This summer, my kids are continuing their study of Oklahoma history with more firsthand experiences around our great state. Some of those experiences will prove to be extra tasty, as we plan to visit at least a few area fruit festivals, beginning with the Strawberry Festival, conveniently located just one county away from our home town, in early May.
Check out this list of Oklahoma’s summer fruit festivals, and enjoy a few if you happen to be staying nearby. Otherwise, look for a fruit festival in your own home state, because they always offer some of the best old-fashioned fun you’re likely to find with some of the tastiest treats you’ll eat all season.
Stilwell Strawberry Festival
What could possibly bring more than 30,000 visitors to the tiny town of Stilwell, Oklahoma, population approximately 3,900, in early May? Why, it’s the Stilwell Strawberry Festival, of course! One of Oklahoma’s most popular festivals, dating back to the 1940’s, the Strawberry Festival brings visitors from Oklahoma and surrounding states to sample some of the best berries around and enjoy old-time games and entertainment in a wholesome atmosphere. Yes, the streets are crowded, but it’s an awful lot of fun.
McLoud Blackberry Festival
Oh, blackberries! They’re one of my favorite fruits, and the McLoud Blackberry Festival celebrates them in style. This festival, held in central Oklahoma, has also been a mainstay since the 1940’s, but according to the McLoud Chamber of Commerce, it evolved from a community 4th of July picnic that had been held since before statehood. Although blackberries are no longer the backbone of the McLoud economy, the Blackberry Festival is still a beloved event drawing visitors from all around.
Jay Huckleberry Festival
What’s a huckleberry, you ask? Well, they look a lot like blueberries, but they explode with a flavor so much more vibrant I know people who will risk climbing through woolly, tick-filled, snake-infested hillsides down by the river to find them each year. You don’t have to do that, though. Just head out to the Jay Huckleberry Festival in northeastern Oklahoma on July 5 this year and taste some huckleberries for yourself. I recommend cobbler. Always cobbler.
Porter Peach Festival
When you think peaches, do you think Oklahoma? You will after a visit to the Porter Peach Festival in mid-July. This festival features the famous Porter peaches, so much sweeter and delicious than your typical grocery store variety, and includes so many old-fashioned games and activities, your family will feel like they stepped back in time.
Stratford Peach Festival
Can’t get enough peaches? The Stratford Peach Festival, held in the self-proclaimed Peach Capital of Oklahoma, also vies for the top honors in peachy goodness and down home fun in mid-July. Which peaches are better, Porter peaches or Stratford peaches? I might have to have some cobbler and get back to you on that one.
Watermelon, watermelon, watermelon
Would you believe there are at least three watermelon festivals in Oklahoma each summer? That’s right. The Valliant Watermelon Festival, in late July, takes place in southeastern Oklahoma near Broken Bow. The Rush Springs Watermelon Festival, one of the state’s largest food festivals held annually the second weekend in August, takes place in central Oklahoma between Norman and Lawton. And the Ringwood Watermelon Festival is held in northwestern Oklahoma near Enid and takes place the entire week before Labor Day.
If you love watermelon, you’re sure to find a good time at one of these festivals, spread out across the state and timed right so that, if you were so inclined, you could hit them all. Hmm, that’s not a bad idea.
More by Tavia:
Explore History With Springtime Events in Northeastern Oklahoma
Best Hotels in Oklahoma City for Families of Five
Old Time Family Fun at the Red Fern Festival