More than 2,000 people from northeast Oklahoma and surrounding states descended on the OSU Institute of Technology campus Saturday to take part in the second annual Super Saturday festival.
The event, aimed at reconnecting the university with the community, offered something for everyone during the day-long festival.
“What a Super Saturday it was. There was literally something for everyone. There were cars, food, singing, artwork, and kites. Lots and lots of kites,” said Jason McCaleb, administrator for the Tulsa Wind Riders kite club. “The university had a huge assortment of kites for the kids to fly. With the help of a few excellent volunteers and some excellent winds, the day flew right by. We had a wonderful time and look forward to next year.”
Super Saturday started with more than 180 runners and walkers lined up at the starting line for the 5K and Fun Run sponsored by the Okmulgee County Wellness Coalition. 5K runner Jason Weber, from Casper, Wyo., was the first to cross the finish line, and the first female to finish was Marquita Dickinson, from Okmulgee.
Those visiting campus had a variety of activities to choose from including the Kite Fest, Kids Zone, Mustang Car Club Auto Expo, High Voltage Lineman Rodeo, Okmulgee Chamber of Commerce Trade Show, OSU Tailgate Zone, International Extravaganza, Letterpress demonstrations and a free concert by rising country star Dylan Scott.
Food was also a draw for many people as the School of Culinary Arts once again hosted a Hawaiian luau along with ice sculpture and fruit and vegetable carving demonstrations. Several food trucks also whetted appetites with barbecue, burgers, gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches and authentic Mexican street tacos.
But in addition to the family-friendly activities and tasty fare, Super Saturday is also about showcasing OSUIT and its academic programs. All over campus, guests were given access to first-hand experiences within the expansive instructional spaces that OSUIT is known for.
Super Saturday capped a historic weekend beginning Thursday, April 10, with the debut of ART Plus, a silent auction event composed of artwork created by Visual Communications alumni that raised nearly $10,000 in scholarship funds.
On Friday, April 11, OSUIT held its annual alumni reunion reception and inducted the inaugural class of nine recipients into the first-ever Hall of Fame.
“Years ago we hosted an event, Super Weekend, that was similar to an open house,” said Anita Gordy-Watkins, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at OSUIT. “Super Saturday is now a tradition that means something, that we are more than a college campus. We are a community partner, and our citizenship within Okmulgee is mutually-beneficial.”
It seems that message is getting across. This year’s Super Saturday attendance more than doubled last year’s with the addition of more activities and events for the public.
Andrea Gardner, International Relations Coordinator who oversaw the International Extravaganza, said she came across a lot of people on campus for Super Saturday who would otherwise have no reason to come to OSUIT.
“This event is a great way to engage the community and give back a little to our surrounding area,” Gardner said. “Super Saturday provides a good introduction to what OSUIT really is and stands for.”