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Mayfest Celebrates 50 Years

May 9, 2023

Category:  Events

This is another BIG week in Downtown Tulsa! The star of the show is the 50th anniversary of Tulsa Mayfest presented by MidFirst Bank in the Tulsa Arts and Historic Greenwood districts. Approximately 150,000 people are expected to attend the free, family-friendly, three-day, outdoor festival May 12-14 that elevates visual and performing arts in Tulsa and the region!

Tulsa Mayfest 2019

Mayfest is one of the first national art festivals of the summer season, attracting exceptional visual artists from around the globe and across the city to sell their original works.

Mayfest also features four stages for performances, including dance, theater, vocal and instrumental entertainment, as well as food vendors representing a wide variety of Tulsa’s foodie fare. A KidZone offers arts activities and fun for all ages, from bubbles to face painting and more! Daily schedules can be found here, and a map is available for download.

In addition to Mayfest, these awesome events (and many more) are taking place Downtown, too:

  • HANSON Day, May 10-13: This multi-day gathering brings HANSON's online community to the band's home turf. Expect live streamed and in-person music events, including karaoke, dance parties, and a concert at Cain's Ballroom. Most events are indoors.
  • Black Wall Street Rally, May 12-13: This motorcycle rally in the Historic Greenwood District includes Black Wall Street tours, vendors, live music, guest DJs, a bike show, panel discussions, a carnival, recognition of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Greek organizations, parties, and more.
Food vendors at Tulsa Mayfest

Check out more details on Mayfest 50 below!

Timeline of Tulsa Mayfest

This year's Tulsa Mayfest was up in the air until The University of Tulsa committed to continue the beloved arts festival in its 50th year. Did you know that Mayfest also connects to the previous iteration of Downtown Tulsa Partnership, called Downtown Tulsa Unlimited? See the timeline below.

  • 1973 — Tulsa International Mayfest is initiated by the Tulsa Junior League as Jubilee '73. Subsequent festivals, sponsored by the Tulsa Arts and Humanities Council and Downtown Tulsa Unlimited, were known as Festival '74 to Festival '77. 
  • 1978 — Name changes to Tulsa International Mayfest.
  • 1985 — Tulsa International Mayfest incorporates.
  • 1990s — Mayfest expands to 10 days, but the extended length proves to be a financial burden.
  • Early 2000s — Mayfest lasts four days.
  • 2020-21 — Mayfest and ahha combine efforts to produce Mayfest. Mayfest is canceled in 2020 and, in 2021, was produced in a short time due to COVID precautions.
  • November 2022 — ahha board of directors announces the closure of ahha. 
  • February 2023 — University of Tulsa President Brad Carson announces the acquisition of the former ahha building at 101 E. Archer Street and Mayfest. 
Branjae performs at Tulsa Mayfest 2019.

Parking Information

Mayfest parking is provided via shuttle service at Tulsa Community College lots near 11th and Boston and The University of Tulsa lots near 11th and Harvard. Watch for signs with directions. All shuttles will drop off at the Main Entrance of Mayfest at MLK Jr. Blvd. and Archer Street.

Parking is available throughout Downtown at on-street locations as well as area lots and garages. See map for Mayfest road closures.

We can't wait to see you at Tulsa Mayfest this weekend! Be sure to visit Downtown Tulsa Partnership's Community Partner booth (Reconciliation Way between Main and Boston) on Saturday, May 13, from 6:30-8:30 PM!