September, the transition month, is here. Everyone is back in school, temperatures hopefully have begun their gentle decline to cooler weather that will surely be here by October. But, for now, let’s look at September as a “Festa-Fall” because it brings quite a few colorful and fun events.
People who enjoy music have much to choose from in September. The Bluegrass & Chili Festival is being held in a different location this year. Wagoner is the location and the festival takes place Sept. 7-8. Not only will you be entertained by musicians playing a variety of bluegrass and country, but you will be able to sample chili from cooking teams during the Mid-America Regional Chili Cook-Off. All the concerts at the festival are free.
Oklahoma’s vibrant and varied ethnic heritage will be on display in September. On Sept. 14-16, Scotfest takes place at Broken Arrow Events Park and will have something for the entire family. This is a celebration of Celtic music, sports, history and heritage.
Lots of fun will be found at the Oklahoma Indian Summer Festival, Sept. 14-15, at the Bartlesville Community Center. This appropriately-named festival celebrates Native American culture, customs, and arts and crafts. This family-friendly event also features youth and adult powwows with competitive and noncompetitive dancing and storytelling.
And Lawton’s International Festival will be celebrating its 39th year of promoting greater awareness and appreciation of Lawton’s diverse heritage. It will take place Sept. 28-30 at Elmer Thomas Park in Lawton.
Independent film lovers can certainly enjoy the offerings at the Norman Film Festival, Sept. 15. This annual event showcases a variety of feature films and short flicks. And audience members can see as many films as they can before voting on their favorites.
Oklahoma is deeply rooted in farming and therefore you won’t be surprised to know there’s a festival saluting that industry. The Delaware Country Farm Fest is Sept. 8 at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Jay, Oklahoma. The festival will include food, fun and agricultural vendors. There are also numerous County Free Fairs throughout the state going on in September with some of the counties including Pontotoc, Caddo, Pittsburg, and Payne just to list a few.
The city of Wetumka turned disappointment into amusement years ago by creating the Sucker Day Festival. It all started in 1950, when a con man sold tickets to local sponsors for a circus that was supposed to come to town. Of course, there was no circus or refunds. Instead of just ignoring what happened, the folks of Wetumka have a good laugh and celebrate the Sucker Day Festival, which takes place Sept. 29.
And in the same vein of something a little different, you can celebrate the fall migration of the American White Pelicans that return to the waters of northeast Oklahoma’s beautiful Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees at the Pelican Festival, Oct. 10-13, at Wolf Creek Park in Grove.
Don’t forget the Oklahoma State Fair and Tulsa State Fair but finally, if you are going to have a festival in September, it makes sense to just name it Septemberfest. Oklahoma City’s Septemberfest takes place Sept. 8 at the Oklahoma History Center. This is a free festival exploring the rich heritage and diversity for which Oklahoma is known.
And the Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival is a great event that takes place Oct. 4-6 in Guthrie. Performers this year include Tommy Emmanuel, Red Dirt Rangers, Kruger Brothers and many others.
For a complete list of all the events and festivals occurring around the state, just go to the official website of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department, travelok.com.
Dino Lalli is the producer, co-host and one of the reporters for the travel program DISCOVER OKLAHOMA.