Forecasts of inclement weather Saturday have Safe Events For Families (SEFF) — Shawnee's Redbud organizers — scrambling for cover. The Municipal Auditorium, 400 N. Bell
Once again it's time for Plan B.
Forecasts of inclement weather Saturday have Safe Events For Families (SEFF) — Shawnee's Redbud organizers — scrambling for cover.
Typically residents would fill the 300 block of Main Street as they celebrate the annual Redbud City Night on the Bricks festival, but, due to impending threats of cold and rain, activities are being moved into the Municipal Auditorium, at 400 N. Bell.
The backup plan was already lined out so the transition shouldn't be too difficult.
April can be a hard month in Oklahoma to arrange outdoor events. In fact, the festival endured a stormy killjoy a couple years ago. In 2017 the event was postponed last minute; SEFF opted to reschedule the festival to coincide with Trail Days that year.
Each year since, residents have been instructed to watch SEFF's Facebook page for updates when the area is expecting storms.
Since the backup decision has been made days ahead, party-goers won't have to guess if the show will go on.
On Facebook, SEFF spokesman Ed Bolt posted all the published schedules will remain the same.
Well-received by the community, the festival now in its fourth year will this time be packed into one evening. It is set to feature street vendors, live music, church bake sales, wineries and street performer Orange Rex. Rumor has it, a well-known princess may be gracing residents with an appearance, as well.
Bolt said the community meal is free and should be able to feed about 1,200 attendees.
Ever since the festival's inaugural event — receiving accolades as Outstanding Event or Festival in 2016 by Central Oklahoma Frontier Country Marketing Association at oktourism.com — the festival has been a popular community gathering.
SEFF — along with local sponsors Visit Shawnee Inc. (VSI), Vyve, Citizen Potawatomi Nation (CPN), the City of Shawnee, several area banks and others — is featuring local entertainers from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. First up is Jennifer James, next is Miranda Mulkey and then comes Kedrick Nettleton to wrap up the evening.
Bolt said the local entertainers were chosen — in part — to offer a laid-back, comfortable atmosphere so residents could easily visit and get to know each other.
“The point is for everybody to come enjoy the evening together,” Bolt said. “Hopefully people will meet and make new friends.”
On the menu this year is a family-favorite — pizza. Bolt said FireLake and Papa John's are splitting the work, as 400 of the pies have been ordered for the community dinner.
Bolt said locals also are welcome to bring their own food from home or elsewhere if they so choose.
Bolt said there will be no shortage of things to do in the Shawnee area that day:
• The Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art is hosting its annual Arts Trek;
• in the afternoon, an inaugural 5K fun run is planned to start at the Santa Fe Depot;
• that evening, a Journey tribute band will be playing at the Ritz Theater; and
• Bethel High School will play host to a car show
The idea behind the Redbud Festival plays on Shawnee’s 1941 designation as the Redbud City of Oklahoma by the state Legislature. Shawnee's recent rebranding effort also follows the Redbud theme.
To volunteer, residents can connect with SEFF on its Facebook Page at SEFF Shawnee.