By: Lorrie Ward | Category: Other | Issue: October 2012
Nut House owner Hazel Ward and employee Tara.
This summer’s drought affected many crops, but northeastern Oklahoma’s pecan trees proved to be a bunch of “hard nuts to crack.” Hazel Ward, owner of The Nut House, observes, “The pecan trees are full, though the nuts are a little on the small side, but we are hopeful the pecans will be an abundant crop.”
To celebrate this bounty, The Nut House will host its yearly Route 66 Pecan and Fun Fest on Saturday, October 20 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Fun Fest” is an apt description of this event, as it will be filled with color and creativity, with handmade crafts, fall themed activities, local music by Bethany Grace & Gypsy Soul and Klondike5 String Band, and tasty food, making it a celebration for all ages.
This year’s craft show promises to be bigger than ever, giving local artisans a chance to display authentic, handmade goods and other “Made in Oklahoma” items of interest. In the spirit of keeping history and tradition, Hazel has invited a local weaver to demonstrate how she spins her own yarn on a loom. The Nut House is still accepting vendor applications and will continue to do so up until the week of the event, as long as space is still available.
Since this autumn festival is held so close to autumn’s signature holiday – Halloween – The Nut House will feature plenty of events inspired by this date, including face painting, pumpkin painting, and a costume contest. The age range for the costume contest is birth to 12 years, with judging held at 2 p.m., and any theme is welcome. “Last year, we had everything from a bumble bee to a vampire,” Hazel recalls. “It was a lot of fun.”
Great food is always available at the Route 66 Pecan and Fun Fest, with Hot Mama’s Deli offering its usual line of goodies: sandwiches made with Boar’s Head meats and Amish cheeses, homemade broccoli salad, cookies, cupcakes and much more – and of course, homemade pecan pie!
This will be the fourth year The Nut House has hosted this festival. For many years, the Pecan Festival was held in Okmulgee, but in 2009, when Hazel heard it would be discontinued, she welcomed the opportunity to continue the tradition. She added the reference to Route 66, not only because of The Nut House’s location, but because she is committed to preserving the memory of this strip of highway that is such an integral part of Oklahoma’s history. “Oklahoma had 400 miles of Highway 66, more than any of the seven states it ran through,” Hazel notes. “It was the first highway to run from the Midwest to California – and there are still bits and pieces of the old road bed to be found across the state.”
In the spirit of tradition, a good friend of the family, Delbert Tygart, allowed Hazel’s husband, Darryl, to attach The Nut House’s Route 66 emblem to his restored 1966 Chevy Impala Super Sport. The car recently represented The Nut House at the 2012 Hot Rod Power Tour and will make an appearance at the Route 66 Pecan and Fun Fest. “Both this car and Route 66 are reminders of a simpler time,” says Hazel. “We want to honor that.” Festival sponsors are Champion Refuse, Midwest Crane Services, Suburban Chevrolet, Bank of Commerce and Turf/Land Equipment.
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