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September 30, 2013

World’s oldest human rights festival draws a crowd that chills, paints and cheers

NORMAN — Blankets and lawn chairs were sprawled out under the trees as a laid back jazz tune floated across the Sunday afternoon air at Andrews Park for Norman’s annual Groovefest.

Children and adults painted flowers and messages across the sidewalks and everyone seemed to be enjoying the warm weather and free music. Vendors and booths also lined the sidewalks near the outdoor amphitheater with a wide variety of merchandise and information.

“It’s pretty chill,” said attendee Ryan Dart.

Dart said he and his friends bought some shirts and were waiting for another band to play.

“The barbecue is phenomenal,” said Zaun McCormick, another attendee. “I just wish they’d allow beer here.”

It was the first Groovefest for some. Lindsay Heird, Sherrie Smith and Rachel Rogers said they’d seen posters and decided to check it out. They said they were enjoying the free music, the weather and looking at everything in the vendor’s tents.

For others, it was something to return to from past years.

“I haven’t been in a decade,” said Rachelle Cook. “We were just driving to the library and saw the set up.”

Cook and her daughter Molly, 5, were having fun painting up the sidewalk under the shade of a nearby tree.

“We’re just enjoying the music and enjoying being outside,” Cook said.

Groovefest celebrated its 51st year Sunday and is the world’s oldest Human Rights Music Festival. The lineup this year included Lion Bandits, Morningstar Band, Jane Mays, Paseo Street Walkers, Bungalouski, Pidgin, Mike Todd, The Tequila Songbirds, Osage, and Jahruba and the Broke Brothers.

 

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