Story and photo by: Morgan Miller, Executive Director
If you are from Sand Springs or one of the surrounding areas, chances are you have been to or at least have heard of the Herbal Affair. If you have not heard of this festival, it is an annual herb and garden event held in downtown Sand Springs. The city’s website states that “this event was founded in 1989 and began as a simple downtown street sale. Since then it has grown tremendously and now attracts over 25,000 people each year. It has also led to other communities hosting similar events, but remains the “queen” of herbal festivals.” This event consistently attracts people from all over the state, and even people from surrounding states as well.
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Kasey St. John, the Marketing and Special Projects Manager for the city of Sand Springs. St. John has organized this special event for Sand Springs for the past two years. For most of its life, the Herbal Affair was actually run by a committee, but a few years ago it was adopted by The City of Sand Springs.
The Herbal Affair has a huge economic impact on Sand Springs. In fact, St. John mentioned that Riddle Plant farm claims the day as their biggest day of the year. With thousands of people being attracted to Sand Springs from out of town, it is bound to impact the economy in a big way. This event drums up business for Sand Springs’ shops in downtown, the hotels, restaurants, and gas stations.
About 25 to 40% of the vendors at the Herbal Affair are from the Sand Springs or Tulsa Metro area. While a little under half are from this specific area of the state, about 90% of the vendors are from Oklahoma. People know what they are going for when they go to the Herbal Affair. Almost all of the vendors are there year after year and that is one of the things that makes it so unique. The herbal affair has maintained a certain standard and character over the years and that, as well, is what makes it so incredibly special. When you go out to the Herbal Affair, you are truly supporting your friends and neighbors.
This event has something for just about everyone. Held in the heart of downtown Sand Springs, there are many unique shops and boutiques, like The Silver Linings Boutique which is on Broadway. The Herbal affair’s vendors don’t only sell plants and herbs, either. There are also craft vendors, as well as food and drink vendors. There will be entertainment for all ages, such as musical performances and a “Kid’s Zone” put on by volunteers from Church That Matters.
If you would like to attend this incredible event, it is being held this year on April 16th, from 9am-4pm, rain or shine! All of the information for the festival can be found at herbalaffairandfestival.com and also on the Sand Springs Herbal Affair & Festival Facebook page.
The entertainment schedule for this year is as follows:
2016 Entertainment Schedule
8:30-9:30 Casey and Minna
9:30-10:30 Clyde Boyd Middle School Jazz Band
10:30-Noon Spring Street
Noon-12:30 Hometown Hero Presentation
12:30-2:00 Janet Rutland Trio
2:00-3:00 Seven Feathers
3:00-4:00 Turtle Creek Clogger
Vendors at the event include community favorites such as: Whispering Vines Vineyards and Winery, Tomato Man, The Jelly Lady, Sugar Sisters, Sparks Vineyard, Rosemary's Kitchen, Riddle Plant Farm, Red Dirt Salsa, Pita Place Mediterranean Grill, Okie Dirt, Kountry Kitchen, and Harper's Hut Shaved Ice & Java. The complete list can be found on the city website.