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Mayfest, Blue Dome Festivals Close Down Early

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Wind damage to the Blue Dome Art Festival from high winds early Sunday. Wind damage to the Blue Dome Art Festival from high winds early Sunday.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Mayfest and the Blue Dome Arts Festival closed at 4 p.m. Sunday due to the severe weather forecast.

Organizers made the decision Sunday afternoon after the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch in effect until 11 p.m.

5/19/2013 Related Story: Carney Debris Falls In Hallett; Tornado Touches Down Near Prague

Parts of Mayfest and the Blue Dome Festival were left in a mangled mess after winds swept through overnight.

"I don't have anything to sell, everything is just soaking wet," Dallas resident Sandy Moran said.

Moran has been selling fabric art for over 40 years and says she never had to deal with something like this.

"I've been through tornadoes and everything else, this is the first time I've completely lost a tent," she said.

Dozens of vendors at both festivals returned Sunday morning to broken glass, overturned display cases, and items strung across the street.

"Just came through here and exploded everything in about 30 seconds," Michael Sager, the organizer of the Blue Dome Arts Festival said.

5/18/2013 Related Story: Deadly Tornadoes Tear Across Central Oklahoma

Mayfest's director says they kept in contact with News On 6 meteorologists and were able to warn vendors ahead of time.

"It actually looks a lot better than we anticipated it would look," Mayfest Executive Director Heather Pingry said.

Mayfest offers free storage to the vendors, but most artists didn't take advantage of it. Most of the vendors have been doing this for years and know what to expect, and most of them were up and running when the crowds showed up today.

"This is only the second time in 10 years we've had anything of this magnitude happen," Sager said.

But neither festival wanted to take any chances.

In light of the second round of severe weather headed for Tulsa, both opted to shut things down two hours early.

"I've been blown down before and it's just too hard to recover from that kind of an accident," vendor Barry Jepson said.

More than 150 vendors hurried to pack their inventory up as the winds blew in along with the rain.

While it may not be the ending they had in mind, they undersigned it wasn't worth the risk.

"Being and Oklahoman, we know when they say there is an extreme risk they're serious," Pingry said.

Organizers said desipte the damage, they are thankful that no one was injured.

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