By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – The 2018 OKC Pride Week, from June 17 – 24, will bring numerous events to the Oklahoma City area celebrating inclusion and diversity. Festivities will include a charity pageant, opening ceremonies, a wine bottling party, painting, bowling, a block party, free concerts, an arts festival, a barbeque, and the popular OKC Pride Parade.
“This year’s theme, ‘We the People,’ reflects the state of LGBTQA patriotism today in the nation,” said Lori Honeycutt, OKC Pride president. “We are the people who live in this community, work in this community, build families, and love in this community. Together we stand taller and stronger, as we are the people.”
On Sunday, June 17 at 9:30 p.m. the first ever OKC Pride charity Mr. & Mrs. OKC Pride Pageant will take place at The Copa, 2200 NW 40th Street, with a $5 cover donation at the door. Categories include interviews, talent and evening wear. All proceeds will benefit OKC Pride. There is no entry fee. Six Mr. and six Mrs. entries will be accepted. Those interested in competing can email [email protected]
OKC Pride Week Opening Ceremonies will be held on Monday, June 18 at Fassler Hall, 421 NW 10th Street from 5 – 8 p.m. This free, family friendly event will include appetizers, door prizes, and a social hour on the south balcony. Sponsored by Boeing, a Rainbow Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Cash bar available.
On Tuesday, June 19 the Pride Wine Bottling Party at Waters Edge Winery, 712 N Broadway will take place from 7 – 9 p.m. A $20 ticket will include a glass of wine and appetizers. Groups of 8 or so will take a short tour of the wine making process at Waters Edge Winery. Participants will personally bottle and cork their own bottle of wine to take home with a commemorative 2018 OKC Pride label. Call 405-232-9463 for tickets. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds will go to OKC Pride.
The Diversity Center of Oklahoma will host the Paint Your Pride event on Wednesday, June 20, from 7 – 11 p.m. at 2242 NW 39th Street. Attendees will paint a pre-chosen pride design. The event includes a cash margarita bar provided by The Twister Drink Factory plus Karaoke in the DCO parking lot under the stars. Only 40 tickets will be available. Tickets are $45 online or by calling 405-252-0372.
On Thursday, June 21, Bowling for Pride will be held at the Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge, 421 NW 10th Street, from 7-10 p.m. Bowling and shoes cost $5. The Dust Bowl will feature a ”tator tot bar” sponsored by Boeing. The bowling portion of the event is family friendly with a cash bar available. Following bowling, OKC Pride invites its 21 and over guests to stay for Drag Karaoke. Tickets available at the door.
OKC Pride Weekend, Friday through Sunday, June 22 -24, will feature events on the 39th Street Strip at N. Pennsylvania Avenue. Festivities will include an outdoor block party and a free concert from 8 p.m. to midnight on Friday June 22.
The two day Pride Festival will be held on Saturday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a concert from 3 p.m.to midnight; and Sunday, June 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with musical acts from 1:30 – 6 p.m. The festival will have booths featuring regional artists, activist organizations, and businesses, as well as local food trucks.
On Sunday evening, the 2018 OKC Pride Parade will step off at 6 p.m. at Classen Boulevard and 39th Street, proceeding west across Pennsylvania Avenue, and ending at Youngs Boulevard in front of Expressions Church & Community Center. This year’s Grand Marshall will be Kaye Thomas, owner of Partners dance club,
A pre-parade barbeque, sponsored by Freedom Oklahoma, will be held Sunday afternoon at 4001 N. Classen from 2 – 6 p.m. Hot dogs, chips, beer, water, soft drinks, and FO merchandise will be available for purchase while the resident DJ board member spins tunes. Proceeds benefit Freedom Oklahoma.
“OKC Pride is the largest privately held event in the city,” Honeycutt added. “We remain committed to resisting bigotry in all forms. Pride week is a celebration of our community, but it is also our opportunity to resoundingly demonstrate that love always trumps hate.”
For more OKC Pride Week information, visit okcpride.org.