Weekly Events Calendar: May 13-19

9 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.

Time to B Real

By Ben Luschen
As you all know, my name starts with the letter B, and with my obsessive personality, it naturally follows that I have also made a ranked list of every English word that starts with the letter B. That’s why I’m so excited for my podvent this week: the Bixby BBQ & Blues Festival, which runs this Thursday to Saturday at Bixby’s Washington Irving Memorial Park & Arboretum. This is a festival featuring my No. 3 word (barbecue) and my No. 13 word (blues). That’s two top 15 b words in the same festival! Plus Bixby comes in at a very respectable No. 51 on the B list, so this is really a festival that can’t be missed. More than 80 barbecue teams from Oklahoma and practically every state that borders it (borders, ranked 258 on the B list) will descend upon Bixby over the three day stretch to compete for the top prize. There is also a fabulous lineup of music that includes sets from The Fabulous Mid Life Crisis Band (band is word number 36), the Buddy Whittington Band (buddy is word number 18), and the Paul Benjaman Band (Benjaman is, of course, number one). A taster’s kit for the People’s Choice Award can be purchased for just $10, but general admission is free. For more information call 918-549-8065.
May 16-18. Admission, free. bixbyrotarybbq.com

Start your summer out right with live music and some of the best smoked meats around at the Bixby BBQ & Blues Festival. Photo courtesy Bixby Rotary Club / Inhouse Advertising

Start your summer out right with live music and some of the best smoked meats around at the Bixby BBQ & Blues Festival. Photo courtesy Bixby Rotary Club / Inhouse Advertising

Plane Old Fashioned

By Nathan Gunter
Here’s a weird thing I think about now and then: My dad’s dad, my namesake Joe Nathan Gunter, was born in Kiowa, Oklahoma, in 1906. That’s three years after the Wright Brothers’ flights at Kill Devil Hills at Kitty Hawk in 1903, the first controlled, powered airplane flights. What a crazy time it must have been to live in the early twentieth century, to watch this amazing technology take off and evolve so fast.
Thirteen years after Kitty Hawk—when my granddad was ten years old—the Ford Trimotor flew for the first time. It was America’s first mass-produced airliner, with 199 models manufactured between 1925 and 1933. Of course, nowadays, flying is de rigueur: I only yesterday, as of this writing, had the utterly unremarkable experience of navigating the Atlanta airport with five hundred million of my new best friends. But the Ford Trimotor was the plane that got it all started. It was known as the “Tin Goose.”
So if you occasionally yearn for the days before, as Sideshow Bob put it, “any Joe Sweat Sock could wedge himself behind a lunch tray and jet off to Raleigh-Durham,” you’ll need to get to Ada Regional Airport May 16 to 19 for your own ride in a rare 1929 Ford Trimotor. Flights are $75 for kids 17 and younger and $99 for adults. The plane will run from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 16, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, the 17th through the 19th. You’ll soar above gorgeous Chickasaw Country in south-central Oklahoma, and helpful volunteers will be on board to share interesting stories and facts about the plane. All proceeds, by the way, go toward the Tin Goose’s upkeep. Or if you’re not all “‘scuse me while I kiss the sky,” visitors are welcome to stay on the ground and view the plane free of charge. For tickets or more information, call (800) 359-6217.
May 16-16. Tickets, $75-$99. eaa.org

When does someone ever get the chance to ride in an vintage Ford Tri-Motor Airplane? Try it this week at the Ada Regional Airport. Photo courtesy Experimental Aircraft Association

When does someone ever get the chance to ride in an vintage Ford Tri-Motor Airplane? Try it this week at the Ada Regional Airport. Photo courtesy Experimental Aircraft Association

A Fort Night

By Karlie Ybarra
What do you get someone for their 200th birthday? Usually, unless you happen to know Methuselah, a visit to their grave and some flowers will suffice. Thankfully, you don’t have to get Fort Towson a thing. In fact, to celebrate their—let’s call it the tanzanite anniversary, because the list of traditional anniversary gifts doesn’t go that high—the historic site is throwing a party for you (and everyone else who wants to celebrate this milestone). On May 18, visitors can see wagon and artillery demonstrations, watch re-enactors plying their trades while wearing authentically reproduced garb, and meet the hardworking mules like the ones that carried us westward. To remember your experience forever, you can grab a chronologically appropriate souvenir. Call (580) 873-2634 for more info.
March 18. Admission, $5-$7. okhistory.org

It might be the Fort Towson 200th Anniversary Celebration, but at this birthday party, it's the guests treated to the gift of history. Photo courtesy Fort Towson Historic Site

It might be the Fort Towson 200th Anniversary Celebration, but at this birthday party, it's the guests treated to the gift of history. Photo courtesy Fort Towson Historic Site

Grab a Saddle

By Kiersten Stone
Take a ride back in time at the famous Woolaroc Ranch. On May 18, the old country retreat of Oklahoma oilman Frank Phillips will be opening its gates for riders for the Spring Trail Ride. The ride will cover about 15 miles of land in the Osage Hills that is hardly, if ever, seen by the public. Throughout the trails, it is common to see bison, elk, deer, and longhorn cattle wander by. During the trail ride, non-riders are welcome to enjoy the main grounds of Woolaroc, including the art collection and Colt firearms collection. For more information about registration and the event, call (918) 336-0307.
May 18. Registration, $50-$65. woolaroc.org

Italian Classic

By Megan Rossman
Some people are all about drama, whether it’s flaring up in their personal lives, work lives, or everywhere they go. When it comes to watching drama unfold, there’s no better place to do it than in the safety of a performing arts center auditorium. On May 18 at the Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall, the audience will be in for an evening packed with extreme drama as the world-famous opera Tosca takes the stage. The Oklahoma City Philharmonic will wrap up its season with Giacomo Puccini’s emotional tale of an opera singer who’s caught up in a love triangle with her lover and the local police chief—starring three guest singers from the New York City Metropolitan Opera.
May 18. Tickets, $27-$99. okcphil.org

Written By
Ben Luschen

Luschen joined the *Oklahoma Today*’ staff as Research Editor in 2021 and currently works as the magazine's Web Editor, managing the website and social media fronts. His past *Oklahoma Today* stories have ranged in content from the state's bee and quail industries to its vibrant art and music scenes. Not adverse to a road trip, Luschen is always on the lookout for the next big adventure. He is never out of opinions about the current state of Oklahoma City Thunder basketball.

Ben Luschen
Previous Blog

"Oklahoma Today Podcast: May 6, 2024"

Next Blog

"Oklahoma Today Podcast: May 13, 2024"

You May Like

Oklahoma Today Podcast: May 20, 2024

Oklahoma State Parks naturalist Torie Thompson tells us what's new in the state's nature and interpretive centers. Plan your next visit t...

Oklahoma State Parks naturalist Torie Thompson tells us what's new in the state's nature and interpretive centers. Plan your next visit today.

By Ben Luschen | 1 min read Read BLOG

Weekly Events Calendar: May 20-26

This week in Oklahoma: A chuck wagon feast in Oklahoma City, Medicine Park gets to the roots, and Black Mesa State Park offers thanks to ...

This week in Oklahoma: A chuck wagon feast in Oklahoma City, Medicine Park gets to the roots, and Black Mesa State Park offers thanks to its guests.

By Ben Luschen | 8 min read Read BLOG

Learning Lines

Mean Girls is just one recent example of the stellar work done by young thespians at Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy in Oklahoma C...

Mean Girls is just one recent example of the stellar work done by young thespians at Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy in Oklahoma City.

By Kiersten Stone | 4 min read Read BLOG