After a 20-year career in the air national guard, Britton Shaw still couldn’t get enough of the sky. So, he founded River Valley Paragliding to share his passion with new students. Whether soaring over local river bottoms or catching gusts of wind from atop Heavener Mountain, he performs and oversees solo and tandem flights, giving his charges hands-on experience in the air.
The two-story Victorian that holds Miss Addie’s Cafe and Pub has plied visitors with victuals since its inception as a soda fountain and drugstore in 1915. Carrying on the tradition of hospitality started by the druggist and his wife, the eponymous Addie, today’s owners welcome guests with an extensive menu of hearty pub fare. Plated pasta, beef, and seafood entrees adorn white linen tablecloths inside a sunlit dining room, and dark wood wine racks and a brick fireplace imbue a second space with an English pub atmosphere. Private parties mix and mingle amid the upstairs dining room’s rose-colored walls and bookcases. Patrons can also bring Miss Addie’s homestyle cooking home in the form of a cookbook, bottle of salad dressing, or realistic wax effigy of the head chef.
Dust clouds form from the hooves of two warhorses thundering across the jousting field. Across the way, a falcon wheels in the sky, spotting prey for his master. Meanwhile, King Henry watches from a tall stone tower, pleased with the bustling marketplace below. It isn’t the year 1539, and it isn’t planet Camelot IV in the Avalonian system. It’s the modern-day Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, held at the Castle of Muskogee every summer for nearly 20 years.
Every merchant and performer has a story to tell, from Sir Robert Vinterhawk of Birds of Prey to the painter Lady Anne, who creates lush portraits of the castle’s guests. The Tribal Circus performs gravity-defying feats without the aid of strings or wizardry, and the mysterious masked man of Cast in Bronze enraptures his audience with the sanctified tones of carillon bells. For adrenaline-pumping thrills, the human chess game —where life-size pieces engage in full battle—is second only to the raucous jousting tourney. Guests can further immerse themselves in a lost era with a spin around the maypole or by dressing up for the daily costume contest.
This fall, families can venture into the great-smelling outdoors and attend Livesay's Pumpkins & Fall Fun weekend attraction. A hayride escorts guests to the pumpkin patch to select an ideal future porch guard. The Pumpkin Playland offers a variety of activities, from a hay-bale maze to pumpkin bowling with a real pumpkin. Customers can visit the farm market to stock up on juicy apples, locally grown veggies, jams, salsas, and much more (prices range from $1 to $18).
Returning to the scenic Ozark Mountains for its fourth year, Wakarusa immerses festivalgoers in a weekend of natural beauty, free-spirited art, and more than 100 musicians playing on five stages. Prolific rockers Primus headline on Saturday, pouring out the thick bass lines and cutting guitar riffs that line tracks such as Jerry Was a Race Car Driver. After rocking through the '80s and '90s, and becoming a household name by performing the theme song for South Park, the influential band returns, touring on the heals of its latest effort, Green Naugahyde. Though recently without his distinctive bushy beard, reggae and hip-hop icon Matisyahu headlines on Sunday, thrilling fans with his characteristically probing lyrics. Also performing throughout the weekend, soulful pop-crafters Fitz and The Tantrums continue a meteoric rise that saw them named hardest-working band of the 2011 summer festival season by Vogue and the most attractive group of talented people anywhere by their mothers. RJD2 keeps the air filled with beats throughout Saturday night, and San Diego outfit Slightly Stoopid continues two-and-a-half decades of sprightly, reggae-infused rock Saturday and Sunday. Check out the schedule for up-to-date times.