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The 18th annual Mesta Festa brings neighborhood together

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Temporary Saints rocked out during Saturday's 18th annual Mesta Festa.

OKLAHOMA CITY - You couldn't ask for a more beautiful day, here on the eve of the first day of autumn, to hold an outdoor festival and neighborhood fundraiser in Perle Mesta Park.

And that's exactly what took place in the charming MidTown neighborhood of Mesta Park on Saturday where plenty of families, friends and, well, plenty of friendly dogs too, all congregated under the 100-year-old sycamores to try craft beer, local wine, awesome food vendors and hear some great music to boot.

Harry Meister, a member of the Mesta Festa committee, said Mesta Festa first started in 1995 and has grown over the years, while helping to raise funds for beautification improvements in the Mesta Park neighborhood and to provide funds for the neighborhood's tour of homes.

"This is a way to get neighbors together and meet each other," Meister said. "It just kind of started out as a block party and we've tried to keep the feel of the block party, as you can tell over the years, but it's grown, obviously."

Added Meister: "It's kind of taken a life of its own."

So, with the added promotion of local microbrews, wineries, eateries and music, Mesta Festa has something for the adults who partake in the fun. But the kids also have plenty of things to do as well, with the Perle Mesta Park playground overrun with tots and teens alike. Additionally, kids were allowed to enjoy science experiments put on by Science Museum Oklahoma.

COOP Ale Works, Mustang Beer, Urban Wineworks were among those providing delicious "adult beverages," while Pizza 23 was present and Nathan's Hot Dogs had a cart offering dogs slathered in mustardy goodness.

Music, as we mentioned, is a big part of Mesta Festa, with the OKC Thunder Drummers wowing the crowds with their percussive abilities, as well as bands from ACM@UCO and the headlining band, blues-rocking cover band the Temporary Saints.

Shaundra North Blundell, another Mesta Festa committee member, was volunteering at a table and was pleased to see many people in attendance, which in turns means more money raised for the Mesta Park Neighborhood Association.

"It's been the best yet," Blundell said. "Hopefully we can build on this success for next year."

Meister reminded Red Dirt Report that Perle Mesta, the gracious Oklahoma City native and one-time U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg (1949-1953), was known as the "hostess with the mostest" and Meister said Mesta Festa is trying to carry on Mesta's legacy.

And just as Perle Mesta had the undeniable talent of putting guests at ease and making them feel welcome, the friendly, laid-back vibe of Mesta Festa 2013 - the 18th so far - would certainly make the OKC-linked socialite quite proud.

"We get people who actually plan their vacations around it," Meister said of Mesta Festa and its popularity in the community.

Copyright 2013 Red Dirt Report

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About the Author

Andrew W. Griffin

Andrew W. Griffin is the founder and editor of Red Dirt Report, based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state.  Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics.  Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans.  Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points.  We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information.

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