Come along on a tasty tour as Oklahoma serves up a big slice of Americana with this list of top food fairs and festivals happening across the state.
Oklahoma’s top food fairs effortlessly combine small-town charm, community pride, local crops and homegrown delicacies. The widespread diversity of Oklahoma’s annual food fairs and culinary celebrations has been satisfying the appetites of travelers and locals for generations. From bright summer days filled with dreams of ripe, juicy strawberries to family vacations made sweet by dripping cones of cool ice cream, Oklahoma’s food festivals are guaranteed to delight visitors both young and old.
Held each February since 1952, the Frederick Fantastic Oyster Fry dishes up scrumptious, fresh oysters to lines of festival-goers. Enjoy your oysters fried or raw, served on the half shell or fried in the festival’s secret-recipe batter. People come from all around to dine on these savory delicacies and to browse through the fair’s craft show filled with everything from pottery and jewelry to leather crafts and needlework.
Featured on the Food Network and Southern Living magazine, Norman’s annual Chocolate Festival serves up over 25,000 chocolate samples to visitors each year in early February. Embrace your inner chocoholic as you feast on such treats as chocolate fondue, Kendall’s famous chocolate cinnamon rolls and even chocolate chili.
Make your way to El Reno, the “fried onion burger capital of the world,” to witness the cooking of the world’s largest fried onion burger, weighing in at an astonishing 750-lbs at the El Reno Fried Onion Burger Day Festival. Satisfy your appetite with a sampling of the colossal burger, divided each year into individual servings and passed out to the surrounding crowds. Carnival rides, a classic car show and plenty of children’s activities round out the fun at this much-loved festival, held during May.
Help the citizens of Prague celebrate their Czech heritage at the annual Kolache Festival. Kolaches, traditional sweet breads filled with fruit and a variety of fillings, take center stage at this festival as an estimated 50,000 kolaches are consumed by visitors each year during the month of May! Marvel at traditional Czech costumes in the parade, enjoy free entertainment throughout the festival and dance the night away in the city’s lively polka street dance.
Held during Muskogee’s month-long Azalea Festival celebration each April, the Exchange Club Chili & BBQ Cook-Off features some of the best chili, barbecue, chicken and pork in a five-state region. Join crowds of hungry attendees as they pack the streets of downtown and purchase a tasting kit for samples of spicy chili, tender beef brisket and moist spare ribs from over 100 award-winning cooking teams.
An Oklahoma staple, the Indian taco is comprised of fluffy Indian fry bread topped with generous servings of beans, lettuce, tomato and cheese. Celebrate this local indulgence by visiting this annual National Indian Taco Championship in Pawhuska to see which Indian taco reigns supreme. Live music, Native American dance demonstrations and vendor booths make this October festival a surefire hit. Gorge on hearty Indian tacos but save room for dessert – dessert tacos are also competing for the top prize!
Kick-off the start of summer each May with a trip to the Stilwell Strawberry Festival and enjoy free strawberries and ice cream plus endless family-friendly entertainment. Bid on plump, ripe strawberries harvested from local crops in the annual strawberry auction, see which lucky lady is crowned this year’s Strawberry Queen or check out the Strawberry Festival Rodeo for exciting rodeo action. Nothing screams summer quite like biting into a Stilwell strawberry.
Tabouleh, a Middle Eastern salad made from bulgur wheat, fresh veggies and olive oil, is honored at May's Tabouleh Fest, which celebrates the Lebanese heritage of Bristow with traditional belly dancers, food, music and carnival rides. Tour the only two tabouleh factories in Oklahoma, participate in one of the premier 5K runs in the state and make sure to hit the popular tabouleh bar, where visitors can mix toppings into a bowl of tasty tabouleh.
One of the longest running Independence Day celebrations in Oklahoma each July, the Blackberry Festival takes old-fashioned fun to new heights. Pick up bushels of fresh blackberries, take a spin through handmade arts and crafts on display and try your hand at the cobbler-eating contest. Food vendors will be dishing up yummy fair food while local cooks compete in the blackberry baking contest. Stick around until after the sun sets and be rewarded with a dramatic fireworks display.
With festivities held citywide and a medley of fun games and scrumptious food available to visitors, the annual June Huckleberry Festival is the place to be this summer. Enjoy rows of street rods and classic cars while munching on snow cones, barbecue and popcorn, or cool off with a glass of huckleberry lemonade or a huckleberry milkshake. Bring the entire family for horseshoe pitching, a turtle derby, water balloon relay race and more.
The Porter Peach Festival is bursting with small-town fun and delicious peach treats this July. Visit the Peach Festival to purchase or pick peaches at nearby orchards, or simply enjoy free peaches and ice cream while watching the annual Peach Parade as it winds through downtown. Check out a variety of peach cobblers, desserts and preserves and don’t leave without a Peach Festival cookbook. The Stratford Peach Festival is another peachy celebration that can’t be missed!
One of the most popular community festivals in Oklahoma since its inception in August of 1948, the Rush Springs Watermelon Festival rewards visitors with a seed spitting contest, carnival rides and icy-cold, free watermelon slices when the afternoon sun is at its peak. With over 50,000 pounds of ripe watermelon served to festival-goers each year, this festival rightfully earns its spot as one of the best summer celebrations around. Don’t forget to check out the Valliant Watermelon Festival for more watermelon-themed fun.
Immerse yourself in the rich ranching history of the Vinita area at the World’s Largest Calf Fry Festival & Cook-Off each June. Visit the cooking area and dig in to plates of tasty calf fries, also known as Rocky Mountain oysters, or sample other goodies such as beans, cobblers and salsas. Cowboy games featuring four-man teams competing in bulldogging, penning and more will also be featured during the popular Calf Fry.
October rings in the annual Watonga Cheese & Wine Festival and brings with it family-friendly attractions such as an art show, quilt show, “rat race” and craft tent. Participate in cheese tastings, celebrate the winners of the annual cheese food contest, and visit the Made in Oklahoma area to sample and purchase items made throughout the state.