Updated: May 28
Through months of planning, canceling the event a couple of times because of COVID, and with a predominately new slate of officers and committee chairs, the 51st Nescatunga Arts Festival is set for Saturday, June 4, in downtown Alva, Oklahoma.
The committee will kick off the Festival with three new events to go along with the nearly 40 fine artists, handmade crafters and authors setting up booths on the north lawn of the Woods County Courthouse from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The inaugural Sugar Show contest will have contestants competing in three categories – professional, aspiring sugar artists and students. They will have from 8 to 8:45 a.m. to get their displays set up in the eXtreme building at 425 College in downtown Alva. Judging of the decorated cakes/ cookies/ cupcakes will begin at 9 a.m., and the public will be allowed to enter at approximately 10:30 a.m. to see the items that were entered and vote for their favorites. An awards presentation will take place at about 11:30 a.m. BancCentral is sponsoring the $100 Best of Show award, and Holder Drug is sponsoring the $100 People’s Choice award.
Four groups from Alva High School will be helping to prepare pancakes and sausage for another new event being tried this year on the lawn. The Nescatunga Breakfast Line will open at 8 a.m. and be served by students from the Alva High School band, speech and debate, art and Electric Gold.
This breakfast line and the popular Gourmet Food Booth serve as the festival’s biggest fundraisers to help fund the festival, student scholarships, First Friday Art Walks and more, so it goes without saying how appreciative the committee members are for everyone’s donations of time and wonderful baked items.
Word has it that the popular Nescatunga Cookies will make an appearance once again in the Gourmet Food Booth! Anyone wanting to donate items for this food booth that do not need to be refrigerated will graciously be welcomed at the table by 8 a.m. on June 4. For those who would like to help but can’t make items for the booth, monetary donations will be accepted.
Questions about the booth or to let the committee know of plans to bring something, please contact Nickie Chaffee at (580) 430-5450.
In order to show its support to all of the merchants around the downtown square, Nescatunga has added a “Poppin’ Around the Square” contest. A number of downtown businesses have provided items to Nescatunga to be used as prizes to give away. Punch cards that include the names of those participating this year will be available inside those businesses on the day of the festival as well as at the festival’s sound booth. In order to be entered into the drawing for the prizes, patrons must make three different purchases during the day at the businesses participating and have their card “punched or marked” by those downtown merchants. The cards can then be delivered to a box located at the sound booth on the lawn. Winners’ names will be drawn and announced from the stage at 2:30 p.m. Winners do not need to be present to win.
Eleven diverse entertainment acts also will be performing as part of the arts festival on the courthouse bandstand stage starting at 9 a.m., and a number of quilts will be on display in the Woods County Courthouse.
Free fun activities for the whole family will be located on the square including an inflatable obstacle course, a double hoop shoot inflatable, corn hole, oversized Jenga games, train rides, Bradt’s Menagerie’s Port-A-Petting unit and face painting by Cake Face’s Emma Cline.
Frosty Joe’s Sno Cone trailer will be located near BancCentral starting at 1:30 p.m. as the bank has generously donated funds to provide the first 300 sno cones for free. Other food truck vendors will set up in the courthouse parking lot.
Erin Davis of Alva has assumed the duties of Nescatunga president following in the footsteps of longtime president Charla Parker who has tirelessly led the group since 2003. Many hours of phone calls, texts, emails and meetings have taken place with committee members and many lessons have been learned along the way.
Besides Davis, the committee planning this year’s festival includes:
· Vice President – Mary Hamilton
· Secretary – April Ridgway
· Treasurer – Heather Penner
· Building Manager – Ken Brown
· Sugar Show Chair – April Ridgway
· Entertainment Chair – Naicee Sutter
· Publicity Chair – Valarie Case
· Registration Chair– Angelia Case
· Quilt Chair – Rose Mary McFall
· Gourmet Food Booth Chair – Nicki Chaffee
· Tent Chair – Ken Brown
· Ribbon Chair – Patty Harkin
· Poppin’ Around the Square – Naicee Sutter, Kristy San Soucie, Stephanie Lambert, Elda Jones
The Festival definitely would not take place without these officers and committee chairs as well as the countless number of other volunteers.
Booth space is still available to fine artists, crafters and book authors, and entries into the Sugar Show are still being accepted. Artists are asked to remain on the north lawn until 3 p.m. but are welcome to stay in place throughout the Salt Fork June Jam that takes over at the end of the arts festival and runs through 9 p.m. with the first of four entertainment acts starting at 4 p.m.
If the arts festival encounters inclement weather, the quilt show will go on as planned in the courthouse; however, the arts and crafts booth, food, activities and arts festival entertainment will be moved to the 4 Generations Organic Building, south of Alva at 2878 College Blvd.
Visit www.Nescatunga.org for more information and a registration form for booth space or the Sugar Show.