jacobson, Scott Keeton, and Johnny Winter. Great BBQ, cold beer and soda, clothing, and live music make this one OKC’s favorite festivals of the year. Admission is free, and attendants are encouraged to bring blankets and/or lawn chairs. No coolers, drinks, food, weapons, or video cameras allowed.
OKLAHOMA RIVERFEST- BBQ & BREW FESTIVAL
June 17th – June 18th, 2006
Oklahoma River- South of Bass Pro Shop downtown
Treat Dad to a fun-filled Father’s Day Weekend at Riverfest. An annual event, the two-day celebration features a BBQ cook-off, along with brew and winery contests. Attendants can enjoy made-in-Oklahoma foods, and watch the Dragon Boat and the Rose Rock Regatta river competitions. The event attracts competitors and visitors from across the state. Admission is free. For mor information, call 405-552-4040.