Festival of the Arts welcoming thousands to downtown Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A popular event that draws thousands of visitors to downtown Oklahoma City is preparing to open its gates.

The Festival of the Arts has been going strong for 48 years and is preparing to welcome visitors from across the state.

Organizers say 144 artists from all over the country are setting up booths and tents to showcase one-of-a-kind pieces of art.

Tents line the streets, filled with everything from artwork to food.

Artists will showcase 13 different mediums, including sculptures and model planes made from beer cans.

Dean Imel, a native Oklahoman, says his favorite part of the festival is seeing the youngest visitors light up when looking at the unique artwork.

He said, "The kid thing is always infectious because they look at it with innocent eyes and they get excited with just what they see."

Imel has been displaying his work here for a decade.

For those who enjoy the finer things in life, a culinary demonstration is scheduled for guests to learn new recipes and techniques for the kitchen.

Angela Cozby, the director of the Festival of the Arts, said, "You can get some French crepes, Polynesian food. It's a very unique and well-rounded menu."

Also, a wine tasting booth will give visitors 21-years-old and older the chance to try some of the local flavor.

If you are craving something other than art, the 'International Food Row' is just the place to take a break.

You will be able to try foods like Indian tacos, fish tacos and Nutella waffles.

Artists say it's not really about the art or the food, but rather the experience that makes the festival worthwhile.

Imel said, "It's kind of getting to know other people, who I normally wouldn't get to know. You know? It just sort of expands my horizon. It branches me out, you know? Make some friends, you know? See different people!"

Click here to see what food vendors will be at the festival plus details on the visual and performing arts schedule!

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