OrangeFest, an Okmulgee festival formerly known as Super Saturday, is set for April 10-11, expanding into a two-day event with activities downtown around the square and on the OSU Institute of Technology campus. Admission and parking are free.
Headlining this year’s festival is rising country star and reigning winner of NBC’s The Voice, Craig Wayne Boyd. The free concert presented by Tulsa radio station 106.1 The Twister is at 2 p.m. on the OSUIT campus.
Friday evening events include an OSUIT alumni reunion, the OrangeFest Glo Run 5K, a Chalk Walk created by local artists, live music from local bands, and plenty of food offerings from downtown eateries as well as area food trucks.
Heather Sumner, Okmulgee Main Street director, said in order for OrangeFest to be truly successful, it will take the entire community supporting the event.
“We at Main Street are very excited and honored to be partnering, for the first time, with OSUIT in this event. We have worked very hard to include activities that will appeal to everyone throughout the two day festival,” Sumner said. “Having an event like OrangeFest allows people to see the partnership and collaborative efforts between OSUIT and the community. It will continue to grow and spark even more excitement in our Okmulgee Rising efforts.”
Saturday the action moves to the OSUIT campus with interactive stops and live demonstrations from the university’s academic programs. Kid Zones will feature kid-friendly activities with robotics, Lego mindsets, and video games. Other activities the whole family can enjoy include a culinary tailgate party, muscle car expo, KiteFest, and live music.
Craig Wayne Boyd will headline the free outdoor concert that wraps up OrangeFest on the OSUIT campus Saturday at 2 p.m.
Boyd grew up near Dallas and sang in his church choir before becoming its director. He eventually moved to Nashville hoping to start his country music career, but after 10 years was on the verge of calling it quits when he auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice” in 2014. He took the top prize on the show’s seventh season and is now touring the country.
Okmulgee Main Street is hosting their own version of the vocal competition show “Voices of Okmulgee” Saturday, March 28. Local bands and singers will compete for the judges’ attention, and the winners will perform during OrangeFest and enjoy an exclusive meet and greet opportunity with Boyd.
“Main Street jumped at the opportunity to partner with OSUIT on its yearly festival, with the hopes of teaming up to make it one of the most successful downtown events of the year,” Sumner said. “We felt like it would be a great way to show the community that OSUIT and Main Street have goals that align as we are working together for the betterment of all Okmulgee, not just the downtown core.”
Anita Gordy-Watkins, OSUIT’s executive vice president, said the outpouring of support and collaboration from the community is amazing.
“The partnership with the community of Okmulgee has really taken this event to a whole new level. Main Street’s involvement has changed the dynamic, I believe for the better,” Gordy-Watkins said. “There’s an excitement and eagerness surrounding this year’s OrangeFest that’s unprecedented.” For a complete schedule of events and more information on OrangeFest, visit osuit.edu/orangefest.