Q&A - March 31, 2017

In just a few years, OrangeFest has become one of my favorite events of the year because it brings the OSU Institute of Technology community and the Okmulgee community together for a really fun evening.

This is the third year Okmulgee Main Street and OSUIT have partnered together to bring the festival to downtown Okmulgee with plenty of family-friendly fun, live entertainment, food trucks and, of course, the Glo Run 5K. So, in this week’s column, allow me to answer the question I hear often about what we have planned on Friday, April 7.

Q:What’s happening at OrangeFest this year?

Activities kick-off at 4 p.m. at this year’s OrangeFest with the action centered along Morton Avenue between 6th and 7th streets in downtown Okmulgee.

One of the highlights this year is local band Unsung Alibi headlining the main stage. These three young Okmulgee natives return to play in their hometown after a very successful show on the OSUIT campus last fall. The concert is sponsored by OSUIT’s Student Government Association.

There will be plenty to keep kids occupied. The Kids Zone will have several inflatables to jump around on, and OSUIT’s Child Care Center staff will be offering temporary tattoos, stickers, coloring sheets, games, bubbles and more.

Several of OSUIT’s student clubs and academic programs will be offering fun for all ages, including race car cockpit simulators; a video gaming wall sponsored by the School of Information Technologies; and virtual reality simulations sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineering at OSUIT.

Sample orange smoothies from members of the Future Chefs Association, and stop by the OSUIT pop-up store to get some OSU merchandise. Our Manufacturing Technologies and Engineering Graphics/Design Drafting programs will be demonstrating the possibilities of 3D printing. The Horology Club will showcase the art and craftsmanship of watchmaking and give kids the opportunity to assemble clocks.

Of course, you can’t have a festival without good food —for some, that’s their favorite part. Four food trucks will be serving barbeque, hot dogs, gourmet grilled cheese and state fair staples. Downtown restaurants Morty’s and 102 Ristorante will be open for business and offer a beer garden, a new addition this year, for those 21 and over.

And who doesn’t like winning? There are several prizes up for grabs for those who participate in the Chalk Walk and Pistol Pete Look-Alike Contest. All you need to do is register on the OrangeFest website, osuit.edu/orangefest.

OrangeFest wouldn’t be complete without the annual Glo Run 5K, which starts at 8 p.m. at the Okmulgee YMCA. Runners and walkers will cross the finish line downtown in the middle of OrangeFest, which concludes with one big block party.

I’m so proud of how this event has continued to grow and evolve to become a highlight for the community. OrangeFest is a great chance for OSUIT students, faculty and staff to come together with Okmulgee Main Street to offer the community a fun, safe, and hopefully even educational event that they will want to come back to year after year.

We look forward to seeing you there! And as always, please continue to send your questions or feedback to osuit-president@okstate.edu.