By Alli Hill
Festival season is finally here, and there’s no better way to celebrate than getting outside. There’s an outdoor-themed festival to suit just about any interest that can sate your thrill for adventure. Whether you love all things land or water (or even in the air!), you’ll find your happy place at these nine best outdoor festivals in Oklahoma.
This annual outdoor festival is also known as Oklahoma’s largest outdoor picnic. Honing in on the arts and crafts scene, the festival also includes outdoor games for kids and adults alike, plenty of food and drink to go ‘round, live entertainment, and a shared passion for all things outside. Entry to the event is free and ideal for all ages. Sponsors included in making this amazing event possible are Osage Casino, Safari Smiles Children’s Dentisry, Boots & Brushes Paintbar, Level 8 VR, and more.
This three-day cycling extravaganza is so much more than bicycle race. Three days are jam packed with group rides that explore various parts of the city, fun rides, cycling classes, safety courses, and more. This high-profile event has attracted some of the biggest names in city, including Oklahoma Heart Hospital, Elemental Coffee, Modern Environment, Film Row, and others.
This free family event spans the entire first week of June and is chock full of amenities and activities. This event has been a long-standing Madill tradition of fishing and fish fries, and every year since it gets a little bigger and better. Events this year include a kid fishing tournament, carnival, talent contest, fun run, horseshoe throwing contest, and turtle races, among other activities. Thanks to Big Tex Trailers, Oklahoma Steel and Wire, the Chicksaw Nation, and KTEN this year’s festival is the best yet!
This three-day cycling festival was initiated to promote healthy and fit lifestyles. Comprised of a variety of racing events and fun rides, there’s a little something for bike riders of every age and skill level. It’s not just for cyclists, either. The event is more like a mega street festival, offering live music, vendors, a kid’s zone, and other activities for those who’d rather cheer from the sidelines. A special nod to Saint Francis Health System as well as the Holiday Inn for sponsoring this event.
This week long paintball extravaganza sponsored by Indigo Sky Casino and Valken is one of the largest in the world. Thousand of paintball players descend on a 1,000+ acre field to engage in mini scenario games that put their skills to the test, along with helicopter and tank rides, an obstacle course, and other family-friendly activities. Campsites are available, and food vendors and some of the biggest brands in paintball will be on-site throughout the week.
One of the most scenic cities in Oklahoma hosts an epic festival dedicated to the heritage of the area, but more specifically its natural wonders and wildlife. Forestry competitions, wildlife art, and a fishing tournament are just a few of the activities highlighting the local outdoor elements. The locale couldn’t be any more perfect—the Beavers Bend Resort Park is an outdoor paradise just waiting to be explored. Choctaw Casino , Lambert Lumber, Broken Bow Cabin Lodging, International Paper, and many more are partnering with this event.
The skies have never been more beautiful than they are during Tulsa’s Balloon Festival. This magical event will have you experiencing the outdoors from new heights and perspectives. Offering tethered rides, balloon glows, flights, and more, this five-day event is perfect for kids and adults alike.
Sure, most music festivals like this one also have camping, but what makes this one unique is its locale in Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness. Here you get a taste for all things outdoors, including camping, hiking, biking, and trail running. The area has been named one of the state’s best places to hike, and the music only adds to the experience. Dates for this year’s event have yet to be confirmed.
The Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness area plays an important role in the Monarch butterfly migration, and you can come see it for yourself at this one of a kind festival. The festival is equal parts educational and adventurous, offering plenty of hands-on activities and seminars about the Monarch butterfly, as well as tagging demonstrations and butterfly releases. This event is free and open to the public thanks to the River Parks Authority, Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition, the Tulsa Audubon Society, the Tulsa Zoo, and Blue Thumb.
If you are a whitewater rafting, kayaking, rowing, and dragon boating enthusiast, then the Oklahoma Regatta Festival is calling your name. From September 28-30 enjoy this family friendly festival showcasing these fantastic river sports. Not only can you watch (or possibly participate) in these enticing races you can indulge in the abundance of food trucks, beer gardens, and more. Koma Radio, COOP Ale Works, Jake FM, and Greater Oklahoma City Chamber are amongst the many sponsors that keep this festival going.