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Oh my gourd

31 festivals to hit this fall

A refreshing crispness in the air, the smell of cuisines from around the world, and all the reasons you could ever need to cut a rug. Leaves are falling (well, almost). Pumpkins are growing. Beer is getting darker. Let’s have some fun.

Claremore Bluegrass & Chili Festival
9/7–9 | Claremore Expo Center | Free admission, $10 parking | bluegrasschilifest.com

The 38th annual Claremore Bluegrass & Chili Festival will take place September 7–9 at the Claremore Expo Center. The Mid-America Regional Chili Cookoff is on Saturday, September 9. Teams will compete for cash, prizes, and trophies, and the winner will represent the festival at the World’s Championship Chili Cook-Off. There will also be a salsa cook-off on Saturday.

National performing acts include Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Russell Moore and IIIrd Tyme Out, Dailey and Vincent, and The Cleverlys—in addition to many regional bands. Other activities include the festival market, art and crafts, open car show, vocalist competition, and junior showcase.

Blue Whale Comedy Festival
9/7–9 | Brady Arts District
Individual performance tickets available, weekend passes $85–$195 | bluewhalecomedyfestival.com
More than 65 comedians—including Eugene Mirman, Kyle Kinane, Naomi Ekperigin, and the Sklar Brothers—take the mic for the annual comedy blowout. For interviews the full schedule, click here.

SkyDance Kite Festival
9/9 | Chisholm Trail South Park, Broken Arrow | Free admission | facebook.com/tulsawindriders
Kite fliers from around the region will take to the skies. Wanna join in? Vendors will also be on site so you can get a kite of your own.

9/9–10 | Cox Business Center | $15 | brickuniverse.com/tulsa
The ultimate LEGO fan experience returns to Tulsa with unbelievable displays and interactive building opportunities.

Gatesway Balloon Festival
9/15–17 | Broken Arrow Events Park | Free admission, $5 parking | gateswayballoonfestival.org
Up in the sky: dozens of hot air balloons. On the ground: a Mustang car show, a 5K, Kite Club, and more.

9/15–17 | River West Festival Park | $5–$250 | okscotfest.com
Highland games, pipes and drums, whiskey tastings, alternative Celtic rock, and glorious deep-fried Scottish cuisine make this festival 100 percent kilt-worthy.

Stone River Music Festival
9/15–17 | Chandler | $25–$45 | stonerivermusicfestival.com
This music and camping festival on land owned by the family of local guitar great Dustin Pittsley will feature performances by Ian Moore, and many locals, including Wink Burcham, Pilgrim, Jacob Tovar, and a family jam.

9/16 | Penny Park | Free admission | neighborsalongtheline.org
Neighbors Along the Line present this afternoon of family fun, featuring food, music, art, entertainment, and a parade.

Medicine Stone
9/21–23 | Diamondhead Resort, Tahlequah | Single day: $60, 3-day passes start at $150 | medicinestoneok.com
Created by Jason Boland and The Stragglers and Turnpike Troubadours, Medicine Stone features four stages and performances by Randy Rogers Band, Shinyribs, JD McPherson, Lucero, American Aquarium, and more.

Festival Americas
9/22–23 | Guthrie Green | Free admission | facebook.com/festivalamericas

Festival Americas will celebrate the rich, vibrant culture of the Americas at Guthrie Green on September 22–23.

Day one, which runs from 6–9 p.m., features an outdoor art gallery with local Latino artists and live music, food trucks, and a tequila garden.

Day two offers more of the same plus a full day of dance performances,  live music, a kid’s zone, and interactive activities for all ages. On day two, the festival will be open 2–10 p.m.

The concert lineup includes Grupo Soniak, Tulsa Latin Style, Navarro y Su Potencia Musical, Tulsa Salseros, Ballet Folklorico Tonatiuh, Chilenos Morelenses and the Grammy award-winning band La Santa Cecilia.

Higher Plains Jazz and Hip Hop Festival
9/22–23 | The Vanguard | $27–$45 | thevanguardtulsa.com
The third annual Higher Plains will feature a jazz night with Shaun Martin of Snarky Puppy, Erykah Badu’s backing band RC & The Gritz, New Orleans band Extended, and locals Branjae, Henna Roso, and Annie Ellicott. The hip hop night will feature Raekwon (read our interview with him here!), Jabee, Steph Simon, We Make Shapes, Mike Dee and Stone Trio, Algebra, and more.

Chalk It Up! An Art Festival
9/22–23 | Rose District, Broken Arrow | Free admission | facebook.com/ChalkItUpAnArtFestival
In a celebration of impermanence, artists compete, creating artworks on 10’x10’ sections of Main Street, B.A.

9/23 | Riverwalk Crossing, Jenks | Free admission | animalallianceok.org
Oklahoma’s largest (and grooviest) pet adoption event. Find a new friend or bring one for pet contests, microchipping, vendors and services, and live music.

Tulsa State Fair
9/28–10/8  Expo Square | $6–$10, Mega Ride Passes: $70–$75 | tulsastatefair.com
Rides, fried Oreos, BBQ parfaits, 4H exhibits, rodeos, Disney On Ice, sights, sounds, and smells—plus performances by In This Moment, Bret Michaels, Jimmy Buffet tribute band Bluffet, and more.

Illinois River Jam
9/29–30 | Peyton’s Place, Tahlequah | $45 | illinoisriverjam.com
The lineup for this Okie music fest features Parker Millsap, Travis Linville, Samantha Crain, Ramsay Midwood, Kyle Reid, and more.

Kiefer Medieval Faire
9/29–10/1 | Kiefer Municipal Park | Free admission, $3 parking | facebook.com/kiefermedievalfaire
Step back in time for a unique mixture of medieval, renaissance, and steampunk styles. See knights duel and even take part in a medieval riding skills clinic.

Haunted Castle Halloween Festival
Fridays and Saturdays, 9/29–10/28 | The Castle of Muskogee | Free admission, attraction prices vary | okcastle.com
A variety of fun and spooky activities and attractions for the brave (Casa Morte, Domus Horrificus, Trail of Blood) and the not-so-brave (Halloweenland, Enchanted Boardwalk) fill Green Country’s favorite castle.

McNellie’s Harvest Beer Festival
9/30 | McNellie’s Downtown | $40–$45 | facebook.com/mcnellieshbf

On September 30, over 70 breweries will assemble outside McNellie’s downtown for the grandest local beer tasting this fall. Unlimited tastings and a free souvenir glass are included with each session—session one runs 12–3 p.m. and session two 5–8 p.m. Each ticket purchase gives you the chance to win a Yeti Tundra 45 ice chest. Ticket prices increase from $40 to $45 the week of, and designated drivers are welcomed without a ticket. Food provided by McNellie’s, Fassler Hall, and Elgin Park. This event is 21+, so dream on kiddos.

Tulsa’s Soul Festival
9/30 | Guthrie Green | Free admission | waymantisdale.net
A tribute to the late Wayman Tisdale, this concert will feature national acts The SOS Band and Raheem DaVaughn, as well as locals Charlie Redd and the Full Flava Kings, Written Quincey, Jericam Tulsa Street Dance, and more.

Oklahoma Bigfoot Symposium
9/30–10/1 | CC Camp, Stillwell | $5 | mabrc.com/okbfsymp
The hunt for Sasquatch continues. Hear expert speakers dish on the latest research.

Tulsa Greek Festival

10/5–7 | Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church | $3 in advance, $5 at the door | tulsagreekfestival.com

Don your togas October 5–7 for the 57th annual Tulsa Greek Festival, which will take place at the newly built Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church Community Hall, just south of downtown. Cuisine that will have you saying OPA!HOMA include: lamb dinner, chicken or pork souvlaki dinner, Greek salad, green beans, rice pilaf, spanikopita and tyropita—not to mention the Greek street eats: gyro sandwiches, calamari, and Greek fries. Don’t forget the baklava and Greek coffee, too. Imported Greek wines, Ouzo liqueur, and beer will be served. Traditional Greek dancing, live music, and church tours will happen on both days.

Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival
10/5–7  Cottonwood Flats, Guthrie | $17–$86 | oibf.com
Japan’s Blueside of Lonesome, Belgium’s Louvat Brothers Trio, Canada’s Andrew Collins Trio, and Australia’s Nick Charles are joined by Sierra Hull, The Elders, The Western Flyers, and more. This festival is a must for everyone from the casual Bluegrass fan to the connoisseur.

National Indian Taco Championship
10/7 | Downtown Pawhuska | Free admission | facebook.com/nitcpawhuska
Try the best of the best of this regional delicacy, and see or take part in traditional dancing at the NITC Powwow.

Tulsa American Film Festival
10/11–15 | Circle Cinema, Gilcrease Museum, Woody Guthrie Center | All access passes: $60–$90 | tulsaamericanfilmfest.com
TAFF returns for its third annual showcase of American features and shorts, with a special focus on Native American, Latino, Oklahoma-based, and student filmmakers.


XPO Game Festival
10/13–15 | Cox Business Center | $35–$65 | xpotulsa.com

XPO Gaming Convention is for gamers, fans, developers, and game industry leaders. October 12–15, attendees will have access to PC and console tournaments with cash prizes, a retro gaming lounge, unlimited laser tag, a cosplay contest, concerts, board games, and the opportunity to try out the latest indie games—among other activities. The keynote speaker is Chris Avellone, writer and creative director at Black Isle. Panels will include well-known game industry veterans. Whether interested in gaming, VR technology, or eSports, XPO has everything a geek—and we use that term lovingly—could dream of.

Pelican Festival
10/13–14 | Wolf Creek Park, Grove | Free admission | pelicanfestok.com
Grand Lake celebrates the return of the migrating American White Pelican with an Oktoberfest-themed carnival and
art fair.

Art on Main
10/14 | Main Street, Jenks | Free admission | jenkschamber.com/artonmain
Dozens of Oklahoma artists of many styles and media participate in this outdoor juried art show, which also features local wine and live music.

Tulsa Pop Culture Expo
10/14–15 | Wyndham Hotel | t-popexpo.com
This inaugural geek-fest will feature gaming, cosplay, panel discussions, and appearances by “7th Heaven” mom, Catherine Hicks, Chase Masterson of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” and Marvel and DC comic illustrator Barry Kitson, among many others.

Cherokee Art Market
10/14–15 | Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Catoosa | $5 | cherokeeartmarket.com
Featuring 150 Native American artists representing 50 tribes from across the country, Cherokee Art Market is one of the largest Native American art shows in the region.

Linde Oktoberfest
10/19–22 | River West Festival Park | $7–$270 | tulsaoktoberfest.org
Prost! Here’s to 80 brands of beer pouring from 300 taps, dozens of bands both German and otherwise, games, competitions, arts, crafts, schnitzel, strudel, and the best of the wursts.

Oklahoma Jewish Film Festival
10/22–25 | Circle Cinema | Ticketing TBA | facebook.com/oklahomajewishfilmfestival
Circle Cinema will screen eight films over four nights for this third annual festival, including “Monkey Business,” a documentary about “Curious George” authors Hans and Margaret Rey, “On the Map,” the story of Israel’s triumph in the 1977 European Basketball Championship, and “The Pickle Recipe,” a secret-family-recipe comedy.