If you didn't know, themed community events are pretty much a staple of small towns all over Oklahoma. Growing up, our event was the Black Eyed Pea Festival, held in August every year way down in the farther point in Southwest Oklahoma a person could go. I always thought it was odd as black eyed peas weren't a common crop there when it was still happening in the 90's and early 00's. It has since been moved to October and is called the Cotton Festival now.

My small Northern Oklahoma hometown used to throw a Dog Days of Summer Festival at the lake every year during, you guessed it, the hottest days of the year in late July and early August. It has since changed to Draggin' Grand cruise event and classic car show in June when temps aren't so high. Apache has their Rattlesnake Festival, Sayre has the Dust Bowl Days, Pawnee has Pioneer Days, Cromwell has Boomtown Days to celebrate their almost instant city surrounding an oil discovery, etc... The small town festival is something everyone visiting Oklahoma should get in on.

As Summer goes on, the festivals get fewer and fewer, but one that remains unwavering and deliciously sweet is the Rush Spring Watermelon Festival. Billed as a 5k/10k run, profits benefiting the community, and the sweet taste of ice cold watermelon when you find it, it's one nobody in SWOK should be skipping. While I've never participated in the fun runs, I'm always down to go eat some of that Rush Springs watermelon. By the slice or by the melon, you're welcome to do the same, but take some advice. The discolored ones you normally skip, than have a pale or yellow part of the rind is exactly the watermelon you want. That beauty mark is the tell-tale sign of a really sweet melon.

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