Weekly Events Calendar, August 7-13, 2023

5 minutes

Each week, Oklahoma Today staffers comb through their calendars to find a handful of great events happening across the state. Get out! See Oklahoma! And be sure to let us know what you find, either here or on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @oklahomatoday.

Rush over to the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival for the sweet taste of summer. Photo by Lori Duckworth

Rush over to the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival for the sweet taste of summer. Photo by Lori Duckworth

Seed-Spitting Celebration

Despite the name, please understand that the purpose of the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival & Rodeo is to enjoy the sweet delights of the Cucurbitaceae family and the exciting pastime of roping and riding horses and other livestock. It is not about riding and roping watermelons, which would be both too easy and too messy for consideration. Instead, folks can enjoy a festival that has been staged annually since 1948, attracting more than 20,000 visitors for seed-spitting contests, arts and crafts, carnival rides, and more. August 10-12. Admission, free. facebook.com

Oak for Okies

Interested in chopping cherry, carving conifers, turning teak, or burnishing black walnut? Then make like a tree and leaf your couch behind for a trip to Broken Arrow and the annual Woodcarving & Folk Arts Festival. While wood gets top billing, there will be ceramics, letterpress printing, stained glass, and more at this celebration of classic crafting. For those who want to do it themselves, there are seminars for ages thirteen and older for artists of all levels. August 11-12. Admission, free. eowa.us

Finally, hot air is doing some good at the FireLake Firelight Balloon Festival in Shawnee. Photo courtesy Citizen Potawatomi Nation

Finally, hot air is doing some good at the FireLake Firelight Balloon Festival in Shawnee. Photo courtesy Citizen Potawatomi Nation

Up, Up, and Away

Come see the beautiful balloons in Shawnee during the FireLake Fireflight Balloon Festival as they launch from the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Powwow Grounds. Or get up the gumption and pay to ride in one of twenty balloons that will be on-site during the two-day event. When the neck strain of looking up gets to be too much, look down for a game of mini-golf or look ahead to the bevy of food trucks that will be slinging tasty treats. August 11-12. Admission, free. firelakeballoonfest.com

Only You

Arsonists and lazy campfire aficionados beware, because the bear is back and he means business. Enjoy Smokey Bear’s Birthday Celebration in Hulbert at Sequoyah State Park. One of the most successful public awareness campaigns of all time began seventy-nine years ago, which means this cartoon bear is nearing his eightieth birthday. Get a heaping helping of nature at one of Oklahoma’s premiere state parks and remember that you, yes you, can prevent forest fires. August 12. Admission, free. facebook.com

The River Bowl Classic in Oklahoma City brings fun and competition to OKC Schools students and alumni. Photo courtesy OKC Riversport

The River Bowl Classic in Oklahoma City brings fun and competition to OKC Schools students and alumni. Photo courtesy OKC Riversport

Rolling Down the River

Head to Oklahoma City’s Devon Boathouse for the second annual River Bowl Classic on the Oklahoma River. Hosted by the Oklahoma City Black Alumni Coalition, the Classic is a reunion-style event where alumni and current students from OKC schools compete in rowing and dragon boat racing. Kids are encouraged to give kayaking a try and when they work up a hunger, there will be plenty of food trucks on hand to purchase sustenance. August 12. Admission, free. riversportokc.org

Written By
Greg Elwell

Greg Elwell served as research editor and web editor of Oklahoma Today from 2018-2023. He also has worked for newspapers, medical research organizations, and government institutions.

Greg Elwell
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