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February 3, 2013

Festival season begins

NORMAN — Yesterday’s Chocolate Festival started the festival season for us. Between now and the start of the Sooner football schedule, visitors from inside and outside Norman will be coming to our city.

Because of the way the calendar falls this year, we will actually start out 2013 with back-to-back events, the Chocolate Festival and the Mardi Gras parade that begins Saturday evening along Main Street. The parade traditionally takes place the Saturday before Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French).

The next big event will be the Medieval Fair taking place April 5-7 at Reaves Park. Organizers estimate the three-day crowd to number more than 300,000 people.  Also in April will be the annual 89ers Day and Parade on April 20 that celebrates the 1889 Land Run which settled Norman.

The sixth annual Norman Music Festival will be April 25-27 throughout Historic Downtown Main Street. The fifth edition was the largest estimated gathering yet, topping 55,000 people.

The first weekend in May will be the annual May Fair Arts Festival on May 4 and 5, returning to its original two-day format. Andrews Park fills up with artists, performers and more.

Celebrating its 30th year in 2013, Jazz in June will take place June 20-22 at various locales in Norman including Brookhaven Village and Andrews Park. Midsummer’s Nights Fair will be July 12-13 at Lions Park, highlighting performers and artists.

The traditional festival season’s finale will be the Cleveland County Free Fair Sept. 5-7.

We will be promoting these events throughout the region in an attempt to bring out-of-town visitors to fill up our hotels, restaurants, retail establishments and more to contribute to our city sales tax collections.

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