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Vikings And Celts Will Come Alive At Festival

Food, live music and history-based activities will transport area children and adults to a world of fun and education next month, said one official.

The Heavener Runestone Viking/Celtic Festival 2014 will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 12-13 at Heavener Runestone State Park, 18365 Runestone Road in Heavener. The all-ages event will be highlighted by various food items, guest musical performers, history activities, craft vendors, a children’s area, dancing and more, said Mike Kennerson, president of the Friends of Heavener Runestone Inc., the organization that hosts the festival.

“We are still building this event — this is our fifth year to do one festival in the spring and one in the fall — and we’re excited about this again,” he said.

Admission is $5 per carload and allows entry into the festival, which will include live music by Black Oak Shillelagh, Bear Creek Troupe and Timothy O’Brian’s Celtic Cheer Band.

“Timothy O’Brian’s Celtic Cheer Band do a whole variety of Celtic music, and they’re so energetic and they entertain the audience so much, I get tired just watching them,” Kennerson said with a laugh. “They’re really great.”

Volunteers with Royal Gauntlet Birds of Prey, a Coweta, Okla.-based wildlife rescue unit, will discuss the importance of birds of prey, he said.

“Birds of Prey have a horned Eurasian owl and different types of hawks, and there’s a vulture from South Africa,” Kennerson said. “They fly birds over the tops of people’s heads, and they talk about how the public should treat these birds of prey if they ever see them.”

Also on tap will be a Viking re-enactor, with live music slated from noon to 5 p.m. each day, he said. Those attending can wear period-style costumes or casual clothes of their choice, Kennerson said.

“We’ll have great food vendors here,” he said. “Basically, they will have everything you could buy at a fair.”

Tent-camping sites also will be available, and craft fans will see Celtic jewelry, leather and metal crafts, wooden toys, handmade bags and instruments, handmade wire wrap, precious metal and semi-precious stone jewelry, Kennerson said.

“We had 125 carloads last year, and we’re hoping to do even better than that this year,” he said. “Last year, we made $1,300 profit after paying for the entertainers and everything, and we are hoping to do better this year.”

Money raised from the festival goes to support the 55-acre Heavener Runestone Park, Kennerson said.

“We’re excited because we’re getting quite a bit of buzz from the festival’s Facebook page,” he said. “We’re seeing interest build, plus, the price is right for this festival.”

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