If someone said to you “Tell me about Oklahoma,” chances are that images of native Americans, cowboys and dreadful summers surface to mind. While all these things exist in the “sooner state”, and summers deliver their battle, there is so much more to the state that looks like a pan. Perhaps in the center of it all, lies Norman, a town most prominently known for the University of Oklahoma. I am Peyton Powers, and I have been born and raised in Norman. Most tourists venture to destinations expecting a lively atmosphere, remarkable views, and plenty of activities for the family. Most tourists also miss out on the Oklahoma experience! The atmosphere is as lively as you want it, the best view you can get is every day at sunset, and Norman is filled with activities by the plenty.
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Upon arrival to Norman, don’t avoid the University of Oklahoma. From OU’s chant “A campus beautiful by day and night” reigns true. Whether it is the natural light that reveals all nooks and crannies of the university, or the gothic lamp posts lining every path that highlight the best parts of it, it’s simply impossible to find a part of OU that doesn’t receive two thumbs up.
If you visit during the first weekend of April, come on out to the Medieval Fair. Yes, it does sound strange. But if you want to experience Norman, then this is how. The Medieval Fair occurs at Reaves Park for one weekend a year. The fair is filled with all the medieval immersions one could imagine. Whether riding a camel is something that interests you, or you would like to cross jousting off your bucket list, there is something for everyone. And for the everyday food critic, you will never find a better funnel cake, I promise (I recommend drizzling honey on top!)
Be sure to take some time to stop by City Hall. Mayor Cindy Rosenthal is quite possibly one of the most interesting women you could meet. Mayor Rosenthal balances being a professor for the University of Oklahoma with… well, being our mayor! She is also the head honcho for the Community Scholars Program (through the University), which provides political science students with intern opportunities to serve non-profits within the Norman community. She believes in buying local, and supporting small business owners to stimulate a self-sufficient economy within our city. Mayor Rosenthal should be on your “to meet” list because she is a woman who can balance major responsibilities, define leadership through her servant heart, and meet her goals all at once.
Sno-cones are a crucial part of being an American. However, if you’ve ever thought “Hmm, I wish I could drink this, but then it’s just tasty water,” then I propose Classic 50’s, a drive-in restaurant famous for their slushies. Ranging from “Hakuna Matata” to “Crimson & Cream” there is a flavor for the everyday slushy-enthusiast. This is a landmark for all Normanites, as its drive-in atmosphere provides a social place for friends and family to drive in, order a slush or two, and chat while sipping on your delicious drink.
Norman is nothing but vibrant. Whether the world-renowned university draws you here, or the idea of a slushy silently calls your name, there are a million reasons as to why you should visit. The only reason why you wouldn’t like to come is that you don’t enjoy good times with good people.
I’m sure I will see you soon! You should know that in Norman when someone says “Boomer,” you reply “Sooner!”
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