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Neighborhood holds annual Mesta Festa event

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Mesta Festa has become and end-of-the-summer staple for residents of one the metro's oldest historical neighborhoods.

Organizers expect this year's festival, which starts 11 a.m. Saturday, to bring hundreds to Perle Mesta Park, nestled near the corner of N.W. 19th Street and N. Shartel Avenue.

The festival has grown annually since it was founded 13 years ago, said festival chair Cam Husted. This year, Mesta Festa is blues, food and brew, and is set to feature a large stage with several well-known local blues acts as well as food and beer provided by local bars and restaurants.

ENVIRONMENTAL FOCUS
Oklahoma City Beautiful, a nonprofit group that advocates community cleanup efforts, will provide recycling bins and help bring an environmental focus to Saturday's festival, Husted said.

"We're all about greening things up this year," she said. "There will be a lot of environment education activities for kids, so we're really excited."

Husted said Mother Earth will join a recycling robot at the park on Saturday to interact with children, who will also have a chance to participate in games and activities sponsored by Wilson Elementary School and the Classen School of Advanced Studies.

Reggae band Kinky Slinky will perform, Husted said, as well as other groups organized by the Oklahoma Blues Society.

Several beer vendors " including James E. McNellie's Public House, Coach's Restaurant & Brewery and Choc Beer " have been tapped to provide refreshment for the adults, and the nearby Prohibition Room will cook Chicago-style hot dogs for festival-goers, Husted said. "Joe Wertz

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