Annual festival brings community together.
There is plenty to crow about in Broken Arrow each year with the arrival of Rooster Days, and the annual festival enters its 84th year in 2015. The two-day event always occurs on the Friday and Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend, so the 2015 dates are May 8-9.
“Rooster Days began in the summer of 1931 and featured farmers who lined Main Street with their roosters because there was a surplus of roosters that year,” says April Sailsbury, senior vice president of the Broken Arrow Chamber of Commerce, which oversees Rooster Days. “Farmers traded their roosters to other townspeople in exchange for various goods and services, and the get-together became such a fun success that the event continued in following years with more added attractions and activities.”
Rooster Days continues to this day, although no roosters or other livestock are traded anymore. Instead, the festival features activities like a large carnival, live musical entertainment, a parade, a Miss Chick Contest, spacious children’s play areas, and a 20,000-square-foot Marketplace with arts and crafts booths. There are food vendors selling barbecue, funnel cakes, corn dogs and fried ice cream, and a Rooster Days 15K kicks off the celebration with a run/walk through the downtown Broken Arrow district.
“The runs in the past were 5K, but we decided to lengthen it to 15K for 2015,” Sailsbury says. “Also, the run will occur on the Saturday before Mother’s Day weekend, so it will happen early in the morning on May 2, 2015.”
Rooster Day is Oklahoma’s longest continuous running festival, with many of the events staged at Central Park in The Rose District of Broken Arrow. Live musical entertainment includes local and regional acts along with an occasional national headliner. The 2013 lineup offered performances by Little Texas, Vintage Five, Mark Gibson and the Turtle Creek Cloggers.
“Everything about the weekend is fun and family oriented, highlighted by the Rooster Days Parade that begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday,” Sailsbury says. “About 30,000 people attend various aspects of the overall festival, with visitors arriving here from throughout Broken Arrow as well as the Tulsa metropolitan area and northeast Oklahoma.”