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Events in OKC

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Oklahoma Centennial Regatta – The Regatta, hosted by Chesapeake Energy and Oklahoma City University, is October 11 through the 14 and features rowing teams from around the US.  For an event that just began a few years ago, the regatta has become a huge weekend full of music, art, food, and more.

An Affair of the Heart craft fair – everyone who loves crafts and homemade items loves those times during the year (October and February) when the An Affair of the Heart show is held.  The event now takes up at least four huge buildings at the fair ground, and you almost need to take two days to see it all.

Statehood DayNovember 16 is always celebrated in Oklahoma as the day the state officially joined the union, but Statehood  Day 2007 is going to be a huge affair because it’s Oklahoma’s centennial year.  The huge celebration will be at the Ford Center, but events are planned across the state.

Opening Night – if you don’t have plans for New Year’s, you can always head down to Bricktown for OKC’s Opening Night.  The celebration includes live music, activities, games for the kids, and, of course, fireworks.

Oklahoma City Boat Show – it might sound odd to have a boat show in winter, but that’s just what we do here in Oklahoma.  This annual show is held the last weekend of January, and it’s a great place to check out the newest models and maybe even buy a boat for the upcoming summer months.

Oklahoma City Auto Show – Held annually in March, the OKC Auto Show is one of the largest auto shows in the country, and attendees can see everything from classic cars to the newest models.

Redbud Classic – the first weekend of April marks the time for the annual Redbud Classic, two days of walking, running, marathon, and cycling events.  But it’s more than just an athletic competition.  You’ll also find live entertainment, food, and events for the kids.

The Festival of the Arts – held the last week of April, art lovers of all ages flock to the Myriad Gardens for the annual Festival of the Arts.  Artists come from around the nation to show off their paintings, sculptures, and more, plus you’ll find great carnival food, music, and art demonstrations. 

Paseo Arts Festival – hot on the heels of the downtown Festival of the Arts is the Paseo Arts Festival.  The Paseo district is known as OKC’s artist community, and you’ll find a hundred of the best local artists and their works at the festival.  Traditionally, the Paseo festival has a more of a local atmosphere to it, while the Festival of the Arts is more of a larger affair.

Red Earth Native American Cultural Festival – The Red Earth festival gives attendees a chance to learn about native American culture and events by bringing together members from over 100 different tribes.  If you’ve never been before, it is truly a fascinating event that I highly recommend.

deadCENTER Film Festival – a relatively new event, this June film festival screens independent movies from all over the country.  For film buffs, this is a must-see event.  While you can buy a pass to the entire festival, they also sell fairly cheap tickets to each screening, so even if you can’t make it to everything, you can still catch a good movie or two.

Oklahoma City Museum of Art special exhibit: Roman Art from the Louvre – I’m making an exception to my list of annual events to include this special show at the museum.  OKC is one of only three US museums that will be showing these original works from the Louvre from June 19 until October 12, 2008.  If you’re anywhere near OKC during that time, check this out.

Bricktown’s 4th of July – Watch fireworks, eat great food, and see some fun live entertainment at Bricktown’s Independence Day celebration.

Oklahoma State Fair – the fair is held every year in September and is a huge event!  Rides, food, educational displays, crafts, cars…just about everything you can think of is on display or available for purchase.  Of special interest is the Made in Oklahoma building, which showcases items (and yummy food!) made in the state.

Downtown in December – every year, OKC’s downtown area turns into a winter wonderland complete with huge Christmas tree, an outdoor ice skating rink, rides, and more.  Special events run the entire month of December.

The Nutcracker – every year at Christmas, Ballet Oklahoma puts on their incredible performance of The Nutcracker.  For many, attending this performance is a holiday tradition, and I’ve been several times.  It’s always outstanding, and if you have the time, I highly encourage you to attend. 

OU Medieval Fair – every March, the University of Oklahoma transforms its huge park into a medieval wonderland full of knights, wandering minstrels, kings, and living chess pieces.  Admission is free, and even if you aren’t a huge fan of medieval times, the food, fun entertainment, and booths selling jewelry, medieval weapons, and more are still worth the trip.

Muskogee Castle Medieval Fair –hot on the heels of the OU medieval fair is the fair at Muskogee.  Yes, it’s a bit of a drive from OKC, but attending the castle fair is quite the experience.  The large castle building is permanent and allows for events and activities that the OU fair can’t quite manage.

El Reno Onion Fried Burger Day – a short drive (30 minutes or less) from Oklahoma City is El Reno, a good sized city that is fairly quiet except during the first weekend of May.  Then downtown El Reno becomes the stage for a huge celebration centered around the frying of a gigantic onion friend hamburger.  You can throw your own toppings on the burger, get a piece of it to eat, and enjoy many different activities during the weekend.  While I might be biased (I grew up near El Reno), I find this to be one of the most unique celebrations around.

OWFI conference – if you’re a writer or interested in becoming one, the annual Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc, conference may be something you’re interested in.  The conference is held in the spring (April/May) and often brings in authors, editors, and agents from both Oklahoma and the nation. 

Yukon Czech Festival – everyone knows what the first Saturday in October means: it’s time for Yukon’s Czech festival!  A suburb of OKC, Yukon hosts this huge celebration showcasing Czech culture, entertainment, and, of course, great food.

Haunted Zoo – looking for a scary time?  Every year in the weeks heading up to Halloween, the Oklahoma City zoo turns into a ghost-filled fright zone guaranteed to give you goose bumps.

Soonercon sci-fi festival – during July, science fiction fans of all ages head over to the Biltmore Hotel for Soonercon, Oklahoma City’s largest science fiction and fantasy convention.  Guest actors, writers, and artists present panels, discuss their works, and sign autographs for their fans.

Pride Parade – the annual OKC Pride Parade is held in June and is like a mini-fair featuring food, live music, games, and, of course, the parade itself, which is always a sight to behold.

Air show – held in June, the annual air show draws thousands.  If you love airplanes, you’ll love this event!  You can get up close and personal to many different planes and watch pilots display their skills.  In the past, the air show has even featured the famous Blue Angels

Shakespeare in the Park – starting in June and running through September, Oklahoma’s Shakespeare in the Park usually performs three or four shows on their outdoor stage.  They’ve recently moved their performances to the Myriad Gardens, and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch to eat during the great performance.

Oklahoma City University’s Distinguished Speaker Series – held twice a year (once in the fall and once in the spring), these free lectures hosted by Oklahoma City University have brought in some of the most renowned speakers in the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Noble Prize winner Elie Wiesel, and journalist Helen Thomas.

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