OKC Celebrates Legends and Rebels

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Pride celebrates the LGBTQ community. The Pride festival began in Oklahoma City 32 years ago, with a small block party. Since then, the event has grown each year, the 2019 parade included over 100 floats and a theme fitting for history. ‘Legends and Rebels’ was an homage to the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots at the Stonewall and in New York City," This year, the OKC Thunder participated in the event. This was also the first instance where Oklahoma City officially recognized the week of June 22, as Pride Week. Nationally speaking the entire month of June is observed as Pride Month. The magnitude in which Pride has grown in Oklahoma City is truly a beautiful sight. It shows tremendous growth for the city and state.

The parade route ran through the historical 39th Street District and thousands turned out in celebration of Pride Week, now observed as an official week in Oklahoma City after a proclamation by Mayor David Holt.

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Ellie joined the Pride Parade as it kicked off Saturday`s events with a route along 39th Street from Classen to Youngs, leading into the all-day festival surrounding the 84 Hospitality mainstage. Participants enjoyed live music on the main stage, plus drag performances, food trucks, and games. Along with Grammy winner Mary Lambert (“Same Love”) and Drake-sampled HaSizzle (“Childs Play”), several Oklahoma City musicians performed at Oklahoma City Pride for the first time this year.

“One of the things that was a big concern to me was not being able to offer entertainers anything in return except exposure, and I hate that word,” Rachael Leonhart of Pride’s entertainment committee said. “I knew it was necessary to pay talent if we wanted quality talent, so I thought about who would be willing to contribute. I’ve got an amazing relationship with Rachel Cope at 84 Hospitality. … She found out I was involved with Pride and said, ‘Let me know how I can help.’” 84 Hospitality Group was one of Pride’s biggest sponsors this year. 84 Hospitality donated money to sponsor the main stage, which allowed Pride to pay all performers for the first time ever. “84 Hospitality stepped up and gave us money for that main stage because they wanted to see good entertainment.”

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David Rackley