Muskogee (Oklahoma) Azalea Festival ...

I went for a walk around my yard this morning, and notice that my azalea tree has buds that were just starting to open. I could see the pinkish-orange blossoms, just starting to appear. As I continued walking, I noticed a couple of other azalea plants not quite as far along in the bloom process and came inside to do a little research on azaleas and bloom time.

During that process, I came across information about a big Azalea Festival held each year in Muskogee, Oklahoma. I’ve heard of Muskogee, of course, but to be honest, all I could recall about it was that is was in Oklahoma, and that Merle Haggard sang about it in his song, “Okie from Muskogee.”

It turns out that Muskogee’s Azalea Festival is a really BIG deal! It was named in the Top 100 Events in the United States by the National Bus Association, and each year draws over three hundred thousand visitors.

The Festival, held every April, is in the 122-acre Honor Heights Park. The park has over 40 acres of manicured gardens, with over 30,000 azaleas in 625 varieties. That’s a LOT of azaleas!

A parade through the downtown area, and a Chili Cook-Off and Barbecue Contest are just a couple of other events that make up the Festival. There is also lots of live entertainment.

Honor Heights Park has lots of picnic areas, a shelter, pavilion, gazebo, play areas, and public rest rooms. The park has three walking trails, attracting walkers, runners and bird watchers.

The park doesn’t just boast azaleas — it is also home to the Conard Rose Garden, a popular site for outdoor weddings.

If I were in Muskogee, I’d bet I could get all my azalea questions answered!

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