If there's a time for art fanatics, food freaks and parents struggling to wrangle the kids fresh from nine months of being shut up in school to head to downtown Tulsa, it's during May.
Ah, May: When the average temperature in Tulsa is a breezy 79 degrees. When all that time in April we in tornado alley spent in our cellars bears fruit in the form of 15,000 azaleas at Woodward Park, Redbud trees blooming pink and purple all over town and farmers' markets bursting with some of the sweetest, juiciest strawberries anywhere.
Tulsans wait all year for the third weekend in May, when not just one, but three arts festivals bring tens of thousands to the heart of a city to ring in the summer in style: Tulsa International Mayfest, the Blue Dome Arts Festival and ArtCar Weekend at Living Arts.
At Tulsa International Mayfest, you can lounge on Williams Green and listen to a local band, eat a fried Snickers bar and buy a piece of somethi'n purdy from one of the 120 artists at Mayfest for an affordable price, all within a few fun-filled hours. The streets from 3rd to 6th and Main to Boston, hugged by the one of the largest collections of art deco architecture in the world, are deep with local and visitors strolling from artist's booth to food stands to one of several concert venues.
Take the kids to Mayfest's Kidzone, where they can get up to their elbows in arts and crafts projects designed especially for them. For adults, there's plenty to drink, including local wine. It all starts Thursday, May 14, and rocks through four warm, sunny days and three balmy, starry nights until Sunday the 17th. Festival hours are 11 a.m.-11 p.m. each day except Sunday, which shuts for the year at 6 p.m.
And guess what? It's all free. That's right – you don't have to purge your pocketbook to take in the sights, sounds and smells of Tulsa's International Mayfest.
That is, unless you show up hungry and thirsty. Then you'd have to shell out some cash for coupons to use at the food and drink vendors.
Not that the price of the food and drinks at Mayfest will make you lose your faith in mankind, but it'd be nice to not have to worry about it, right? Well, my dear, sweet little blog drones, your wish is my command.
Up for grabs is a pair of VIP passes to the opening night of Mayfest, Thursday, May 14. A VIP pass gets you free food and drink for the entire night. I'll also throw in a voucher for a free Mayfest t-shirt.
Oh, heck. Why not take a voucher for a signed 2009 Mayfest poster, while you're at it.
How to snag this sweet stuff? Head to the comments, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace – wherever you feel most comfortable – and get to chatterin' to me and all your friends about Mayfest. One post on my wall at Facebook, one post on my profile at Myspace, one Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter and/or one comment on this blog post enters you one time into this contest.
Want to really have some fun with this? Enter as many times as you want! A random drawing at 8 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday) morning will determine the winner.
Send those fingers (or thumbs, if you're mobile) flyin'!