Mayfest organizers prepared for weather

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Updated: 5/17/2013 5:21 pm Published: 5/17/2013 4:14 pm

The chance of severe weather could cause problems in downtown Tulsa while Mayfest and the Blue Dome Arts Festival are both going on.

Having an outdoor festival in May in Oklahoma is always going to be risky. Organizers are hoping for the best -- weather like Friday all weekend -- but are prepared for the worst.

"It is perfect out here right now," said organizer Heather Pingry. She's hoping it lasts until after 5 p.m. on Sunday.

But based on past experience she knows there's no guarantee.

"We've had really bad wind in the past. My very first Mayfest I saw a port-a-potty flip over on its side and scooch down Boston," she said.

"We've lost tents. Artists have lost artwork. Mayfest has seen a lot of it. We've had really cold weather; we've had really hot weather," added Pingry.

In 2009, a storm even forced them to shut down the festival one night.

"You take the chance getting beautiful days like this, or sometimes severe weather. So, it's just a risk you run," she said.

Drew Thomas thinks everyone should still come out, just come prepared.

"I would come out with just an umbrella or rain jacket or something to walk around, listen to music, check out the booths, try some of the food, you know, of course," said Thomas.

As for the artists, Dana Echols says he researched Oklahoma weather in advance.

"Being a fine art artist like this on the art circuit, we run into this quite frequently. Normally, each person has their own little plan how to get things out of here quickly," said Echols.

But with chances for severe weather looking pretty good, Pingry is staying positive.

"The good thing about this system is that we know about it now. That's the best kind of severe weather that we can hope for," she said.

If the system does move in before Mayfest is done Sunday, Pingry and her team will give plenty of notice to artists, vendors and performers to break down before the storm.

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