At last, it’s time to get out and enjoy fresh air and fun in the sun. Throughout Oklahoma, spring brings plenty of opportunities to celebrate the season. Suddenly, we’re in the midst of a state-wide garden party.
Nowhere is this more evident than in charming Idabel where thousands of blooming dogwood trees take center stage the first Saturday in April. The annual Dogwood Days festival features arts and crafts, live entertainment, a 5K run and walk, a barbecue cook-off and more. During your visit to the area, get back to nature at Beavers Bend Resort Park where there’s an abundance of trout fishing, horseback riding, boating and hiking. Lodging and camping are available onsite. For reservations, visit www.beaversbend.com. For more information on Idabel and Dogwood Days, go to www.mccurtaincountygetaways.com.
In Muskogee, azaleas put on a distinctive show each year during the annual Azalea Festival
. Located on the 40 pristine garden acres of Honor Heights Park, this is one of the largest events in the area, now in its 43rd
year. Running April 1 through 30, 2011, the Azalea Festival provides visitors from all over the world a chance to view nature at its finest. Years past have included festivities such as a parade, chili cook-off, classic car show, an art show and a wealth of live entertainment. One of the event’s most unique features is the Azalea Powwow, an American Indian event with gourd dancing, traditional drumming and elaborate costumes held April 9. For Azalea Festival information, visit www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.14471/type.event. For information on the Azalea Powwow, visit www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.14469/type.event.
The 15th annual Jenks Herb & Plant Festival features hundreds of locally grown herbs, annuals and perennials, hanging baskets, fresh vegetables and more. On April 23, 2011, thousands of visitors of all ages will converge on small-town Jenks to shop for garden items and crafts, to feast on old-fashioned funnel cakes and lemonade and to check out the live bluegrass music. For festival information, see www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.14473. Located just outside Tulsa, Jenks boasts some of the state’s most popular attractions including the Oklahoma Aquarium. Opened in 2003, the facility displays thousands of fish and sea creatures housed in eight distinct exhibits. Get up-close with the largest bull sharks in captivity, then actually touch a stingray. The aquarium is open year-round (except Christmas Day). For directions, go to www.okaquarium.org. For information on additional area attractions, visit www.jenks.com.
In the coming weeks, all of Oklahoma will be teeming with the excitement that the new season brings. Make plans now to get out and take part in the fun near you.