MEDICINE PARK Medicine Park residents and visitors are singing the blues this weekend.
Mayor Dwight Cope kicked off Labor Day weekend early Friday with more than five hours of blues music on two stages during the Mayor's Blues Ball. The fun continued Saturday when Big Pete and Soul Survivors led off 12 hours of performances across town. The unseasonably cool temperatures the area had enjoyed over the last two weeks gave way to triple digits, but that didn't stop a large crowd from gathering at the Medicine Park Tavern stage and the Old Plantation stage.
"We've got quite a good turnout out here today," Cope said. "It's a little hot, but we've dealt with it all in the name of good blues music."
The Labor Day weekend tradition began six years ago when Cope conceived a music festival to raise money for the Medicine Park Volunteer Fire Department. Each year, the music festival has grown more popular with more bands signing up. Many performers, like Big Pete, return each year because they have so much fun at Medicine Park and enjoy the camaraderie. Visitors have the same mentality.
"This is the second time we've come down," said Oklahoma City resident Shawnda Altstatt. "We don't love the heat, but we love the music and have made it a tradition."
Norman residents Jake and Jill Hunt like Medicine Park so much, they decided to get married in the resort town. They were walking the main street, checking out the vendors and local businesses that opened their doors, hoping for extra interest. The couple said they've fallen in love with Medicine Park and the mayor's music festivals only add to the infatuation.