The Arts and This Unique County

Our theme for this issue of Cleveland County Lifestyle is “The Arts.” There are so many arts-related activities occurring year-round in this county, the problem wasn’t finding story ideas, but rather which to feature! That’s a nice dilemma to face.

Norman’s Medieval Fair, now in its 40th year, has become the state’s largest weekend event and the third-largest event in the state. Due to its immense popularity, the fair, set for April 1-3 this year, was selected by Events Media Network as one of the top 100 events in the nation.

You’ll also read about the 2nd Friday Norman Art Walk, launched in 2008, which has become a major attraction, drawing visitors from surrounding counties as well as locally.

Also in this issue, we explore a pilot arts program sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council and the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs to engage Norman Veterans Center’s residents in a positive, therapeutic activity. Launched Dec. 1 as part of the OAC’s new Oklahoma Arts and the Military Initiative, more than 300 residents have the opportunity to participate in photography, visual arts and creative writing classes, all taught by other veterans.

In each issue, we review a restaurant, selecting from the many fine dining establishments that can be found from Moore to Norman, Noble to Purcell, and all points in-between. This month, we highlight Legend’s, known for its hint of “classical and international fusion” and cuisine that ranges from Chicken Crepes to Oklahoma Catfish.

As a nearly lifelong resident of Norman, I know what a unique place this is. It is a place with a fascinating history, whose residents are among this nation’s most generous and caring citizens. Tornadoes, earthquakes, droughts and floods, ice storms and swift-moving fires … we’ve experienced it all, but didn’t let it defeat us. We mourned together for the lives and property lost, then worked alongside our friends and neighbors to rebuild and move forward.

I am looking forward to sharing stories about this remarkable place and its equally remarkable residents. Cleveland County, founded in 1890, comprises 558 square miles of land (and water) and has a population of approximately 270,000. Cleveland County includes all or a portion of the communities of Norman (the county seat), Moore, Etowah, Hall Park, Lexington, Little Axe, Purcell, Slaughterville, and Oklahoma City.

Here’s to a long, fruitful and beautiful relationship!