|Tumbleweed Dancehall and Concert Arena hosts Calf Fry aka TheTesticle Festival each spring for the last 25 years|
Calf Fry, the 2016 Testicle Festival rides again April 28-30
Do you have the balls to attend this music festival?
Photo and story by Jerome Shaw
|Sarah was my beertender during Calf Fry|
Stillwater, Oklahoma is home to one of the more colorful music festivals in the country. Though no longer officially called the Testicle Festival, that was the original, politically incorrect name and it is still widely known by this moniker. It is now simply called Calf Fry or more precisely Tumbleweed Calf Fry. Perhaps the festival, featuring the Red Dirt style music, which derives its name from the red colored soil of Oklahoma, simply out grew this more picturesque name. In 25 years Calf Fry has gone from modest little affair a few miles west of Stillwater to a major spring Music Festival destination with more than 30,000 in attendance for the 3-day event at the historic Tumbleweed Dance Hall and Concert Arena.
Calf Fry is more than just a music festival though. It ramps up early at 5pm with several musicians filling the undercard. However, the opening acts have to compete with likes of goat roping, mechanical bull riding, trashcan basketball and of course fried calf balls and ice cold beer, Then there are the ever-present pretty young girls dressed in short bouncy skirts and cowboy boots or extremely short cutoff jeans and cowboy boots.
Calf fries may get top billing but Red Dirt
Music is what draws the crowds
Growing up on a farm/ranch in Nebraska I was no stranger to such bucolic goings-on. I still recall my first cattle round up in Hayes Center, Nebraska. I was only about 5 years ofd but memory is burned as indelibly into memory as the Bar Lazy L brand into the calf's hindquarters. It was not castration that was so off-putting but rather the smell of burning cow hair and hide and the gory dehorning. But that is story for another time.
I tried the calf fries and found them palatable but not very flavorful. They have a pleasant texture, firm and not not too chewy. They taste mostly of batter and the oil they are cooked in. I prefer turkey fries in taste, texture and size. The places that I have turkey fries in seem to season them much more heartily than the beef fries at Calf Fry. I’d definitely recommend you give them a go when you get Stillwater and the Testicle Festival. Try them with some of the BBQ sauce and for your second course have a BBQ Brisket sandwich and wash it down with a margarita.
|The main stage during the 2015 Calf Fry Music Festival|
A good time was had by all at Calf Fry
aka The Testicle Festival
But now it was time to head for Calf Fry and get the party started with Casey Donahew Band, Aaron Watson, The Dirty River Boys, Chance Anderson, The Hideouts, and Lower 40. After a few fried testicles, a bit of BBQ, a few tallboy beers and a couple of pathetic attempts at goat roping the sun set and the music began.
Jerome was a guest of the Stillwater Convention and Visitor’s Bureau during his culinary and music adventures in Oklahoma.
|At sunset the party is just getting started at The Testicle Festival|
If You Go Section:
Calf Fry 2016 is Thursday, April 28 through Saturday, April 30
Tickets can be purchased online at http://tumbleweedok.com/
The annual Tumbleweed Calf Fry, or "Testicle Festival," features a calf fry and live Red Dirt country music. This unique outdoor music venue is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2016.
|Cutoff jeans & short flouncy skirts are most|
common attire for young women at Calf Fry
The Tumbleweed Dance Hall is recognized by County Music Weekly as one of the Top 10 Most Historic Country Music Sites in the United States. The 2016 edition of Calf Fry will celebrate 25 years of turning bulls into steers.
Last year, the event dished up a record 3,000-plus pounds of calf fries to more than 30,000 attendees, and the it was recently estival’s culinary aspect was even featured on the Travel Channel.
|Taking in the music at Calf Fry|
|Cowboy a Calf Fry aka The Testicle Festival|