Although spring may signal the arrival of tornado and storm season for many of Oklahoma’s residents, it is also a great time to get out and enjoy the weather, smell the blossoming flowers, and take part in the many events that are happening around the state. This season is undoubtedly festival season in Oklahoma, and no matter what city you are in, you are sure to find a hometown street fair or a citywide jamboree.
Here some of the most popular spring festivals in Oklahoma to help you plan your next adventure!
Tulsa Botanic Blooms
Much like the Azalea Festival, Tulsa Botanic Blooms celebrates the tranquility and beauty of Oklahoma’s spring season. As another month-long celebration, visitors can enjoy over 200,000 unique blooms during the annual festival held by the Tulsa Botanic Garden. From live music events to the popular “Tiptoe through the Tulips” day, every visit is a new experience during the Tulsa Botanic Blooms festival.
Even if you are unable to make it during the festival, Tulsa Botanic Gardens continues to make great advancements as they develop 60 acres of gardens over a period of 25 years as outlined in their master plan from 2012. Beyond these gardens remains approximately 110 acres of natural beauty that ties in to the overall experience that can be obtained from a simple visit.
Where: Tulsa Botanic Gardens, Tulsa, Oklahoma
When: March 17, 2022 – April 24, 2022
More Information: https://tulsabotanic.org/?q=content/tulsa-botanic-blooms-7
Dogwood Days Festival
Idabel is home to the annual Dogwood Days Festival that celebrates spring with live entertainment, children’s games, and craft vendors. Although this is considered a small town event, the beauty of the pink and white dogwood blossoms paired with old-fashioned entertainment make it an event that you won’t want to miss. The Idabel Chamber has done a fantastic job at ensuring there is something for everyone from a motorcycle show to a horseshoe tournament!
If you decide to join the fun at the Dogwood Days Festival from out of the area, make sure you also set aside some time to visit the nearby Beavers Bend State Park. Even a short scenic drive through the area during the spring is an opportunity to see the beautiful native dogwood trees that have inspired the festival in this area.
Where: Downtown, Idabel, Oklahoma
When: April 1, 2022 – April 2, 2022
More Information: https://www.theidabelchamber.com/dogwooddaysfestival
Did you know that Muskogee’s Azalea Festival is considered one of the top spring festivals in the South? This month-long event has been occurring in Honor Heights Park since 1968, where visitors can enjoy over 30,000 azaleas in 625 varieties. But that’s not all! Visitors can also explore the 40 acres of manicured gardens to find tulips, wisteria, and dogwoods that are all beginning to bloom in the warmer spring temperatures.
Depending on the time that you visit Muskogee, you might be able to catch various festivities throughout the month that coincide with the blooming of the azaleas, including a parade, romantic carriage rides, and a collection of Oklahoma food vendors. In mid-April, you can even join the Part in the Park to sample some of Oklahoma’s best food and wine options when the flowers are starting to bloom.
Where: Honor Heights Park, Muskogee, Oklahoma
When: April 1, 2022 – April 30, 2022
More Information: https://www.muskogeeparks.org/events___festivals/azalea_festival.php
Festival of the Arts
Originally started in 1967, The Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City has long been considered a “rite of spring.” During this six day celebration of both visual and performing arts, a variety of talented Oklahoma artists take over Bicentennial Park with the help of Arts Council™ OKC. Not a fan of traditional arts? You will still love the culinary arts experience on Food Row that offers the best food in OKC!
This fantastic festival draws approximately 750,000 visitors annually throughout the entirety of the event, all browsing the work of over 140 artists from across the United States. While enjoying the Festival of the Arts in OKC, don’t forget to support the non-stop bands and dance performances found on three separate stages, or spend some time in the Children’s Art Field area to get your face painted!
Where: Bicentennial Park, OKC, Oklahoma
When: April 19, 2022 – April 24, 2022
More Information: https://www.artscouncilokc.com/festival-of-the-arts
Norman Music Festival
One of the first things that most people think of when they hear the phrase “music festival” is a high ticket price and limited personal space. Norman Music Festival was created to break away from this stigma and provide a fun, free experience to anyone that wants to come out and enjoy live music. In fact, nearly 100 bands from countless genres play on multiple outdoor stages annually for this unprecedented event hosted by the Norman Music Alliance.
In addition to live music, Norman Music Festival also hosts special intimate performances in the many local venues that are littered throughout the downtown area. If you are looking for something a little different, you can expect to hear spoken word performances and poetry slams or you can support a different kind of local artist by sampling the wears at several crafts booths. No matter what you might be interested in, you can spend a whole day exploring Norman during this great spring festival.
Where: Main Street, Norman, Oklahoma
When: April 28, 2022 – April 30, 2022
More Information: http://www.normanmusicfestival.com/
Red Fern Festival
Named after the classic children’s novel “Where the Red Fern Grows” the Red Fern Festival in Tahlequah celebrates simpler times in the beauty of Northeast Oklahoma. During this annual two day celebration in the last week of April, visitors can enjoy in hound dog field trials, a car show, local food trucks, and children’s games from the 1930s. Each year, this event welcomes more visitors and now has an estimated 15,000 visitors from across the United States each year.
The Red Fern Festival spans roughly seven blocks of downtown Tahlequah and features over 150 arts and crafts vendors and outstanding food trucks. In addition to the previously mentioned attractions, the city also has an annual Miss Red Fern Pageant that has been extremely popular with the festival’s visitors as well as a showcase of great local musicians.
Where: Norris Park, Tahlequah, Oklahoma
When: April 29, 2022 – April 30, 2022
More Information: http://www.tahlequahmainstreet.com/red-fern-festival.html
Oklahoma Renaissance Festival
Escaping to a bygone era is easy with a short drive to Muskogee, Oklahoma, during the Renaissance Festival. Held at The Castle of Muskogee, attendees are invited to meet royalty, including Queen Margaret of Scotland, King Henry VIII, and several other notable costumed performers. Even better, you can do it all with a great turkey leg!
Attendees to the Oklahoma Renaissance Festival can make their way through Castleton while shopping for handcrafted items, eating unique foods, enjoying magicians, or laughing at the jesters. No matter what your favorite part of the Middle Ages was, there will likely be an event or display for you at this annual event.
Where: The Castle, Muskogee, Oklahoma
When: April 30, 2022 – June 5, 2022
More Information: https://www.okcastle.com/renaissance/
Elote’s Cinco De Mayo Street Festival
Although Elote is well known in Tulsa for its Puffy Tacos, they are also renowned for their annual Cinco De Mayo Festival. This event has been Tulsa’s most prominent party for 14 years for anyone looking to enjoy some food outdoors or sip a margarita while enjoying food trucks, kid’s activities, or live luchador wrestling. We promise it’s a spectacle you have to experience firsthand!
If you have never been to this great Cinco De Mayo Festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you are missing out. With various events scheduled throughout the day, including annual Chihuahua races, you will be set for an entire day of fun in the spring sun. Don’t forget to check out their VIP experiences if you want to try something a little different.
Where: Boston Ave, Tulsa, Oklahoma
When: May 5, 2022
More Information: https://www.elotetulsa.com/cinco-de-mayo
Bixby Rotary BBQ & Blues Festival
The Bixby Rotary BBQ & Blues Festival brings together 75 teams from Oklahoma and the surrounding states to compete for the Grand Champion of BBQ and People’s Choice awards. This unique festival in Bixby, Oklahoma, is recognized by the state as the most significant BBQ festival in Oklahoma – and perhaps one of the best cooking events in the United States!
The proceeds generated from the Bixby Rotary BBQ & Blues Festival fund various community projects throughout the entire year. So, whether you are just visiting or you are a resident of Bixby, this is a great way to help an Oklahoma city continue to make improvements and provide the services and updates needed to enhance the community year-round.
Where: Washington Irving Memorial Park, Bixby, Oklahoma
When: May 5, 2022 – May 7, 2022
More Information: https://www.bixbyrotarybbq.com/
Tulsa International Mayfest
As one of the biggest festivals in the region, the Tulsa International Mayfest welcomes over 350,000 visitors annually for a spring celebration of visual art, dance, and music, all in the heart of downtown. Anyone attending Tulsa International Mayfest can expect three unique stages of performance art, amazing indoor galleries, and the increasingly popular “Kid Zone” that provides hands-on activities.
One of the biggest draws to Tulsa International Mayfest is the festival’s extensive food court. Guests can expect a variety of spring festival favorites like funnel cakes, corn dogs, and turkey legs; however, other exciting options will also be available, including brisket sandwiches, gyros, and Indian tacos.
Where: Main Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma
When: May 6, 2022 – May 8, 2022
More Information: http://www.tulsamayfest.org/
If you are a fan of Italian food and culture, you will likely be interested in the Italian Festival in McAlester, Oklahoma. During this event, visitors will be able to browse the largest arts and craft show statewide while enjoying several popular Italian specialties. In fact, over 800 pounds of sausage and 900 pounds of meatballs are served annually.
Visitors will also be impressed by the carnival, rides, midway games, and much more. If you are feeling adventurous, consider joining the festival’s famous spaghetti eating contest to see if you have what it takes to win. If you are looking for a great way to celebrate spring, the McAlester Italian Festival is a great place to start.
Where: Southeast Expo Center, McAlester, Oklahoma
When: May 13, 2022 – May 14, 2022
More Information: http://www.themcalesteritalianfestival.org/
Paseo Arts Festival
The Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City comes alive each may with over 90 visual artists showcasing their work. The Paseo Arts Festival is considered one of the largest arts festivals in the state. Visitors can browse various art types, including woodworking, photography, ceramics, painting, jewelry, and sculptures. These different art types are all created by regional and national artists that have made the trip to OKC to showcase their work.
In addition to traditional art, the Paseo Arts Festival also has two stages that showcase local talent of all genres. On the North Stage, guests can expect bluegrass, folk, and country music, while the South Stage focuses more on dancers and heavier music acts. One other stage, the Paseo Plunge, will also feature spoken word and standup comedy performances.
Where: Paseo Arts District, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
When: May 28, 2022 – May 30, 2022
More Information: https://www.thepaseo.org/festival/
Rooster Days Festival
Claiming to be the oldest festival in Oklahoma, Rooster Days in Broken Arrow comes at the tail-end of spring as one last hurrah before the summer begins. Originally established as a special day for farmers to bring their excess roosters to market, the modern day celebration spans four days and includes a multitude of great events, including a parade, rodeo, carnival, and much more. No matter what you enjoy, there is likely something you will love.
For those who were born 50 years ago in Broken Arrow or have lived there for 50 years, a special invitation-only pioneers’ dinner is also help annually. Although you may not expect it, attendees to this dinner can be found worldwide – even from international countries! If you are fortunate enough to get an invite, make sure that you share your experience with the team at Why Not Oklahoma.
Where: Main Street, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
When: June 9, 2022 – June 12, 2022
More Information: https://roosterdays.com/
What Is Your Oklahoma Favorite Festival?
While only a small glimpse of the many great activities to do in Oklahoma during the spring, this should give you a good idea of what the state has to offer during this season. There’s a good chance that we left out a lot of the great events that happen annually throughout our fantastic state. If we forgot to share your favorite, let us know in the comments so we can expand the list!
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