By: Kristi Roe-Owen | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: August 2017
Fall is almost upon us, and before we know it, it will be time to trade in ice cold lemonade for pumpkin spice lattes. But don’t mourn the end of summer-- there’s plenty of fall festival fun to be had in northeast Oklahoma before the weather starts to cool.
Claremore’s 38th Annual Bluegrass and Chili Festival is September 7-9 at the Claremore Expo Center. Load up the minivan with your lawn chairs, because it’s BYOS (Bring Your Own Seat) at this free annual three-day event. Top regional bands will entertain on three stages performing a variety of music including country, gospel, bluegrass and classic rock and rhythm & blues. The Mid-America Regional Chili Cook-off is on Saturday with a spicy salsa division. The event will also include a Festival Market, arts and crafts, a car show, vocalist competition, and more.
There’s even more fair fun in September at the Rogers County Fair in Claremore. The festival and parking are free, leaving you with plenty of cash to spend on funnel cakes and carnival rides. This fair is a great place for makers, as it is home to some remarkable competitions and arts and crafts shows. The fair also offers talent shows, parades, fireworks, a 5K fun run, pumpkin patch, car shows, live music, and pageants.
The Tulsa State Fair is also coming up, opening on Sept. 28. You can always expect to have a great time there, as it is one of the largest events in Tulsa filled with entertainment, rides and family fun. Here are some more local festivals that you won’t want to miss!
September 14-16, Coweta will host the 43rd annual Coweta Fall Festival in downtown Coweta. This good old-fashioned local fun fair includes carnival rides, lots of tasty fair food, pageants, a car show, parades, talent shows, and all the trimmings.
Bartlesville hosts its 30th annual Indian Summer Festival on September 15-16. Located at the Bartlesville Community Center, the festival is meant to be a cultural exchange and includes vendors, arts and crafts, entertainment, cultural demonstrations, and a competitive powwow. The festival also includes an art show for youth with a $1000 scholarship for Best of Show.
Mannford hosts its annual Boats, Melons, & BBQ Festival on August 19. The end-of-summer festival includes a free kids’ fishing derby, games, waterslides, a vintage vehicle show, and live music. Cardboard boat races will offer cash prizes to the fastest boats in each category as well as a “White Lightning” prize for fastest overall boat. One of the highlights is a good old-fashioned gun show from the Green Country Gunslingers, a traveling group that competes in Cowboy Fast Draw competitions with wax bullets. If you’ve ever wondered how you would fare at high noon, now is the chance to find out. Attendees can pay $5 for 10 shots and compete against their friends.
If Celtic music and highland games are more your scene, head over to Scotfest on September 15-17, where you can get your fill of alternative Celtic rock and folk music, highland dance, whiskey tastings, and great beer. Pick up an early bird weekend pass for $25 to check out Celtica, Barleyjuice, and the Town Pants, among other terrific Celtic bands.
Creek Turnpike and 101st St., Broken Arrow, OK
Don’t miss the Gatesway Balloon Festival that same weekend in Broken Arrow. Balloons inflate at dusk and dawn September 15-17. This breathtaking annual event supports Gatesway, a non-profit organization which helps adults with intellectual disabilities develop the life skills, social skills, and vocational skills they need to live more independently. The festival offers live music on the main stage and tethered balloon rides for $20 per person or $15 for folks under 12 years old. A host of family activities will be offered including an inflatables zone for kiddos with an all-day wristband available for $10 over age 6 or $5 under.
On Saturday, the festival will host the Green Country Classic Mustang Show, also free to attend. There will also be a 1K family fun run and sanctioned 5k run. Check out the website for balloon glow and flight times.
Skiatook Pioneer Day Festival 2017 is September 16 in Skiatook Central Park. Skiatook was founded in 1872 when it was established as a frontier trading post, and they pull out all the stops for this annual shindig. This is one of the bigger Pioneer Day celebrations in Oklahoma, including carnival rides, the “Fantasy on Wheels” car show, parade, fly-in, chili challenge, petting zoo, rodeo, tractor pull, horse shoe tournaments, live music, and fireworks display. The event kicks off with a 5K color run and fitness walk along the Osage Prairie Trail. The parade begins at 9 a.m. The festival will also host a youth talent show which is sure to include plenty of adorable local talent.
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