In case the rising temperatures didn’t warn you, the unofficial start of summer is almost here.
As Memorial Day weekend approaches, Oklahoma’s calendar of events is starting to look more normal compared to the past two years of pandemic planning.
Most of the state’s long-running holiday weekend events are back this year, including military tributes, fun races and family festivals like the Paseo Arts Festival, which temporarily moved to Labor Day 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Still missing from this year’s Memorial Day calendar: Rocklahoma also moved to Labor Day weekend in 2021, but the 15th Annual Music and Camping Festival is sticking to its September dates again this year. Classic and modern rock fans can plan their return to Pryor from September 2 to 4.
But summer has only just begun, and here are some of the events happening in Oklahoma over Memorial Day weekend:
1. 45th Infantry Division Museum Memorial Day Ceremony
The ceremony honoring US service members begins at 10 a.m. May 30 at the museum, 2145 NE 36. Admission is free. Information: www.facebook.com/45thInfantryDivisionMuseum.
2. Bethany 66 Festival
Free festivities include live performances from Edgar Cruz and Sherman Andrus, a car, truck and motorcycle display, a parade of princesses and children’s action heroes, arts and crafts stalls, food vendors and more. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 28 in the one-block area from North 38th Street to 39th Freeway, between Peniel and Asbury. Information: www.bethany66.com.
3. 31st Annual Chuck Wagon Festival
This family favorite features outdoor cooking, artisan demonstrations, Western re-enactments, archery, country and western dancing, craft stations, petting zoo and music live by the Rodeo Opry. New this year will be a Native American hunter’s camp, canoe demonstration and LEGO building. For the second year, Native American food samples will be available. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 28 and 29 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63. Information: nationalcowboymuseum.org.
4. Unite the Powwow people
Free and open to the public, this two-day event will feature a variety of Native American dance competitions featuring competitors of all ages on the Love’s Travel Stops and Great Lawn Stage at Scissortail Park, 300 SW 7. Festivities begin at 3 p.m. . 28 and 1 p.m. on May 29 with a gourd dance. The grand entrances of the dancers are scheduled for 7 p.m. on May 28 and 4 p.m. on May 29. Information: https://www.facebook.com/UnitethePeoplePowwows.
5. Halloween in May
Local music organization Make Oklahoma Weirder riffs on the concept of Christmas in July with its inaugural Halloween in May at 7 p.m. on May 28 at Oklahoma City’s new underground DIY venue, The Sanctuary, 2828 NW 10, where it shares the space with the curio shop Beloved Bones. The live music event will feature performances by Em and the MotherSuperiors, L-Smooth Mensah, Rauland and Bugnog, plus a costume contest with prizes, the artistry of DJ Dee Rock and food from Shaq’s Vegan Dogs. Information: makeoklahomaweirder.com.
6. 76th Annual Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo, Claremore
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event will feature bronc riding, barrel racing, bull riding and more. Doors open at 6 p.m., pre-show entertainment begins at 7 p.m., and rodeo action begins at 8 p.m. May 27-29 at Will Rogers Stampede Arena, 13653 E 480 Rd. The festivities kick off May 26 with the soft steer at 6 p.m. at Stampede Park and Boots on the Boulevard — Food Truck Thursday, with a full menu of food trucks, live music, a mechanical bull and street dancing, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in downtown Claremore. Information: https://www.facebook.com/WillRogersStampede.
7. Second Annual Black Wall Street Legacy Festival, Tulsa
The Three Known Survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre —Viola Ford Fletcher, 108; Lessie Benningfield Randle, 107; and Hughes Van Ellis, 101 – along with descendants of the massacre victims will host this event May 27-28 in and around the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N Greenwood Ave. Marking the 101st anniversary of the massacre, the festival will include a town hall, memorial walk, block party and performances by Fire in Little Africa, Amber Owens & Company and Quentin Marcellus. The event will end with a free special appearance of Nikole Hannah Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the 1619 Project, at 7 p.m. May 31 at Booker T. Washington High School, 1514 E Zion Street. Information: www.blackwallstreetlegacyfest.com.
8. Simmons Center Memorial 5K Fun Run and Walk, Duncan
The Simmons Center, 1330 Chisholm Trail Parkway, will honor veterans and active duty service members at this event at 9 a.m. May 28. http://www.simmonscenter.com.
9. 45th Annual Paseo Arts Festival
Returning to Memorial Day weekend, this year’s event will feature more than 100 guest artists, as well as dozens of neighborhood artists, plus more than 50 Oklahoma artists, 18 food vendors , two children’s art zones, free shuttle service and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 28 and 29, with live music until 10 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 30 in the Paseo Arts District, between NW 28 and Walker and NW 30 and Dewey. Free entry. Information: www.thepaseo.org.
10. 26th Annual Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, Muskogee
Family activities include jousting tournaments, traveling acrobat shows, bird of prey displays, festive food and shopping for handicrafts. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through June 5 at Muskogee Castle, 3400 W Fern Mountain Rd. The festival is also open on Memorial Day. Information: www.okcastle.com.
11. Boley Rodeo and “Crossroads” Exhibit
The nation’s oldest African-American community rodeo continues May 28 with a 3 p.m. parade and 7:30 p.m. rodeo action in the historic black town of Boley. A Gospel Explosion and Soul Food Sunday is scheduled for 5 p.m. May 29 on Main Street. In addition, the Boley Community Center hosts the Smithsonian Institution Exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” until June 25, with several special programs planned. Information: www.thetownofboley.org.
12. The Root Ball, Medicine Park
Hear Ponder the Albatross, King Cabbage Brass Band, Electric Okie Test and more May 27-29 at the historic resort town. Music begins on the Main Stage at 7 p.m. May 27, 2 p.m. May 28, and 3 p.m. May 29 at Hitchin’ Post Park. Free entry. Information: www.facebook.com/MedicineParkOK.
13. “Remember & Rise” by Greenwood Rising, Tulsa
Greenwood Rising Black Wall Street History Center23 N Greenwood Ave., will mark the 101st anniversary of the Tulsa Race Massacre with a series of events from May 29 to 31 culminating in a candlelight vigil at 9:30 p.m. on May 31. Information: https://www.greenwoodrising.org.
14. Norman Veterans Auto Show
Over 30 classes of cars, street rods, trucks and more will be on display and judged at the 19th Annual Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 28 at the Norman Veterans Center, 1776 E Robinson. Information: https://www.canadianrivercruisers.com.
15. OKC Dodgers vs. Reno River Cats
What would summer be without a little baseball? the OKC Dodgers play at home for almost a week with games at 7:05 p.m. May 24-27, 6:05 p.m. May 28 and 2:05 p.m. May 29 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 Mickey Mantle Drive. Friday Night Fireworks will follow the May 27 game. Information: https://www.milb.com/oklahoma-city.
16. Red Dirt Run of Honor, Enid
In addition to the 5k course and half marathon, this event includes a breakfast, awards ceremony and entertainment. It begins at 6:30 a.m. on May 28 at Woodring Regional Airport, 1026 S 66. Information: www.visitenid.org/visitors/calendar-of-events.
17. 32nd edition of the Tour de Meers by bike
An annual fundraising event for the Meers Volunteer Fire Department, the May 28 Bike Ride offers cyclists varying lengths for routes, including 10, 22, 36 or 60 miles, near Meers, Medicine Park and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Registration begins at 6 a.m. and the walk begins at 7:30 a.m. Information: www.tourdemeers.org.
18. 69th Annual Barnsdall Big Heart Day
The all-day festivities on May 28 include a parade, turtle race and frog jump, live music, children’s games, a grand fireworks display and more. Additional activities are planned throughout the holiday weekend. Information: www.facebook.com/BarnsdallChamber.