Nothing brings people together quite like food. Food can be a means of traversing cultural barriers, a way of expressing fondness, or it can act as an introduction to new people and places.
Oklahomans know that, and so food is often the centerpiece of their celebrations. We’ve scoured the state, gathered Oklahoma’s best food festivals, and listed them for you here. Eat up; you’re bound to find something to suit your taste buds.
World’s Largest Calf Fry Festival & Cook-Off
June 7, Craig County Fairgrounds, Vinita
The Vinita Area Chamber of Commerce now sponsors Vinita’s calf fry festival, which was started in 1979 by rancher and banker Jim Shelton, veterinarian Dr. John Myers, and insurance man Larry Green. The festival’s highlight is the calf-fry cooking competition. Calf fries, or “Rocky Mountain oysters,” are a unique cowboy delicacy — battered and fried bull calf testicles. An average of 20,000 pounds of calf fries are prepared during Vinita’s festival. More information here.
Chandler Ice Cream Festival
June 14, Tilghman Park, Chandler
At the annual Ice Cream Festival in Chandler, you can enjoy endless scoops of homemade ice cream and more. Held in honor of Chandler’s Hiland Dairy plant, the Ice Cream Festival features free inflatable rides, live music by local talent, plenty of food vendors, a homemade ice cream competition, and, of course, free ice cream. Lie a blanket down under the shade in Tilghman Park and enjoy the bands while the kids participate in face painting and enjoy clowns and balloons. More information here.
Stroud’s Historic Route 66 Wine & Food Festival
June 14, historic Route 66, downtown Stroud
Take a trip down Route 66 to Stroud, “Oklahoma’s Winery and Grape Capital.” The Historic Route 66 Wine & Food Festival features wine tasting from wineries across the state, as well as vendor booths stocked with Made In Oklahoma products, original jewelry, artwork, and good eats. More information here.
Battle of the Burger
June 14, University North Park, Norman
Battle of the Burger pits competitors grill to grill for a backyard burger showdown. The cook-off invites competition in a variety of categories and prompts participants to gauge their burgers’ reception among the crowd by cooking plenty for all. This year’s Battle of the Burger competition will also feature a pie contest. More about Battle of the Burger here.
H&8th Night Market
Last Friday of every month through September, downtown Oklahoma City
Presented by Fowler Toyota, H&8th Night Market is a monthly, family- and pet-friendly street festival built around a lineup of Oklahoma’s top gourmet food trucks. On Hudson Avenue, downtown between N.W. 7th and N.W. 8th streets, attendees can grab a bite from the more than thirty local favorite food trucks, all while listening to live music. This free event will take place on the last Friday of each month through September. More about H&8th here.
Fort Gibson Sweet Corn Festival
June 28, Centennial Park, Fort Gibson
Grilled corn, boiled corn, smoked corn, sautéed corn—corn of all kind is this festival’s featured attraction. Festival attendees can also purchase sweet corn from local vendors, enjoy musical entertainment, and peruse arts and crafts booths. More information here.
July 4, Veterans Park, McLoud
McLoud’s Blackberry festival started in 1940 as a celebration marking the end of blackberry harvest. While blackberries are no longer the cash crop in McLoud, the festival still brings in attendees from all over the nation and offers a carnival, parade, the Blackberry Pageant and a blackberry recipe competition. More about the Blackberry Festival here.
July 5, downtown Jay
The wild huckleberries that grow in Jay are celebrated throughout the community and shared with all. Those joining in the celebration can peruse exhibit halls bursting with arts and crafts or purchase homemade goods from local vendors. The festival also features a classic and street rod car show as well as a Huckleberry 5k run. More about the Huckleberry Festival here.
Stratford Peach Festival
July 19, Stratford City Park, Stratford
Stratford is the self-proclaimed peach capitol of Oklahoma. During the annual peach festival you can enjoy activities like live entertainment, arts and craft vendors, street games, and helicopter rides. Peaches can be bought in the bushels from one of seven area orchards, and there is plenty of delicious homemade peach ice cream to enjoy while watching the car show. More about the Stratford Peach Festival here.
Porter Peach Festival
That’s not to say everything isn’t peachy down in Porter as well, which hosts its annual Peach Festival downtown July 17-19. In addition to plenty of peaches, the festival boasts a 5k, mud races, and a peach cobbler contest. More about the Porter Peach Festival here.
Valliant Watermelon Festival
July 25-26, City Park & Terry Hunt Community Building, Valliant
Few things embody summer as well as the watermelon. Just like the peaches of Stratford and Porter, Okies of Valliant and Rush Springs celebrate watermelons in festival style. Stop by Valliant in July for a watermelon eating contest, horseshoe tournament, wienie dog races, and turtle races. Enjoy the classic car show in the Blakard Garden, or the photography and quilt show in the Terry Building. More about the Valliant festival here.
Rush Springs Watermelon Festival
When Aug. 9 rolls around, take a trip to Rush Springs for another slice of watermelon culture. Have a taste of local black diamond, royal sweet, and other varieties of watermelon. Enjoy the seed-spitting contest, live music, and carnival rides. More about the Rush Springs festival here.
Roadkill Chili Cook-Off
Sept. 6, Delaware County Fairgrounds, Jay
When you can close your eyes, pick a random destination in Oklahoma and wind up at a chili cook-off, uniqueness is a must to pull in attendees. The town of Jay’s Roadkill Chili Cook-off wears just that brand. While the chili isn’t made from actual road kill, the name of the festival alone is enough to peak interest and bring in the crowds. Stop by for a sampling of spicy, meaty and bean filled pots of chili encompassing a variety of styles. More information here.
National Hook N’ Cook-Off
Sept. 13, Grand Lake Regional Airport, Monkey Island
There are no monkeys on Monkey Island, but there are plenty of catfish. Join locals for this catfish cook-off festival. Check out the car show, live music from local musicians, arts and crafts, and vendor booths. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, grab a plate, and decide for yourself who can cook up the best mess of fish in Oklahoma. More information here.
Tulsa Greek Festival
September 18-20, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Tulsa
At Tulsa’s Oldest Ethnic Festival attendees can build their own Greek dinner, enjoy Greek desserts, buy Greek cookbooks, and imagine the sights, sounds, and smells of Mediterranean life at Greek Holiday, all for just three bucks. The marketa provides ceramics, costume jewelry, music, clothes and more. To top it all off Ancient traditions will come to life on stage, as dancers in authentic ethnic costumes, age 5 to 58, perform hundred-year-old dances. More about Tulsa Greek Festival here.
Eslick Ranch Rodeo and Dutch Oven Feed
Sept. 27, CSRC Rodeo Grounds, Perry
The town of Perry takes you back to the days of cowboys on cattle drives and kettles full of beans. Join locals and attendees from all over the state for the Eslick Ranch Rodeo and Dutch Oven Feed. Tasty food cooked over an open fire sets the stage for this blast from the past. Enjoy beans, cornbread, cobbler, live music, and a good ol’ cowboy competition in the form of rodeo. More information here.
National Indian Taco Championship
Oct. 4, downtown Pawhuska
Pawhuska’s rich Native American heritage is on display at the National Indian Taco Championship. Bring an appetite for traditional and desert Indian tacos. Enjoy Native American dance demonstrations, live music, craft vendors, and inflatables for the children. Local shops will be open as well during the festival. More information here.
Watonga Cheese & Wine Festival
Oct. 10-11, downtown Watonga
The second week in October brings musical entertainment, wine and cheese tasting, an art, quilt and fiber arts show as well as children’s games to Watonga’s Cheese Festival. In addition, Watonga Cheese Festival has partnered with Oklahoma Grape Industry Council to host the second statewide wine competition, featuring a panel of judges from throughout Oklahoma.” More about the festival here.
Nov. 13-16, St. Antony Orthodox Church, Tulsa
Hafli is a 60-year-old annual celebration of Lebanese food and culture. Fifteen bucks gets you a gourmet Lebanese dinner of grilled chicken served over Hashwa (seasoned rice), a cabbage roll, tabbouleh, hummus, pita, a Greba butter cookie, and drink. There’s also a food drive to benefit the Kendall-Whittier Neighborhood Food Bank and tours of the church. More about Hafli here.
Minco Honey Festival
Dec. 6, downtown Minco
Downtown Minco harbors a summer festival, and it’s as sweet as honey—pure sweet Oklahoma honey. Minco houses the largest honey production facility in the state, and a tour of the structure is just a taste. Various honey products and gifts are available for purchase alongside food and booths boasting made-in-Oklahoma products. Be sure to stick around for the tractor pull. More about the Minco Honey Festival here.
Did we miss any? If so, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.