RUSH SPRINGS --While sweet, juicy watermelon may be the biggest draw for many Rush Springs 2008 Festival Expo visitors, there are also many other opportunities for entertainment at the annual event.

Take for instance, the Arts and Crafts Expo.

This year, the Arts and Crafts Expo, under the expert guidance of Rhonda Loeffler, is featuring 108 vendors from Oklahoma and neighboring states Texas and Arkansas and from as far away as Iowa, Louisiana, and even California.

“It’s my third year as chair person for the Arts and Crafts Expo, and I’m getting better every year,” joked Loeffler. “We’re just about to figure it out and make it work well enough to take it on the road.”

All joking aside, Loeffler has mustered a wide variety of unique vendors peddling wares as diverse as leather goods, name-brand perfumes, candles and bath products, salsa, pickles and peppers, gourmet cheesecake and old-time photos, not to mention turquoise and sterling silver jewelry.

Virtually something for everyone.

“I’m very particular about the vendors I choose,” says Loeffler.

In addition, the festival will feature a rodeo which will be held Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 7-9 at the Lion’s Club Rodeo grounds north of Rush Springs on Hwy. 81 beginning at 7 p.m. each evening.

Saturday morning, the festival will kick off at 9 a.m. with the Pioneer Award, followed by the Tiny Tot contest at 10 a.m. and the watermelon seed spitting contest at noon.

This year, the festival will feature book signings by three Oklahoma authors.

Former University of Oklahoma football player Eric Thunander, OU’s only deaf player, will be on hand from 10 a.m.-noon to sign copies of his new book, “Silent Thunder.”

Oklahoma author Bob Avey will be available all day to sign his new book, “Beneath a Buried House,” and Dana Warren will also be on hand to sign her latest cookbook.

Vocal entertainment will start at 1 p.m. with young country and western artist Mikayla Lee, whose hit single, “Might as Well be Me,” rose to number one on the Independent Artist Company country charts in only a few weeks, and is being played by radio stations from New York to California, as well as in Canada and Australia.

Also performing will be the Vimy Ridge Church group at 1:45 p.m., Ginger Boles at 2:15, Morgan White and Janice Graham at 2:45 p.m., the SBC Praise and Worship Band at 3:15 p.m. and Nashville recording artists the “Rush Springs Band” of Ardmore at 5:30 p.m.

At 4 p.m., the watermelons will be cut into slices and guests may indulge in as much of the sweet treat as they can hold.

After everyone has their fill, the prize melons will be auctioned off to the highest bidders at 5 p.m.

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you