Mayfest Brings Food, Music & Fun To Downtown Tulsa

Friday, May 7th 2021, 9:51 pm

TULSA, Oklahoma -

A crowd gathered at across from our studios at Guthrie Green for Mayfest which is Tulsa's largest arts festival. Mayfest organizers said this is a profitable undertaking that requires a lot of groundwork. 

Mayfest's director said putting on an event as big as this takes time and whole lot of energy. That's because they must recruit hundreds of volunteers, prepare for thousands of people, and factor any forecast into their safety plan.

If you listen, you'll hear the music sounding in the streets of Downtown Tulsa followed by a whiff of fried food.

"Oh, the food. Oh, the food is it," said Kenny Williams, participant. 'What more could you want?' Everything's good in Tulsa.” 

However, Mayfest Festival Director Heather Pingry said this masterpiece takes a lot of preparation and a lot of working hands. 

"Manpower is kind of amazing. Lots of moving parts," Pingry said. 

Pingry said they have a full-time staff at Ahha, who produce the festival, along with another crew in charge of set up. Plus, there are about 800 volunteers and several food vendors with crews of their own.  

"We'll be here, all weekend long," said Katie Kariner, Deb's Pineapple Whip.

Pingry said Oklahoma weather never fails to keep things interesting, but they are prepared for any forecast.

"Wear your sunscreen. Wear a hat. And be really hydrate while you're here," Pingry said. 

Crews have a severe weather plan in place which includes shutting down the festival in just 10 minutes.

"We have a lot of practice unfortunately in that area," Pingry said. 

Pingry believes even Oklahoma's high winds are no match for the festival's structured tents - each secured by four 40-gallon drums full of water.

"They do not move during storms," Pingry said. 

Pingry expects about 100,000 people to attend Mayfest at any given year and wouldn't be surprised if pandemic driven cabin fever brought in an even larger crowd this year. That was the case for Williams.

"I just wanna dance right now," Williams said.