Owasso Gathering Draws Regional Interest
By EMILY RAMSEY
Word continues to spread as the Owasso Gathering on Main continues, with its third season kicking off in April. The event is held on the first Thursday of each month.
While the event’s inaugural season, in 2013, was only three months long, beginning in August and running through October, the Gathering has since expanded its length, running April through October
Since beginning the new season, the turnout has been encouraging, says board member Chad Balthrop. What is also encouraging, he continues, is the growth in vendor interest.
The event began with mostly Owasso-based businesses, “but we’re starting to see vendors coming from outside of Owasso and are even getting interest from food trucks from Oklahoma City,” he says.
This season, the Gathering on Main is experiencing the most vendors than it ever has in the past. For the first time, the event is at capacity of its vendors – about 25 food trucks and 110 vendors – at the start of its season, Balthrop says.
“We’ve never had the event full from the very first month of the season.”
Vendors this season include local businesses, craft vendors and artists selling jewelry, metal work and birdhouses, musical artists, and food trucks.
The Gathering was created as a family-friendly event in Owasso, a very family-oriented community. Each event includes a kids’ zone, with children’s activities, face painting and games.
However, Balthrop and the event’s additional board members and volunteers make every effort to include the entire community.
“You see families with small children, people with their pets, single ones coming to meet other people,” he says.
Each event features a different musical act and different vendors, and that’s done for a reason, says Balthrop. “We want the event to be the attraction. We want people to come to the event because they know that they will be able to come and have fun no matter what music or vendors we have.”
To add to the festivities, each event has a theme: in April, the tagline was Let the Games Begin; in May, the event had a Hawaiian luau theme, complete with hula dancers; and in June, the theme will be Christmas in June.
At each Gathering, board members see the number of attendees grow larger, with the number of patrons reaching about 10,000 by September.
As the vendors expand from local to regional origins so have attendees. “We have regular attendees who always show up, but there’s also new faces every time,” Balthrop says.
“Now that we have so many vendors wanting to come to the event, we are making every effort to choose the vendors that are the most interesting and the most concerned with bringing the best to the event.”