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Fun Family Activities Scheduled for Nescatunga Arts Festival at Alva Recreation Complex

Several fun and free activities are scheduled to entertain and delight those attending the 53rd Nescatunga Arts Festival besides the traditional fine arts and crafter booths set up for the event. The two-day event will take place at the Alva Recreation Complex, 1887 Goldbug Blvd. in Alva, Oklahoma, on May 31 from 4-9 p.m. and on June 1 from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday Only Activities

While live entertainment is being performed on the stage inside the Pete and Ruth Leslie Fieldhouse, Okie Axe Slingers will be on the south lawn with free axe throwing from 7-9 p.m. on Friday. Melissa Robell with the Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge also will be set up with an outdoor booth featuring “cool animal items” from the refuge for people to touch, such as feathers and a white-tailed deer skull, and to visit about wildlife and the refuge. She also is bringing a button machine so anyone can color, decorate and wear the button they create.

Saturday Only Activities

On Saturday, Bradt’s Menagerie will have a free portable petting zoo on the south lawn from 10 a.m. to noon. Free train rides with the Confetti Express of Corr Ministries will be given from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with a loading zone on the south lawn.

Activities Available Both Friday & Saturday

Both days there will be five fun face cutouts depicting famous paintings and fun art-related themes available to take pictures with. There will be free lawn games including corn hole boards, oversized checkers, oversized Jenga, oversized Connect 4, oversized tic tac toe, and checker tables.

Nam & Pops will have an obstacle course with pool, waterslide, bounce house and carnival games on the south lawn of the ARC from 4-9 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. Festival attendees will need to purchase a $5 daily wristband from them at the event for unlimited play to access these Nam & Pops activities.

Bailey McDonald of Wichita, Kansas, with Bailey Ann’s Art & Design will be offering face painting at the festival for a charge both days. She will have glow-in-the-dark paint available Friday evening and will be open for customers at 9 a.m. on Saturday. Mira Lewis of Lawton with Tourdechonk will be offering balloon animals for tips to the festival on both days.

Maxwell Bowman, a NASA Solar System Ambassador from Norman who volunteers to do outreach for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, will have an outdoor booth both days with free take-home science activities and coloring sheets for children and adolescents about space exploration and NASA missions.

Bowman said he plans to have posters about how NASA powers space flight (with a combination of solar power and radioactive isotopes), along with solar cells and other electrical toys for the kids to investigate. He also will have coloring sheets, UV bead bracelet kits, NASA stickers and other fun activities. He can visit with the kids about spaceflight, answer questions about space and NASA while they play with the solar cells, and then send them home with activity supplies and instructions. If kids would like to color on the coloring pages at his booth, they are welcome to do so.

Food Trucks, Gourmet Food Booth

Festival attendees as well as those taking part in it will have an opportunity to peruse several food truck vendors just south of the ARC during the two-day event. On the schedule currently are 10-4 Mexican Food, Cutie Pies Concession, Food Dude’s Snack Shack, Frosty Joe’s Sno Cones and Star Fire Grill.

The Gourmet Food Booth will only be available on Saturday, June 1, from 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m. inside the Pete and Ruth Leslie Fieldhouse. Nicki Chaffee is once again heading up this table and welcomes all baked items and treat donations for this Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Council fundraiser. Questions can be directed to her at (580) 430-5450.

In past years some of the delectable desserts donated included cakes, pies, cookies, cinnamon rolls, brownies, breads, snack mixes and more. The Nescatunga Cookies will be at the booth again this year for $1 each.

Sugar Show Saturday Workshops

Three one-hour make-and-take workshops are planned for 1, 2 and 3 p.m. on Saturday in the northwest classroom of the ARC. The first workshop will be decorating cookies, the second workshop will be making two versions of the marble effect on a cake using both fondant and buttercream frosting to finish a cake. The third workshop will create a rose and a sunflower using fondant.

Each workshop is $20 and is first come/first paid. Those wishing to attend the workshops should contact April Ridgway at (580) 917-0101 or The workshops are open to 10 participants each and will include a gift bag.

Poppin’ Around Alva Shopping Event

Patrons of the festival also will have the opportunity to “shop local” while also browsing for unique items from those with booths inside the Fieldhouse during the Nescatunga “Poppin’ Around Alva” event. This year Nescatunga will be offering Alva Chamber of Commerce Chamber Bucks as prizes for those who participate. Those who wish to participate in the opportunity to win one of five $100 Chamber Bucks prizes may make purchases at any Alva business on May 31 or June 1 only.

Shoppers must deliver their receipts to the registration table just inside the west doors of the building by 2:30 p.m. on June 1. Each receipt turned in will qualify for one ticket in the drawing. An announcement of the ticket winners will take place at approximately 3 p.m. Contest participants must be present to win to pick up their prize. Only one prize per person.

Elementary Student Coloring Pages

Students at Alva’s Washington and Longfellow Elementary Schools were able to participate in a Nescatunga Arts Festival activity by completing coloring pages with a Nescatunga design on them. Local businesses displaying the students’ artwork include 818 Diner, Alva City Hall, Alva’s Market, Gambino’s Pizza, Graceful Arts Gallery, J.R. Holder Wellness Center, McDonald’s, Merrifield’s Office Supply, Rialto Cinema, Top Knot Studio and W.W. Starr Lumber Co.

Volunteers, Donations, Memberships Welcomed

There are several jobs the festival committee could use some help with for anyone who would like to volunteer their time. Please check out the SignUp Genius link at for days, times and jobs during the festival or contact Heather Penner, Nescatunga president, at (580) 748-1905 or


Cash donations and yearly $25 memberships to the Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Council are open to anyone interested in supporting the arts. Checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 152, Alva, OK 73717 or payments may be made via Nescatunga’s PayPal account at or by searching for the email within the service.


Booth space for fine artists and crafters is still available for anyone interested, and contestants in the third annual Sugar Show are still welcome to register to compete in decorated cakes, cookies, sugar art, fruit pies, homemade bread, sweet bread and fudge/candies.


More information about the festival is available on the website at or by visiting the festival’s Facebook page at


The Nescatunga Arts Festival is sponsored by the Nescatunga Arts and Humanities Council, Inc., in cooperation with the Alva Chamber of Commerce, the City of Alva Tourism Committee, the City of Alva and the Alva Recreation Complex.

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