By: Aarika Copeland | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: September 2023
The success of Broken Arrow’s Rose District results from the collective cooperation of its residents, businesses, and organizations. And in the vein of this cooperation two local nonprofits, Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful and ArtsOK, unite to deliver a free, family-fun weekend.
The Rose Festival affords KBAB the opportunity to invite the public to help celebrate both Broken Arrow’s history and its local artisans. “We were a sleeping community without an identity,” said Beverly Forester of KBAB. “Broken Arrow was once known as the City of Roses in the ’20s. We live in a wonderful, creative, supportive city. Our Rose Festival is where we can celebrate local artisans and businesses while reclaiming that piece of history with our annual Rose Show,” Forester explained. “And there are many advantages for us to partner together,” said Forester about collaboration with ArtsOK and the Chalk It Up Festival.
Chalk It Up Art Festival began as a small chalk drawing contest and an opportunity for artist vendors to sell their wares. It has since grown in equal popularity as its partner event and now spans a 4-block radius. “We are celebrating creativity,” said Jennifer Deal of Arts@302, a subsidiary of Arts OK. “Not only do we have various chalk artists competing but we will have vendor booths and a free Kid Zone, and we keep growing each year.”
The Rose Festival and Chalk It Up Art Festival join hands to bring the community a three-day celebration with plenty of events that promise to delight and inspire each attendee. Watch chalk artists create unique designs, or browse the many local vendor booths. Enter a bouquet of roses or a solo rose into the Rose Show contest, then grab lunch from one of the various food trucks. Rose District shops will also be open during the festival. “We have Monarch Watch, Yard by Yard, and Master Gardners to share sustainable gardening tips and information on keeping happy, native habitats,” said Forester.
The Glow Show is another delightful event you don’t want to miss. Inspyral Circus returns with their street performers and BA’s very own stilt-walking Rose Prince & Princess to deliver a spectacular light show.
The Rose Festival & Chalk It Up also presents their annual Art Contest, open to all ages from children to seasoned professionals, and in all mediums. Winners will be selected from each age group with prizes including ribbons, cash, and AVB saving certificates, which AVB will match up to $100 if deposited into an AVB savings account. Both organizations invite the public to the Arts@302 Gallery to tour the contestant exhibit during the festival. “Chalk It Up brings the arts to everyone,” said Deal. “From an elementary student who entered our Art Contest, to a child drawing on the sidewalk. We have vendors selling for the first time and those who have sold for years. We have provided a space for those emerging artists, artists-to-be, all the way through to professional artists, and all within our community.”
The Festival concludes Sunday with Rose Kites over Broken Arrow at the BA Event Park 21101 E. 101st Street. Tulsa Wind Riders Kite Club will fly their large kites, have a candy drop, and demonstrate kite fighting! Kids are invited to get in on the fun. Free kites can be claimed Friday and Saturday during the festival at the Kid Zone tent, or secure one during the kite event. “This will be the biggest historic kite exhibit in the Southwest,” said Forester.
All events are free to the public. Please see the Rose Festival or Chalk It Up Facebook pages for more details and times. All contest details, including dates, guidelines, and themes, for the Chalk It Up contest, Art Contest, and Rose Show contest can also be found on the Keep Broken Arrow Beautiful or Arts@302 websites.
For other events or community activities provided by ArtsOK or KBAB, follow them on social media or contact them directly for volunteer or sponsorship information. “We are always looking for sponsors. We are so grateful, for the third year Walmart is presenting as our sponsor,” said Forester. “Our mission at KBAB is to keep Broken Arrow clean, safe, and beautiful, and we can’t do that without our community.”
The Rose Festival and Chalk It Up is slated for Friday, Sept. 29, 5-8:30 pm & Saturday, Sept. 30, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 1st, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
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