Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Unity Reigns at the OKC Pride Festival

A Parade, Disco and Freedom to Love



Martha Wash

 



One of the biggest parades in Oklahoma City is not at Christmas, nor even Halloween. It’s the annual Gay Pride Parade and Festival, happening this year June 24-26 at the area of NW 39th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, also known as “The Strip.”
 

This year’s theme is “Free to Love,” and organizers say it could be the most massive event yet.

“Last year, the Oklahoma City Police Department confirmed OKC Pride was the state’s largest parade and privately held festival,” says Michael Clark, board president for OKC Pride. “We had more than 75,000 attendees last year, and we expect this year’s parade to be even bigger, as it falls on the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court decision affirming marriage equality.”

The festival gets underway at 6 p.m. June 24, with a free block party on The Strip and a concert featuring the First Ladies of Disco, a new group made up of some of the greatest names of the disco era.

They include Martha Wash, who, as part of the Weather Girls, hit the Billboard charts in 1982 with what has become the gay anthem, “It’s Raining Men.” Also performing as part of the group is special guest Anita Ward, who hit No. 1 with 1979’s “Ring My Bell.” Ward is stepping in for regular First Ladies singer Linda Clifford. Rounding out the trio is Evelyn “Champagne” King, whose 1978 hit “Shame” landed her in the top 10, and put her on “American Bandstand” and “The Midnight Special.”

“One year we had the Pointer Sisters, and last year we had the legendary band The Village People,” Clark says. “This year, the First Ladies of Disco are launching their world tour right here at OKC Pride. We think everyone will really enjoy their music and the high-energy atmosphere they bring to their performances.”


The 28th annual parade kicks off at 6 p.m. June 26. Organizers say the current board has worked hard to turn what once was a rather decadent event into a family-friendly atmosphere.

“Daytime events are geared to all ages,” Clark says. “There will be a special ‘youth zone’ near Expressions Community Center, and we will have great entertainers throughout the day. All through the weekend we will have hundreds of artists, vendors and nonprofit organizations, as well as live music, food trucks and a beer garden. There will definitely be something for everyone.”

Clark said both the festival and parade are open to everyone – gay and straight alike.

“OKC Pride is all about openness, inclusion and equality,” he says. “As such, it is open to all. At least half of our attendees each year are supportive members of the straight community. Anyone attending will find a fun and welcoming environment with no prejudice or exclusion.”

The LGBTQ community has been repressed and discriminated against for many years, Clark said, and that is why he believes the Pride parade is still relevant today.

“While the world is more welcoming and open now, many in our community still do not feel welcomed, included or safe,” he says. “OKC Pride exists to provide a venue where all can know they are not alone and accepted for who they are.

“The best way to see what we are all about is to come see it for yourself,” says Clark. “I know anyone taking the time to join us will be glad they did. Our community is diverse and involved in all aspects of Oklahoma life. Come see what we have to offer, and I am certain you will leave with a greater appreciation for humanity.”

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »You Might Like

Getting Social in Uptown 23rd

New concept Social: Deck + Dining coming soon

Madison Cunningham’s Come-Up

The young singer prepares to open an OKC show for The Punch Brothers

Touring Fort Smith

From the historic courtroom of Judge Isaac Parker to the new Park at West End, Elaine Warner finds plenty of highlights in Arkansas’ second-largest city.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

September 2018

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Organizations making a positive impact on the health of Oklahomans will be honored at the 2018 Champions of Health Gala. All proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a non-profit...

Cost: TBD

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918.551.2164
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take Steps is the Foundation’s largest nationwide fundraising event where patients, loved ones, friends and supporters empower and inspire each other to continue the fight against...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Telephone: 972.386.0607
Contact Name: Jackie Peterson
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags