If you're looking for an experience like the one available at the art store in the mall, don't follow the tens of thousands of art lovers to Tulsa's Blue Dome District May 15.
About 200 of Tulsa's best-loved artists, along with some newly hatched talent, set up shop under the early-summer sun in the middle of one of T-Town's most happenin' entertainment districts at the Blue Dome Arts Festival.
At this Big Kahuna of local indie arts events, it's easy to strike up a conversation with the artist who has created something that catches your eye. It's about more than a bunch of artists getting together in hopes of unloading their stock. It's about sharing and community. When it comes to art festivals, it doesn't get more intimate or friendly than at the Blue Dome.
If all that art and elbow-rubbing with creative types makes your stomach growl, just skip over to one of the bustling, indie restaurants along Elgin Avenue. Grab a burger and a beer at McNellies, a slice of pizza at Joe Momma's or a full-pound pastrami sandwich at Dilly Deli. If you get around early, stop in for a gut-busting breakfast and Blue Dome Diner.
Festival hours are Friday the 15th, noon-9 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Find the hubbub between First and Second Streets and Elgin and Detroit Avenues. Wanna learn more? See the article on Blue Dome Arts Festival and Art Car Weekend by Holly Wall in this week's Urban Tulsa Weekly.
Know what's fun to do after a Friday afternoon of milling around the Blue Dome Arts Festival? Get wild and crazy at Mayfest. Know what'd make it 237 times easier to get wild and crazy at Mayfest? A couple of VIP passes, which get you through the lines of the food and drink stands absolutely free. That's zero dollars. Cero dinero. Or something.
EDIT//Make that, through the line at the VIP tent for their food and drinks, absolutely free. Did I say free? Twice in English and once in, er, something else? Okay, just checking.
To enter to win a pair of VIP passes to Friday night Mayfest, along with vouchers for a t-shirt and a poster, simply do the following:
Tell me one of your Mayfest/Blue Dome Arts Festival/Art Care Weekend memories. Or, if you lack one, tell me why you'd like to head downtown this weekend and make a memory or two. Tell me now, and tell me again later. Tell me as often as you want to until 8 a.m. tomorrow morning.
Or, call me names you wouldn't repeat in front of your grandmother. It's whatever. Just enter this contest and make grams proud of you, rather than cause her to hang her head in shame and loathing of the day you were born.
BONUS: Not from 'round these parts? Maybe you're from Plano, Pawhuska, Paris or Dallas. Or Springdale or Sallisaw or St. Louis or Topeka. Or Texarkana or Topeka or...okay, I'll stop. From wherever you are, a short, inexpensive drive to Tulsa for our many festivities this weekend isn't sounding bad at all.
So, I'll tell you what. For every time you out-of-towners submit an entry to this contest, I'll give you four more. That's five total chances at winning this contest for every person who enters who won't be coming to downtown T-Town from somewhere in the Tulsa Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Art lovers, start your engines. It's time to truck it down memory lane. Hop on Twitter, Facebook and Myspace and give me some good material for storytime. Stories in the form of comments on this post, tweets on Twitter and posts on my wall on Facebook and Myspace all count as entries.