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Since its small, informal beginnings decades ago, the annual Pride Festival and Parade has been held along N.W. 39th street.

But, the Oklahoma City Pride Alliance (OKCPA) announced Friday that a 2021 Pride Festival and Parade would be held downtown at Scissortail Park for the first time.

The Inaugural Downtown Pride Festival & Parade at Scissortail Park will be June 25-27, 2021.

The parade will begin on West Sheridan at North Shartel and turn south onto Hudson. It will continue south on Hudson and will end at Scissortail Park.

The return

Reigniting the festivities will likely mark a time of deep emotion for those who have found great meaning in the festival and Pride Week.

In 2020 all activities were canceled because of the raging, deadly pandemic. It was a profound letdown after Pride Week had grown not only in numbers of participants but also legitimacy in the life of the metro.

The year before, in 2019, OKC Mayor David Holt was the first mayor in the city’s history to declare Pride Week as an official emphasis of the City of Oklahoma City. It was also the first time the Mayor had walked in the OKC Pride Parade.

It was also a week of new public events before parade weekend — mostly centered on film and discussion — in addition to the traditional private parties and closed events held in prior years.

To learn more: Series of firsts for Mayor Holt as OKC Pride Week begins with ceremony

2019 Pride Week was also a first for Free Press as we covered the announcement ceremony and most of the public events in addition to the parade which we had covered since our launch in January of 2017.

Mayor David Holt, center with scissors, prepares to cut the ribbon on the 2019 OKC Pride Week. (Brett Dickerson/Oklahoma City Free Press)

Historic event

“The move downtown and specifically to Scissortail Park is a historic step forward for the city and allows us to celebrate the LGBTQ2S+ on the city’s main stage,” says Hannah Royce, OKCPA President.

“The motto of Scissortail Park is that it’s a park for everyone and those who know Oklahoma City’s LGBTQ2S+ history will recall that the city’s original gay bar was in downtown. This move for us symbolizes a return to our roots and staking our claim in the heart of the city.”

Park officials have been engaged with OKCPA in making the arrangements.

“We warmly welcome the Pride Festival to Scissortail Park and are looking forward to all the fun and festivities it will bring to the Park and downtown,” said Maureen Heffernan, CEO of Myriad Botanical Gardens and Scissortail Park.

Stay tuned

The OKC Pride Alliance will share additional details in late March + throughout the spring about the upcoming festival, including a call for volunteers, parade participants, and festival vendors. To stay up to date on the latest announcements surrounding the 2021 Pride Festival & Parade, please follow the OKC Pride Alliance on social media and visit www.oklahomacitypride.org.

About OKC Pride Alliance

The Oklahoma City Pride Alliance is a community-run, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization dedicated to producing the annual #OKCPrideFest and Parade, #OKCPrideWeek, and year-round city-wide LGBTQ2S+ Pride events that inspire, educate, commemorate and celebrate our city’s diverse community. Media contact: [email protected]

About Scissortail Park

The urban oasis, Scissortail Park, is a 70-acre gathering space in the heart of the city. The goal of the park from the beginning of conception during MAPS3 was to find a large and diverse audience with a wide range of features and landscape types. The north 30 acres of the park will be the festival grounds for the first-ever downtown Pride Festival.

Last Updated March 15, 2021, 10:46 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor