Festival Season Kicks Off Across Green Country


Saturday, May 8th 2021, 7:10 pm
By: Ashlyn Brothers


TULSA, Oklahoma -

People around Green Country are enjoying all kinds of events this weekend. It's a busy Mother's Day holiday and the start of festival season. 

For many, this is the first time they have been in a large crowd in more than a year, which psychiatrists said could impact mental health.

This weekend, thousands of Oklahomans are attending big events for the first time in a long time. Those events include Mayfest, Tulsa's Town West Route 66 Carnival and a Cinco De Mayo Fiesta in Broken Arrow. 

Mayfest attendee Damian Kirk said it's a breath of fresh air.

"I think this human interaction is gonna help a lot,” Kirk said. “Not only in the long run but just our own psyche.”

Rainbow Healthcare Center administrator Doug Keifer set up a booth today at Bristow’s Tabouleh Fest. Some of residents at the nursing home and assisted living facility attended the festival.

"The psychosocial needs of our elderly have suffered greatly the last year and a half. They were so excited to be able to go somewhere," Keifer said.

Psychiatrist Dr. Nicole Washington said the transition isn't easy for everyone. Some of her extraverted patients have felt socially awkward.

"Are we hand shaking? Are we fist bumping? Are we elbow bumping? Are we hugging?" Dr. Washington said. 

Dr. Washington said it's normal to feel a little uneasy about being around so many people.

"The stimulus is the anxiety provoking thing," Dr. Washington said.

Many people are still nervous about the virus itself.

"'Oh my gosh. Is my vaccine gonna hold up, like you know, are we really coming to an endpoint with this thing?'" Dr. Washington said. 

Dr. Washington said it's OK to ease back into things. The adjustment will be different for everyone.

"It's important to be kind to each other and to just be patient," Dr. Washington said.