ONE OKC returns for its sixth annual street festival to celebrate advancements made in the northeast community and what’s the future has in store.
This year's festival theme was reviving the culture to highlight the rich history of northeast OKC and to spread awareness that more growth is on the way.
Northeast OKC residents said the area is moving in the right direction.
“For decades, everything sat vacant. You didn't see a lot of life, areas that were once booming like the old Deep Deuce area and even Fourth street, but everything is gone,” Shortt Dogg Entertainment music director and chief executive order Johann Kimbro said. “So, finally to see some redevelopment emerging here, I think it’s very beneficial to our community.”
After years of work to provide access to food, the northeast community welcomed a grocery store to the area. There is also a plan in place to upgrade several parks and to bring in more resources through the city's MAPS 4 Innovation District.
ONE OKC block party chair Deandre Martin sees the new developments as a way to revitalize the northeast part of the city.
“Your city doesn't grow without new developments, but we want to make sure that the people who are from the community have a chance to stay in the community,” Martin said.
Martin said the block party not only creates a space for folks to enjoy local talent but to keep residents plugged into what northeast OKC has to offer.
“So many people are feeling hopeless. So many people are feeling despair. So many people are saying, you know, I am ill because a lot of our physical illness sometime can be mental illness,” Community Health Centers community liaison Carrie Smith said. “And so, by coming out here, we're letting the community know what we have to offer. We're definitely reviving the community, but it starts one person at a time.”