OKC Pride Week Ends With Parade, Festival On Saturday
Organizers of Pride Week in Oklahoma City are gearing up for the finale celebration.
This year, the festival and parade will be on the same day -- Saturday. This is a change from years past when the parade was on Sunday.
"We kind of felt like that would provide people more opportunity to come because when you have to work and things like that on Sunday night. It made it hard," said one of the organizers Lana Story. "So, we felt like lets just start the celebration big and keep it going all day."
The parade starts at noon on Saturday and runs until 2 p.m. The festival follows right after and runs until 10 p.m. Both events are being held in the historic 39th Street District, near NW 39th and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Organizers said they have a new physical look for the festival, with tents moved out of the streets and on to the sidewalks. They also said they have new sponsors and feel new support from the city.
"To see the mayor come up and acknowledge this community and this week as Pride Week, especially when I've lived in other cities where that's happened and I know how that made the community feel," said Story. "But you could feel that sense in the air everyone was so excited."
Finishing touches were put in place on Friday including a large rainbow mural.
People gathered to paint the mural early Friday morning in the intersection of NW 39th and Barnes.
The mural was a combined effort of Councilman James Cooper, Q SPACE and Freedom Oklahoma.
"You know Stonewall was the first moment where people said enough's enough. We're not going to stand for being arrested for being who we are, for being brutalized for who we are ," said Councilman Cooper.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Stonewall. Cooper said he thought the flag would be a great way to honor that history and the historic 39th Street District.
"Pride is a celebration, but it's also a protest, right," said Executive Director of Freedom Oklahoma Allie Schinn. "It's this amazing opportunity to be authentically yourself and come out and say this is who I am and I have no apologies for it. That's what this flag represents."
For more information on the events before the festival and parade head to OKC Pride Week's official website.