By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
The 2014 OKC Pride Weekend will kick off on Friday, June 20 at 7 p.m. with a block party featuring live performances and events along the strip at 39th and N. Penn.
The event will feature pop-music icons Taylor Dayne, also a songwriter and actress, and Martha Wash, the Original Weather Girl. Their performances will begin at 8 p.m.
Taylor Dayne stands out as one of music’s most dynamic artists. Her unique vocal style has earned her numerous best-selling gold and platinum albums. She has produced 17 Top-20 singles, including such number-one hits as “Tell It To My Heart,” “Love Will Lead You Back” and “Prove Your Love To Me.”
Martha Wash is responsible for some of the most recognizable songs of the 80s and 90s such as “It’s Raining Men”, and “Sweat (Everybody Dance Now),” which sold 5 1/2 million copies worldwide.
“We are fortunate that two such extraordinary performers will be joining us,” said Kindt Steven Myers, president of OKC Pride. “Both of these ladies, with the string of high-energy hits each of them have racked up over the years, will provide the perfect entertainment for OKC Pride 2014.”
Pride weekend continues with the two-day Arts Festival starting on Saturday, June 21 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. The open-air festival will feature regional artists, non-profits, commercial vendors and food trucks lining the 39th Street strip.
On Saturday afternoon visitors can enjoy the Pride 2014 Performing Arts Showcase with a different live open-air performance from a local artist or group every hour.
Pride weekend continues with the second day of the two-day Arts Festival on Sunday, June 22, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“This year’s two-day arts festival and Friday night block party will be bigger and better than ever, including live entertainment by local music groups,” said Myers. “Capping off the weekend of events will be our epic parade on Sunday evening with fantastic floats and participants. It always draws energetic parade goers and onlookers.”
For the grand finale, the 2014 OKC Pride Parade will step off Sunday evening at 6 p.m. featuring Oklahoma marriage equality heroes Mary Bishop, Sharon Baldwin, Sue Barton and Gay Phillips as this year’s Grand Marshalls.
As plaintiffs in the Oklahoma marriage equality lawsuit currently on appeal in the 10th District Circuit Court, these four incredible women are leading the fight for marriage equality in Oklahoma.
This year, special guests Jason and Darren Black Bear will be OKC Pride Parade judges. In October of 2013 Jason and Darren became the first gay couple to be married in Oklahoma, through the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Tribal Court.
“These special guests exemplify our theme for this year’s Pride festivities: Simply Equal,” said Myers.
“The opportunities to celebrate our diversity and our unity grow each year, with OKC Pride,” Myers added. “We look forward to celebrating our pride with you this year.”
Sponsorship levels range from the $1,000 Concert Promoter level to the $20,000 Rainbow top level sponsorship. Rainbow level sponsors receive a professionally built float, 1 end cap festival booth, logo on 20 parade route banners, headline t-shirt logo placement, a large banner on all web pages, 10 Pride Week concert tickets and more.
OKC Pride participates in many community events each year, such as the St Patrick’s Day and Ghouls Gone Wild parades; the NOH8 Campaign to promote marriage, gender and human equality; Cimarron Alliance’s Gay Oklahoma Campaign; as well as regional, national and international Pride-related activities sponsored by InterPride.
For more information and to become a sponsor, visit okcpride.org/2014 or call 405-466-5428.