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Oklahoma boasts summer festival bonanza



Summer festival season is packed to the brim with happenings all across the Sooner State. Some festivals focus on food, some on art, while others key in on niche cultures and pastimes.

deadCENTER Film Festival
June 11-15
Downtown Oklahoma City

Oklahoma's biggest film festival turns eight this year, with more than 100 films hitting big screens across the downtown area over the course of five days. Just like any good film festival, watching movies is only part of the fun. There will also be ample opportunities for budding filmmakers to network, to sit in on panel discussions and to hit after-parties.

The first of two free outdoor screenings will also serve as the kickoff party on June 11 with "Rainbow Around the Sun." The local feature-length musical premiered at South by Southwest this year to rave reviews, including by Anna Gonzalez of Austin, Texas' KTVT Channel 11, who said of the film, "This is my generation's 'Tommy.'"

The other free screening " the curiously titled music documentary "Nerdcore Rising" " will serve as the closing-night film, and many local film aficionados will be flocking to "Okie Noodling II," Bradley Beesley's long-awaited follow-up to his 2001 documentary highlighting our state's alternative fishing techniques.

9 a.m.-4 p.m. June 21
1820 N. Council, Blanchard 

Food lovers with a high pain threshold or perhaps a bitter grudge against their taste buds should check out Pepperfest. The annual celebration of the spicy is held by Matador Processors, a food manufacturer specializing in pepper concoctions. Proceeds benefit Blanchard's volunteer fire department.

A salsa-tasting contest, a car show and live entertainment also will be held, all to celebrate the role of the hot pepper in the modern American palate.

Bike Week Oklahoma
June 23-29
Sparks America Campground, Sparks
(918) 866-2543


Bike nights in Bricktown may not be enough for motorcycle enthusiasts seeking a totally immersing experience. For those diehards, Bike Week Oklahoma is an ideal event: seven days of motorcycle culture, $1 beers, bike shows, live music and even the national arm wrestling championship.

Now in its ninth year, organizers are scaling back a tad, from 10 days to seven, and anticipating anywhere from 10,000 to 20,000 tickets sold. A $20,000 poker run is being added. " Charles Martin 

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