This report has been updated June 25 with the latest Pride Festival and Parade information.
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 that 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 Schedule – UPDATED
Here is the schedule as posted on the okcpridealliance.org:
Transportation and Parking
The Pride Festival is only one of many big events going on in downtown OKC during the weekend of June 25-27. The City of Oklahoma City staff have provided the following information on how to get to and from the festival and possible parking in case you need to drive:
Visit parkingokc.com for a list of EMBARK’s public parking garages across the downtown and Bricktown area, including rates.
There are 1,300 metered on-street parking spaces downtown, where you can use one of 175 pay-by-plate meters or the Flowbird mobile parking app. The metered spaces are free from 6 p.m. to 8 a.m., and all day on weekends and observed holidays.
Transit and park-and-ride
The OKC Streetcar is free through June 27. You can hop on at the nearest platform to you throughout the downtown, Bricktown and Midtown areas. Visit okcstreetcar.comto plan your trip and see a route map.
Most EMBARK bus routes converge on the Downtown Transit Center at 421 NW 4thStreet, where you can hop on the streetcar or another bus route, or walk to destinations throughout downtown. Visit embarkok.com to plan your trip and see a route map.
The Token Transit app is the easiest way to buy fares for EMBARK buses and the streetcar. Visit embarkok.com/apps to download Token Transit, the EMBARK Connect app and others that help you navigate our transit system.
Some of Oklahoma City’s newest and best cycling infrastructure is in or near downtown, and you can also use the Spokes bike share program.
Go to spokiesokc.com to download the BCycle App, which lets you locate and check out a bike. You can use a classic bike for station-to-station trips, or a DASH bike to go anywhere in the ridership area and end your ride at a bike rack.
Among the bike lanes in or near downtown is OKC’s first protected bike lane, on General Pershing Boulevard and Main Street from May Avenue (at the Will Rogers Trail) to Penn Avenue. It will eventually extend to Lee Avenue on the edge of downtown.
There are 50 new bike racks and 5 new bike repair stations in the downtown area thanks to a partnership between the City, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments (ACOG) and the Downtown OKC Partnership. Click here for an interactive map.
EMBARK buses and the OKC Streetcar also have spots for bikes on board.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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Last Updated June 25, 2021, 10:53 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor