The fall festival season is upon us, with India Fest kicking off events early this weekend. The upcoming months will be filled with Tulsa traditions, such as Oktoberfest and the Tulsa State Fair. But like the leaves, there are also some changes to this year’s festival calendar.
Scotfest is moving to a new location and has taken on a new partner. It was announced late last year that this year’s celebration of Celtic history, music and heritage will be held at Broken Arrow Events Park, 21101 E. 101st St. in Broken Arrow. Festival organizers also announced recently that they are partnering with the Folds of Honor Foundation, along with a multiyear partnership with Budweiser.
“Each year, the Folds Of Honor Foundation provides millions of dollars in financial support to military dependents across the United States,” said Scotfest Executive Director Steve Campbell in a news release, “and we saw an opportunity to play a small role in supporting that mission through our event.”
The annual Bluegrass & Chili Festival, which for many years was held in Claremore, has found a new home in Wagoner. And in honor of the change, a new division was added to the popular chili cook-off — homestyle, which is traditional red chili but with beans, according to the event website.
11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25
River Spirit Expo at Expo Square, 4145 E. 21st St.
The India Association of Greater Tulsa will present the 14th annual India Fest. The theme of this year’s festival is “Discover India” and will feature dance performances, cultural displays, kids’ activities, camel rides, Henna tattoos and more. Vendors will be on hand selling clothing, jewelry and pottery, and local Indian restaurants will be selling authentic fare. Admission is free.
Cherokee National Holiday
Aug. 31-Sept. 2
The Cherokee National Holiday in Tahlequah celebrates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839. This annual event is a celebration of Cherokee heritage and cultural awareness. The Cherokee National Holiday attracts visitors from around the world and features three days of activities for all ages, from traditional Native American games like cornstalk and blowgun shooting, marbles and stickball, to tournaments in sports like basketball and softball.
As part of the celebration, Cherokee Nation museums will also offer free admission to the Cherokee National Prison Museum, John Ross Museum, Cherokee National Supreme Court Museum and Sequoyah’s Cabin Museum, as well as the Cherokee National Museum, with tours through the ancient village Diligwa offered for $2.
PostOak Wine & Jazz Festival
Aug. 31-Sept. 2
PostOak Lodge & Retreat, 5323 W. 31st St. North
The fourth annual PostOak Wine & Jazz Festival brings together local food vendors and wine makers for a taste of the area’s culinary scene. Bring your blankets, lawn chairs and umbrellas Saturday, Sept. 1, for live music, food trucks and wine. Admission is $10. The weekend will also feature a four-course dinner with live jazz music starting at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31, and a champagne brunch Sunday, Sept. 2. Tickets for the dinner are $60 per person or $49 for nondrinkers. The brunch is $26 per person.
Dusk ‘til Dawn Blues Festival
5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Aug. 31-Sept. 2
Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame, 422978 John Hope Franklin Blvd., Rentiesville
Enjoy three days and nights of Oklahoma, regional and national blues at the Dusk ’til Dawn Blues Festival in Rentiesville. Workshops, music activities and a kids village with arts will all be available. Head to this event to experience the birthplace of Oklahoma blues legend DC Minner and celebrate Oklahoma’s unique blues heritage. Admission is $18 per day, and kids are admitted for free.
Blue Whale Comedy Festival
Aug. 30-Sept. 1
Various venues in the Tulsa Arts District
The Blue Whale Comedy Festival brings a weekend of laughs to downtown Tulsa, featuring stand-up comedians, improv troupes, live podcasts, music and workshops. This year’s headliners are Tig Notaro on Friday, Aug. 31, and Maria Bamford on Saturday, Sept. 1, at Cain’s Ballroom. Other comedians set to perform are Tulsan and “Saturday Night Live” writer Steven Castillo, Marcella Arguello, Sheng Wang, Janella James and others. Ticket prices vary for each event.
Wizard World Tulsa
Cox Business Center, 100 Civic Center
The Wizard World pop culture convention returns this year to Tulsa’s Cox Business Center. Celebrity guests set to attend include Ron Perlman, Charisma Carpenter, Ryan Hurst, Holly Marie Combs, Brian Krause and Drew Fuller. Among comic book creators on the guest list are Arthur Suydam, who specializes in zombie illustrations, and Mike Grell, perhaps best known for his work on the Legion of Super Heroes, Green Arrow and Warlord. Day passes start at $39.95 and a three-day pass is $79.95.
Bluegrass & Chili Festival
Main Street in Wagoner
The 39th annual Bluegrass & Chili Festival will bring two days of live music and chili to downtown Wagoner. The festival draws tens of thousands of visitors each year and will feature a car show, Kiddie Korral and more. Performers this year include The Cleverlys, Kenny and Amanda Smith, Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver and Edgar Loudermilk. The popular Mid-America Regional Chili Cook-Off is set for Saturday, Sept. 7, and will include a new division — homestyle (like traditional chili but with beans). Admission to the festival is free.
Get your fill of Celtic history and heritage during the annual Scotfest, one of our favorite events of the year. Festivalgoers learn about genealogy and family (clan) history, listen to live music, watch Scottish and Irish dance and enjoy some traditional Scottish dishes and whiskey. But be sure to catch the Highland Games, where men and women test their strength in caber and sheaf tossing, hammer throwing and more.
Diamondhead Resort in Tahlequah
This Red Dirt music festival in Tahlequah will feature performances from Turnpike Troubadours, Jason Boland and The Stragglers, The Randy Rogers Band, Red Dirt Rangers, John Fullbright and others.
Tulsa State Fair
Sept. 27-Oct. 7
Expo Square, 4145 E. 21st St.
The Tulsa State Fair entertains festivalgoers with a large array of carnival rides, midway games, attractions, free concerts, creative art displays and much more. Find all of your favorite foods on a stick and take in a variety of agricultural exhibits, numerous kitchen demonstrations and vendor booths galore.
Tulsa Soul Festival
7-10 p.m. Sept. 28-29
Guthrie Green, 111 E. M.B. Brady St.
The free music festival honoring the late Wayman Tisdale, professional basketball player and jazz musician, returns for the second year. The Tulsa Soul Festival will feature a weekend of live soul and R&B funk, art, entertainment and soul-centric Southern cuisine. In addition to providing soulful entertainment, the event is intended to pay tribute to the legacy of Tisdale by highlighting his foundation’s mission and impact in the Tulsa community. Opening night acts will include Ms. Val, Charlie Redd and the Full Flava Kings, plus Ready for the World. Faye Moffett will open for funk band Lakeside and Musiq Soulchild on the second day of the festival.
Haunted Castle Halloween Festival
Sept. 28-Oct. 27
The Castle of Muskogee, 3400 W. Fern Mountain Road, Muskogee
Find thrills for the entire family at the Haunted Castle Halloween Festival in Muskogee. From the sinister, fog-shrouded forest to the carnival atmosphere of Halloween Land, there are performances and activities for all ages.
Tulsa Greek Festival
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 1206 S. Guthrie Ave.
The highlight of this event is the food. Sample traditional Greek dishes including gyros, souvlaki, spanakopita, tiropita and more. Scrumptious bakery items will be offered such as baklava, finikia and loukoumades. Witness dancers of all ages in ethnic costume perform traditional dances throughout the festival.
Tulsa American Film Festival
Circle Cinema, 10 S. Lewis Ave.
The Tulsa American Film Festival returns for the third year. The event features American-made independent films of all genres, with a special emphasis on Native American, Latino American and African-American films. The event also showcases films with Oklahoma connections, as well as student films. Don’t miss filmmaker-based panels, discussions, daily after-parties at local establishments and an outdoor movie-and-music event.
McNellie’s Harvest Beer Festival
McNellie’s, First Street and Elgin Avenue
Head to downtown Tulsa for a celebration of beer during the ninth annual McNellie’s Harvest Beer Festival. More than 40 breweries will be on hand to present some of the best beer around, with many Oklahoma breweries represented. Visit each brewery tent at the McNellie’s Harvest Beer Festival to check out what’s new and enjoy delicious food from McNellie’s Public House, El Guapo’s Cantina and Fassler Hall.
Temple Israel, 2004 E. 22nd Place
Visit Temple Israel in Tulsa to celebrate Jewish life at ShalomFest. This annual one-day Tulsa tradition features food, music, entertainment, a children’s area and more.
Linde Oktoberfest Tulsa
River West Festival Park, 2100 S. Jackson Ave.
Visitors to this Oktoberfest celebration will enjoy delicious food, refreshing beverages, carnival rides, live music straight from Germany and, of course, the chicken dance. Savor authentic German beer imported from Munich, or enjoy a glass of wine while listening to the sounds of live Bavarian-style entertainment. Other festivities include polka dancing and rows of booths filled with art and crafts.
Tulsa Pop Culture Expo
Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center, 6808 S. 107th East Ave.
The Tulsa Pop Culture Expo and the XPO Gaming Festival are merging this year — and partnering with the Oklahoma Museum of Popular Culture — to provide Tulsa with a homegrown pop culture convention experience. The Tulsa Pop Culture Expo is a second-year pop culture convention that benefits Tulsa Pop Kids, a charitable organization created to provide support within the community to promote literacy programs for children through pop culture and entertainment. The celebrity guest list features Karen Gillan of “Doctor Who” and “Guardians of the Galaxy” and Summer Glau of “Firefly” and “Serenity.”