Love transcends 

OKC Pride Alliance hosts PrideFest June 24-26 at Scissortail Park, but their mission to support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community continues beyond the parade and parties.

click to enlarge Parade participants walk during the 2021 OKC PrideFest Parade.

Sharik Cervantes

Parade participants walk during the 2021 OKC PrideFest Parade.

OKC PrideFest is hoping for clear skies its second year after inclement weather derailed their parade plans on its first run.

The June 25 parade route hasn’t yet been announced but will still pass city hall and ends this year at the intersection of Oklahoma City Boulevard and Thunder Drive. It begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m. with the celebration continuing until 11 p.m.

The party kicks off at 4 p.m. on June 24 and runs until 11 p.m. and concludes June 26, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 4 p.m. There will be food trucks, performances, vendors, and a variety of activities.

OKC Pride Alliance President Ryan Tomlinson explained the significance of holding PrideFest at Scissortail Park.

“It’s a more central, more neutral location [than NW 39th Street], and it’s more family friendly,” Tomlinson said.

He also emphasized the meaningful contributions of NW 39th Street in the community.

“39th Street is very important to LGBT culture and history [in Oklahoma],” he said, and added that the OKC Pride Alliance remains supportive of Pride on 39th, which held its Pride festival and parade earlier this month.

Performances will take place throughout the festival on the main stage and will include drag hours, a competition, and a slate of headliners yet to be announced. Several local performers will also be highlighted, as the OKC Pride Alliance wants to include younger and up-and-coming artists. All will be paid for their time and talent.

A Family Fun Zone will feature crafts, drag story time, face painting, a playground and other activities. Free Mom Hugs and Free Dad Hugs will also be present. A Youth Zone is planned at Sky Rink featuring a youth drag show, dance party, prom, and an opportunity for participants to register to vote.

OKC Pride Alliance has made an effort to include assistance in common areas of need in the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. At the Community Zone, participants will find information on resources for health care, legal name changes, PrEP, STI testing, hair and make-up tutorials and panel discussions.

Precautions have been put in place to make the festival as safe and healthy as possible. Stonewall Security, a local CLEET certified private security agency, has been hired to secure and patrol the area and Oklahoma City police are monitoring and assessing any threats that arise.

COVID-19 protocols will be followed by food or drink vendors and festival participants are encouraged to mask when they feel it necessary. Free water will be available throughout the park.

The OKC Pride Alliance has a mission that extends beyond Pride Month.

“We want to be a bridge, not just in June but year-round,” Tomlinson said.

One way they do this is through Youth Pride Nights held throughout the year. These events take place at Factory Obscura and connect young people with a safe place to have fun and get information about important resources they might need. Remaining Youth Pride Nights this year are scheduled for June 22, Sept. 14, and Dec. 21.

The OKC Pride Alliance is operated by an all-volunteer board and community members. Anyone who wants to chip in with their time, donations, or sponsorships at PrideFest or any other time throughout the year can sign up on their website.

Visit okcpridealliance.org

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