Festival of the Arts celebrates visual, culinary and performing creativity, begins Tuesday in downtown Oklahoma City
From Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman. To see the Festival of Arts performing arts schedule, click here.
Festival of the Arts celebrates visual, culinary and performing creativity
Oklahoma City’s “rite of spring” begins Tuesday and continues through April 29 in downtown.
Brian Gililland can hardly wait to introduce his band’s indie folk music to thousands of potential new fans at one of Oklahoma City’s premier spring events.
O Fidelis, the local group Gililland fronts with his wife and fellow singer/multi-instrumentalist Laney, will be among the performers Tuesday as the 46th annual Festival of the Arts kicks off in downtown Oklahoma City.
“This is the first year that we actually applied and we got in, so we’re excited,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity for exposure and … a different audience than what we are normally able to play in front of. Because a lot of times we play in bars, people have to come to us. With this kind of thing, it’s almost like we get to come to the audience.”
Known as Oklahoma City’s annual “rite of spring,” the festival will celebrate the visual, performing and culinary arts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through April 28 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 29.
An array of activities will take place at the Festival Plaza, on Hudson Avenue and at the revamped Myriad Botanical Gardens, which were only about 70 percent complete during last year’s festival. The Arts Council of Oklahoma City, which organizes the festival, is looking forward to showcasing the refurbished gardens during one of downtown’s biggest events of the year, said Festival Director Angela Cozby.
“There’s areas that are open that weren’t open last year, like the beautiful children’s garden right next to our children’s area. So there’s children’s activities and then you can go and play in this beautiful children’s garden with the water feature which replicates the different stages of Oklahoma weather, from fog to thunder and lightning and rain. It’s quite a sight to see,” Cozby said.
“We didn’t expand through the entire park, but we plan to within the next couple of years.”
Along with culinary mainstays like Indian tacos, Strawberries Newport and fish tacos, the festival’s ever-popular International Food Row will get even more global flavor this year with several new vendors. Like the visual artists who exhibit at the festival, the concessionaires must go through a competitive jury process. In addition, each of the festival’s 31 food vendors must partner with a local arts organization, Cozby said.
This year, newcomers AAA/Bon Appetit Catering will team with Red Earth to serve up fresh shrimp and seafood cocktails, Italian muffuletta sandwiches and bananas foster ala mode. Adella’s will partner with Reduxion Theatre to peddle Italian nachos and a wrapped sausage called an Italiano Fire Stick. Cajun King and Norman Arts Council will dish up red beans and rice, fried catfish and fried chicken.
Perhaps the most unusual new food items will be the Australian jaffles and salads at the KCSC-FM booth. Jaffles are sandwiches similar to panini that contain such mixtures as apple, cheese and raisin, hummus, bell pepper and onion and zucchini, cheese, tomato and basil.
“They’re absolutely divine,” Cozby said. “They will be a unique food item, something a little healthier than you typically see with festival food … They’re a great addition to our vegetarian menu.”
For the first year, the festival will give out food awards, said Sue Hale, the festival’s volunteer co-chairman. On Tuesday, three celebrity judges, including The Oklahoman Food Dude David Cathey, will name the top items in various categories, including best entree and dessert.
“Everybody loves festival food,” Hale said. “The really fun part is we’re going to have people’s choice so that people can go online to ArtsCouncilOKC.com and pick which of the festival foods they like.”
In addition, the festival will give awards to the top visual artists for the first time, Hale said.
More than 600 artists applied for the chance to exhibit their fares on Hudson Avenue, with the jury choosing 144 Plaza Artists from 28 states and two foreign countries. The selected artists work in a variety of media, including oil and acrylic paint, glass, sculpture, fiber, jewelry, wood and leather.
For the second year, the prestigious South Hudson Gallery will have a pro-am theme. The 20 professional artists are all Oklahomans who have been partnered with amateur artists who also happen to be prominent local women leaders.
The pairs include former basketball star and painter Desmond Mason with Linda Whittington, owner of Corner Energy LLC; Paseo potter Colin Rosebrook with Maureen Heffernan, director of the Myriad Gardens Foundation; and painter Abby Stiglets and Kelly Dyer Fry, editor of The Oklahoman.
In addition, the festival’s sculpture garden will primarily exhibit the work of Oklahoma artists this year, Cozby said.
With the exception of the designated street performer, homegrown talents also are the focus of the festival’s performing arts lineup, she said. Australian comedian/contortionist Al Millar, AKA The Human Knot, will be this year’s street performer.
“We typically bring in somebody internationally or at least nationally well-known, and we’re really excited to have Al be a part of the festival. He was a contestant on ‘Australia’s Got Talent’ … and he has a very strange and entertaining act,” Cozby said.
The festival will include nearly 300 acts from across Oklahoma donating their time and talents, which range from clog dancing and woodcarving to improv comedy and rock music.
This year’s event will feature four stages, including the traditional Cafe and Water stages. The Myriad Gardens’ Great Lawn Stage will replace the Children’s Stage and still offer entertainment by and for youngsters as well as an expanded lineup, Cozby said.
With the closure of Stage Center, the festival is swapping the Deck Stage for the new Art Moves Stage, transplanting the popular daily traveling arts program that started last fall in downtown to the festival grounds during the event. Art demonstrations, poetry readings and musical performances will grace the Art Moves Stage.
For O Fidelis’ Gililland, the chance to play the Myriad Gardens’ Water Stage during the festival is a big thrill.
“We usually go every year, and we usually go for the music, of course. But I love looking at all the different artwork that comes in. Some of it’s really, really unique,” he said. “The fact that it’s free to the public and you can just peruse all day is really cool.”
Festival of the Arts
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through April 28, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 29.
Where: In Festival Plaza on Hudson Avenue and at the revamped Myriad Botanical Gardens.
Admission: Free. Pets are not allowed.
Information: 270-4848 or www.artscouncilokc.com.
What to do in Oklahoma on Oct. 11, 2011: Take a lunch break with Dustin Prinz’s Art Moves show at the Downtown Library
Today’s featured event:
Hear Oklahoma City singer/songwriter/musician Dustin Prinz play an Art Moves show from noon to 1 p.m. at the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.
To read The Oklahoman staff writer Carla Hinton’s recent story about the Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s new Art Moves program, click here.
For more information, go to www.artscouncilokc.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
What to do in Oklahoma on Oct. 4, 2011: Take part in the new Art Moves program in downtown Oklahoma City
Today’s featured event:
Check out the new Art Moves initiative offering free, daily lunchtime arts programming to the downtown area from noon to 1 p.m. today at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s Museum Cafe, 415 Couch Drive. For today’s Art Moves session, Mariachi Orgullo de America will perform acoustic mariachi music.
Presented by Devon, Art Moves is a project of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City, which is working with various locations, such as the Downtown Library, Leadership Square and the newly renovated Myriad Gardens, to host these events.
An emphasis will be placed on collaborating with the council’s downtown partners. This might include special boxed lunches from local restaurants, as well as events tailored to augment existing programming at each site.
Art Moves will consist of performances (think quartets, storytellers, and ballet troupes), artist demonstrations (a variety of mediums and techniques), short film selections, and artist/curator discussions.
A focus will also be placed on arts education, and each session will end with a Q & A session. Artists are given a unique opportunity, not only to speak of the creative process, but also to increase awareness and understanding of art to a larger audience.
The Art Moves initiative began Monday with artist Patrick Riley’s mask-making demonstration at Leadership Square.
For more information, go to www.artscouncilokc.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
A version of this column appears in Friday’s Weekend Look section of The Oklahoman.
Taking the stories outside
BAM Column: The Arts Council of Oklahoma City is moving its annual Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival to a big tent in downtown this weekend.
The Arts Council of Oklahoma City is taking its annual celebration of one of the oldest and most universal art forms outside.
The 2011 Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival will spin yarns Friday and Saturday under a huge tent on the arts council’s campus, 400 W California Ave. It’s a familiar site to the thousands of Oklahomans who have sought tasty treats on International Food Row at the council’s annual rite of spring, the Festival of the Arts.
While a few snacks and beverages will be for sale, food for the soul will be on the focus there this weekend, as the downtown festival will bring into the tent four nationally renowned storytellers who will relate their colorful tales, tell late-night ghost stories and perform a children’s matinee in the intimate out-of-doors setting. In addition, the quartet of acclaimed tellers will teach daytime workshops inside the McAlpine Center.
“Storytelling is an art form that everyone uses and they don’t even realize it. Just sitting with their family at night and telling stories at family gatherings, it’s something that everyone does and they don’t really think about it. So to come see professional storytellers and have them teach you and show you how to make your stories come to life to entertain other people is just fascinating and I think very important,” said Christina Foss, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s new project director, who is coordinating her first event with the storytelling festival.
“Each teller that we have coming in is so very unique and different in the way that they tell stories, so I think it will be a wonderful combination.”
For nearly three decades, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City produced the WinterTales Storytelling Festival, and in 2009, the organization moved the event to September and renamed it the Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival. All four of this year’s featured tellers are returning favorites, and the quartet will teach workshops from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, then perform their tales starting at 8 p.m. both days.
“It’s really good for preachers or CEOs or anybody who presents (information) in front of large groups of people. It’s actually really cool for them to come in and learn how to tell their stories better,” said Emily Grober Trotter, communications director of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. “I really enjoy the workshops.”
Donald Davis is famed for his sharing Appalachian mountain lore, ancient Scottish and Welsh fairy tales and true-to-life stories, carrying on his family heritage as traditional
storytellers who have lived on the same Western North Carolina land since 1781. He is a featured teller at the Smithsonian Institute, a guest host for the National Public Radio Program “Good Evening” and a graduate of Duke University Divinity School.
A winner of the National Storytelling Network’s Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, Beth Horner is known for her vivacious stage presence, comic sensibility and warm, energetic style. The Missouri-born, Chicago-based performer has worked for NASA to collect stories from the scientists behind Apollo space missions and has recorded on Live from National Geographic.
A champion of the West Virginia Liars’ contest, Bil Lepp has a reputation as one of the funniest story spinners around, and claims that while his stories may not be completely true, they are always honest. His recordings have received a Parent’s Choice Approved award and National Parenting Publications Awards recognition.
A former Associate Dean of Students at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Onawumi Jean Moss is known for her intelligent, thought-provoking and often musical presentations that inspire inter-generational audiences. The Tennessee native imbues her performances with history, heritage and social sciences.
“This is my favorite event that we do. Once you come, you’re just hooked and you won’t miss it ever again,” Trotter said. “A lot of people think, ‘Oh storytelling, that’s for kids’ or it’s someone up there reading a book. No. It’s live theater plus improv plus comedy plus awesome tales.” that you can relate to or tales that make you scratch your head and think ‘Is this guy lying or is that true?’”
Along with their featured performances Friday and Saturday night, Davis and Horner will spook listeners with late-night ghost stories at 10:30 p.m. Friday, while Lepp and Moss will share child-friendly yarns at the family matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday. All the performances will take place under the big tent.
“It’s going to be a really cool, cozy environment, especially those late-night ghost stories will be perfect in a big tent,” Trotter said. “It’ll be better than sitting in an auditorium, I think.”
The downtown festival made its home in Stage Center until flooding ravaged the historic venue in June 2010. After temporarily relocating to the SandRidge Energy Tower auditorium last year, the event is taking a cue from the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tenn., with the move outside. After the long, sweltering summer, Foss believes the event’s loyal attendees and volunteers with relish a pair of fall evenings listening to stories.
“I think it will bring a closer sense of community with everyone there and just make it a lot more interactive with the audience,” Foss said. “I think it will bring a really neat feel to the stories, just kind of “The lighting underneath the tent will bring a close, homey environment and create a nice ambiance for the storytellers.” and get everyone just in the mood a little bit better. I think it’s a pretty exciting move.”
Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival
Performances: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, plus late-night ghost stories at 10:30 p.m. Friday and family matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Where: The tent on the Arts Council of Oklahoma City campus, 400 W California Ave.
Workshops: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday inside McAlpine Center.
2011 Festival of the Arts performing arts schedule
The 2011 Festival of the Arts will celebrate the visual, performing and culinary arts from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Festival Plaza, around Stage Center, on Hudson Avenue and at the revamped Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City.
For more information, call 270-4848 or go to www.artscouncilokc.com.
11 a.m.: Opening ceremonies featuring Side by Side (female barbershop quartet) and Dove Science Academy Choir
Noon: SIVA Addiction (rock)
1 p.m.: The Recliners (progressive rock)
2 p.m.: Smilin’ Vic (classic oldies)
3 p.m.: Equilibrium (jazz)
4 p.m.: Chase Stites (pop)
5 p.m.: Ashford Brothers (rock)
6 p.m.: Life Change Ballroom (Youth Empowerment and Leadership and In-School programs) (dance)
7:30 p.m.: The Al Good Orchestra (big band)
11 a.m.: Millwood Arts Academy (choral/dance)
Noon: Dance Dimensions (dance)
1 p.m.: Dove Science Academy Choir (choral)
2 p.m.: Singing Cyclones with Jahruba (choral/dance)
3 p.m.: Metropolitan School of Dance (dance)
4 p.m.: Dazzlers Drill Team (dance)
5 p.m.: Highland East Junior High Choir (choral/drama)
6 p.m. Festival Idol competition
7:30 p.m.: Velocity Dance Center (dance)
West Lawn Stage
11 a.m.: Joe Divine & Family Affair (blues)
Noon: James Good (jazz)
1 p.m.: Cristo Foreeves (rock)
2 p.m.: M. Tim Blake (singer-songwriter)
3 p.m.: Sunday Lane (singer-songwriter)
4 p.m.: Dana Eason (inspirational/gospel)
5 p.m.: Tele Mori (rock)
6 p.m.: Phil Brown Trio (rock)
7:30 p.m.: The Dead Armadillos (folk)
11 a.m.: NTO (rock/country)
Noon: Oklahoma Traditions (traditional/folk)
1 p.m.: Teresa Black (traditional/folk)
2 p.m.: The SweetWater (rock/ alternative)
3 p.m.: Minister Kaine (hip-hop/rap)
4 p.m.: Grandpa’s Gone Platinum (inspirational/gospel)
5 p.m.: FM Pilots (rock)
6 p.m.: Evan and Gracie Barry (variety)
7:30 p.m.: Jackson’s Brew (pop/jazz)
This sign at the Festival of the Art’s Young at Art Mart reminds visitors that only children are allowed to shop inside the tent. No parents are allowed. (BAM photos)
My family and I officially celebrated spring today with our annual weekend visit to the Festival of the Arts in downtown Oklahoma City.
The 44th Annual Festival of the Arts was packed with people, from families with children marathoners; live entertainment, from mariachi bands to an impromptu contact juggler; and of course, artwork, from delicate blown glass vases to colorful paintings of dogs.
Here is this year’s list of my favorite things about the Festival of the Arts, besides the fact it is free.
1. Children’s activities. Many events are billed as family friendly, but the festival practically defines the term. The Pottery Place gives children and adults alike the chance to purchase and paint a premade vessel, which is then fired raku-style to make it colorful and shiny. At the Young at Art Mart, only youngsters can enter and shop – no parents are allowed – from a wide selection of small paintings, photos and 3-D items priced at $5 or less. My 3 1/2-year-old, Gabe, was able to paint a raku pot, buy a small blue abstract painting of dancers and get a tiger-striped balloon, all for $10.50.
2. Charitable deliciousness. Along with the visual and performing arts, the event celebrates the culinary arts, meaning the food is more delectable than just the usual festival fare. My husband and I opted to lunch on a couple of festival faves: the Lyric Theatre Indian tacos and Craig & Carter’s Famous Fish Tacos. Naturally, they were just as tasty as any other year. Our older son, Chris, 15, opted for a classic: the yummy bratwurst. But Gabe, who loves tiny burgers, tried and shared a new item on the festival menu: the tender and toothsome Deep Fork Grill prime rib sliders. Plus, every vendor at the festival must partner with a local arts organization, so each bite goes to make OKC a more artistic place.
3. Myriad Gardens farewell. On Monday, the Myriad Gardens and Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory will close for a year to undergo a dramatic renovation project. These two OKC icons will never again look the same. Since we recently had visited the Crystal Bridge, we didn’t venture inside today, but my family and I wandered for awhile around the outdoor grounds. Gabe couldn’t resist rolling down one of the hills one more time, while Chris even scaled a couple of trees. It seemed an appropriate temporary farewell to a place that has become such a part of our spring family tradition.
Carlos Smith of Harrah “walks” a juggling ball up his hands as he demonstrates contact juggling at the festival.
4. Creativity live. Nearly 200 entertainers donate their time and energy to perform on four stages around the festival. The performers ranged from bands of all genres and school choirs to dance groups and even a trick roper. While lunching on those spicy fish tacos, I could really get into the spirit of the lavishly costumed twirling of Yumare Mexican Folkloric Dancers and the lively sounds of Mariachi Lopez, who got everyone grooving to “a song so Spanish, it’s become American,” “La Bamba.” Besides the official entertainment lineup, the festival brought out the creativity of folks like Carlos Smith, a contact juggler from Harrah, who learned to gracefully manipulate colorful orbs three years ago at the Norman Medieval Fair.
5. People encounters. My husband and I find it practically impossible to make a trek to the festival without seeing someone we know. Today, not only did we run into several friends from the arts community, but we also watched Harrah’s Russell Babb Honor Choir perform on the children’s stage with several members of our church. People watching definitely qualifies as one of the perks of the festival.
Greg Reiche’s “Titan II” was among the large-scale artworks on view at the festival’s Sculpture Park.
6. Art everywhere. The Festival of the Arts definitely lives up to its name; it’s literally impossible not to see artwork everywhere you go there. The large-scale bronzes of the Sculpture Park are always a preferred attraction for the BAM clan, and we watched with interest as woodworkers, potters and painters demonstrated their skills in the Artful Experience tents. Of the 144 festival artists showing their wares along Hudson Avenue, some of my favorites included the farm-style signs of British Columbia water media specialist Jodene Kilner, the colorful dog portraits of Gainesville, Fla., artist Jane Billman and the vividly serene landscapes of Russian painter Andrei Kioresku.
7. Springtime outside. The festival is considered Oklahoma City’s annual “rite of spring,” and spring in the Sooner state always involves adventures in weather. We’ve visited the festival in driving rainstorms and scorching heat. Today’s weather challenge was a familiar one: the Oklahoma wind sweeping down the plains. A particularly strong breeze blew a big fudge-drizzled dollop of ice cream sundae all over my shirt. Still, there was plenty of sweet and cold goodness for Gabe and me to share, and an afternoon at the festival was worth creating a little laundry magic once I got home.
Today’s featured event:
Spend the weekend celebrating Oklahoma City’s annual “rite of spring,” the 2010 Festival of the Arts in downtown. Festival hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 11 a.m. today and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The festival offers an array of visual, performing and culinary arts to please patrons of all ages. And best of all, it’s free!
Terrifically talented Oklahoma guitarist Edgar Cruz, a festival mainstay, will perform at noon today on the Cafe Stage, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy some wonderful music along with that amazing festival food. My colleague Bryan Painter recently talked to Cruz about his long musical career; to read the interview, click here.
For more information, go to www.artscouncilokc.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.
Oklahoma City Thunder standout Russell Westbrook (Associated Press file photo)
Here is a list of activities happening around Oklahoma during this absolutely action-packed weekend (April 23-25). For even more events, go to www.wimgo.com:
- See the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the L.A. Lakers in Game 4 of their seven-game playoff series at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ford Center, 100 W Reno. Information: (800) 745-3000 or www.thunder.nba.com. The Thunder won at home Thursday night to bring the series to 2-1 in favor of the Lakers, who won the first two games in their Staples Center. To read more about Thursday’s awesome win, click here.
- Watch Oklahoma City Ballet perform three world premiere ballets at “Thr3e by Thr3e” at 8 p.m. today and Saturday at the Civic Center, 201 N Walker. Information: 848-8637 or www.okcballet.com.
- Catch the final weekend of Oklahoma City Theatre Company’s production of Shakespeare’s “King Lear” at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday at the Civic Center’s CitySpace Theatre, 201 N Walker. Information: 297-2264 or www.okctheatrecompany.org.
Festival-goers flip through prints in an artist booth at the Festival of the Arts. (Photo by Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman)
- Experience art, music, food and fun today through Sunday at the Festival of the Arts at Festival Plaza, Stage Center and Myriad Gardens in downtown Oklahoma City. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. today and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Information: 270-4848 or www.artscouncilokc.com.
- Watch the Oklahoma City RedHawks play the Memphis Redbirds at 7:05 p.m. Saturday and 4:05 p.m. Sunday at the AT&T Bricktown Ballpark. Information: www.oklahomaredhawks.com.
- TULSA — Hear Oklahoma music icon Leon Russell at 7 p.m. Saturday at Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino’s Osage Event Center, 951 W 36 St. N. Information: (918) 699-7667 or www.milliondollarelm.com/event-center. (He also will play at 9 p.m. Sunday on theJagermeister Stage at the Norman Music Festival. Information: www.normanmusicfestival.com.)
- NORMAN – Take in performances by more than 170 local, regional and international musical acts for free at the Norman Music Festival 3 from 6 p.m. to midnight Saturday and noon to 11 p.m. Sunday in the 100, 200 and 300 blocks of E Main. Performers include Dirty Projectors, Electric Six, Those Darlins, Grupo Fantasma, The Sword, The Gourds, James McMurtry, Evangelicals, The Non, Leon Russell and so many, many more. Information: www.normanmusicfestival.com.
- Catch the opening weekend of the Oklahoma City Repertory Theatre production of “The 39 Steps” at 8 tonight, 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Performances continue through May 2. Information: www.cityrep.com.
GUTHRIE — Commemorate Oklahoma’s Land Run history today and Saturday during Guthrie’s ‘89er Days Celebration. Take in a carnival, craft show, parade and rodeo. In addition, watch the Guthrie Dudes and Oklahoma City Pirates play the annual 1889 baseball game at 6:30 p.m. today at Squire’s Field in downtown at the corner of Springer Avenue and Division Street. Information: www.89erdays.com.
The Norman ’89 Day parade marches in 2009 in downtown Norman. (Photo by Jaconna Aguirre/The Oklahoman Archives)
- NORMAN — Celebrate Oklahoma’s Land Run history today and Saturday during Norman ‘89er Day Weekend. Take in a wagon train roundup, live music and blacksmith demonstrations from 6 to 10 tonight at “Rockin’ on the Range” at Cleveland County Fairgrounds, 615 E Robinson. Watch the parade at 10 a.m. Saturday in downtown. Information: 366-8095 or www.norman89.com.
- Catch the final weekend of Lyric Theatre’s production of “Driving Miss Daisy” at 8 tonight, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at Lyric at the Plaza, 1725 NW 16. www.lyrictheatreokc.com.
- GUTHRIE – Watch the Pollard Theatre, 120 W Harrison, stage “Thoroughly Modern Millie” at 8 p.m. today and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Performances continue through May 1. Information: www.thepollard.org.
Darius Rucker performs Sunday at the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas. (AP file photo)
- THACKERVILLE – Hear country singer and former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker at 8 p.m. Saturday at WinStar World Casino. Information: www.winstarworldcasino.com.
- TULSA – Listen to Nickelback with Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown and Sick Puppies at 6:30 p.m. Saturday at the BOK Center, 200 S Denver. Information: www.bokcenter.com.
- TAHLEQUAH – Celebrate Wilson Rawls’ classic book “Where the Red Fern Grows” at the annual Red Fern Festival today and Saturday at Norris Park, corner of Muskogee and Morgan. The free old-fashioned, family-friendly event includes hound dog field trials, 1930s era children’s games, 1950s car show, fern sale, live music, a parade, chili cook-off, barbecue, movies and more. The festivities begin at noon today and 9 a.m. Saturday. Read my colleague Sheila Stogsdill’s story about the festival by clicking here. Information: www.cityoftahlequah.com or www.redfernfestival.com.
Megaphone Comedy Tour
- Laugh out loud when OKC Improv hosts the Texas-based Megaphone Comedy Tour at 8 tonight at Ghostlight Theatre Club, 3110 N Walker. Or get in on the giggles when Tulsa improv troupe Crayons and Edmond-based teen improvisers To Be Announced play OKC Improv at 8 p.m. Saturday at Ghostlight. Information: www.okcimprov.com.
- OKC & TULSA – Listen to the Battle of the Big Bands, pitting the Russ Morgan Orchestra and Floyd Haynes and his Orchestra, at 7 tonight at the Civic Center’s Hall of Mirrors, 201 N Walker. Or get in on the battle at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tulsa Moose Lodge, 862 S Garnett. Information: www.floydhaynesorchestra.com.
- Run, relay, walk or cheer on the participants at the 10th Annual Memorial Marathon – A Run to Remember – at 6:30 a.m. Sunday at the Oklahoma City National Memorial, 620 N Harvey. Information: www.okcmarathon.com.
Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne performs at last year’s New Year’s Eve Freakout. (Photo by John Clanton/The Oklahoman Archives)
Happy New Year! It’s New Year’s Eve, and there are many festivities planned around the state for today and throughout the weekend. Here is the special New Year’s 2009-10 edition of the Weekend Warmup (for Dec. 31, 2009-Jan. 3, 2010). For more events, go to www.wimgo.com:
- Celebrate the start of 2010 with psychedelic music, confetti cannons and a giant balloon drop at The Flaming Lips New Year’s Eve #3, featuring Stardeath and White Dwarfs, at 8:30 tonight at the Cox Convention Center in downtown. After the midnight countdown, the Lips and Stardeath will return to the stage to perform Pink Floyd’s famed album “The Dark Side of the Moon.” Click here to read Gene Triplett’s story on the event. Information: www.coxconventioncenter.com.
- NORMAN — Listen to the legendary B.B. King at 8 p.m. Friday at Riverwind Casino, 1544 W State Highway 9. Information: 322-6464 or www.riverwind.com.
- MIAMI – Mark the end of the year with local country singer Keith Anderson, along with Cowboy Troy, Della Rose and Boogie Fever dance band, at Buffalo Run Casino’s New Year’s Eve Celebration at 7 tonight. Information: www.buffalorun.com.
- Take in the children’s area, Tornado Alley Rollergirls bout and performances by The Non, The Uglysuit, PowerHouz and more at Opening Night 2010 from 7 to midnight tonight at 10 venues in downtown Oklahoma City. Click here to read George Lang’s story on the event. Information: www.artscouncilokc.com.
- Hear Cody Canada, Mike McClure, Stoney LaRue, Jason Boland and more at the sixth annual Hangover Ball at 6 p.m. Friday at the Wormy Dog Saloon, 311 E Sheridan. Information: 601-6276 or www.wormydog.com.
- STILLWATER – Party into 2010 with Jason Boland & the Stragglers at 8 tonight at Tumbleweed Dance Hall, Lakeview and Country Club roads. Information: www.tumbleweedconcerts.com.
“Untitled (landscape)” by Joe Andoe
- See the works of Oklahoma-connected artists Shelley Horton-Tripe, Joe Andoe and Marko Krakohvil from 1 to 10 p.m. Friday during the seventh annual New Year’s Day Opening at JRB Art at the Elms, 2810 N Walker.
- View new exhibits opening at other galleries in the Paseo Arts District from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday during the monthly Paseo Gallery Walk. Information: 525-2688 or www.thepaseo.com.
- Watch American Indian dancing at the Oklahoma City Pow-Wow Club’s Annual New Year’s Dance at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Centennial Building at State Fair Park. Information: 919-1572 or www.okstatefairpark.com.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey
- TULSA – Spend New Year’s Eve listening to Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and The Panda Resistance at 8 tonight at The Eclipse, 1336 E Sixth Street. Information: www.myspace.com/eclipsetulsa.
- Take advantage of the last weekend for Downtown in December, which includes the Devon Ice Rink, Chesapeake Snow Tubing at the Brick and the new Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway. The festivities end Sunday. Information: www.downtownindecember.com.
- THACKERVILLE – Hear the Zac Brown Band at 8 p.m. Saturday at WinStar World Casino. (I’ll have an interview with Zac Brown Band fiddler Jimmy De Martini here Friday.) Or catch Earth, Wind & Fire in concert at 9 p.m. Friday at WinStar. Information: (800) 622-6317 or www.winstarworldcasino.com.
Hosty Duo (The Oklahoman Archives photo)
- NORMAN – Celebrate the New Year with the Hosty Duo at 10 tonight at The Deli, 309 White Street. Information: www.thedeli.us.
- Bring in the New Year with Little League Hero, Oida and Green Corn Revival at 8 tonight at 51st Street Speakeasy, 1114 NW 51 Street. Information: www.myspace.com/51speakeasy
- Watch the Oklahoma City Thunder take on the Utah Jazz in a New Year’s Eve game at 7 tonight at the Ford Center, 100 W Reno. Information: www.thunder.nba.com.
Aelbert Cuyp, “Herdsman with Cows”
- See the special exhibit “The Dutch Italianates: 17th-century Masterpieces from Dulwich Picture Gallery, London” Saturday or Sunday before it closes at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. The final day for the exhibit is Sunday. Information: www.okcmoa.com.
- Ring in the New Year with special shows featuring comic Rahn Ramey at 7:30 and 10 tonight at the Looney Bin Comedy Club, 8503 N Rockwell Ave. Information: www.loonybincomedy.com/ok.
- TULSA – Catch the sixth (and possibly final) Copy Copy Holiday Extravaganza, also featuring Algebra, Popular Culture and Lizard Police, at 6 p.m. Friday at The Marquee, 222 N Main. Information: www.myspace.com/themarqueetulsa.
Today’s featured event:
Hear Oklahoma City-based experimental rock band Junebug Spade at 7 p.m. today at the Myriad Botanical Gardens in downtown. The free show is part of the Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Sunday Twilight Concert Series.
For more information, go to www.artscouncilokc.com.
For more events, go to www.wimgo.com.