It’s that time of year again; the weather is warm and sunny in Oklahoma City. To cater to the demands of the eager population, OKC summer events and festivals seem to ramp up in number every year. This creates a problem because no one can ever hope to attend every single great activity going on in the metro this summer. So how do you decide what’s worth going to? We’ve put together a list to highlight some of the events that may not have made it to your “must-attend” list yet- but you should take notice!
June 18th | 6 pm – Midnight | FREE
If you like the idea of food and pop-up retail shops inside of the great atmosphere of the Farmer’s Market downtown,the first annual OKC Night Bazaar is exactly what you’ve been waiting for. The Night Bazaar wants to be an event for locals who dream of opening their own restaurant venue to have a safe environment to launch their business for one night only. The event creator Brian Gi began creating this kind of event in California, where he found success in the local area and helped launch several new businesses.
He understands the struggle many new restaurant creators run into when first starting out. “It can be pretty daunting for an individual to break into the industry.” He said, “I’m focusing on all businesses to help them get to the next level.”
Brian wants to create an easy and open atmosphere for individuals to test their food creating ideas: “It would be like a one night trial for those people to bring their inventory,” he says, “this could be a market survey for their idea.”
There will be live bands and entertainment as well as art for sale, but make no mistake: The highlight of the evening will be all about the food. If you’re an aspiring food creator, it would be worth looking into this new food festival. If you’re a foodie looking to find a new, fresh favorite, this event is for you as well. Come hungry and discover some great new cuisine in OKC.
June 17 – 18th | FREE
If there is a more perfect combination than blues, barbecue and Bricktown, we haven’t heard of it yet. As one of the longest-running OKC summer events in Brick City, the 21st Annual Blues & BBQ Fest looks to outdo itself yet again this year. Enjoy a selection of great beer, food and a stellar lineup of incredibly talented blues artists. Brewer Entertainment’s CEO reached out to share some highlights of this year’s event:
“Bricktown Blues Festival is a free, family-friendly event in the heart of Bricktown that has become a tradition over the past 20 years. This year’s lineup includes a strong Tulsa presence that we think people are going to love, as well as a diverse spectrum of styles and some of the local blues mainstays people have been asking for all year long,” said Brewer. “We’ll also have a selection of food trucks and craft beer, and some fun activities for the kids, all in the heart of Bricktown.”
Friday – June 17
6 p.m. Little Joe McLerran
7 p.m. Wink Burcham
8 p.m. Tyler Lee
9 p.m. Paul Benjamin Band
10 p.m. Otis Watkins & The Bushdoctors
Saturday – June 18
4 p.m. Evin Brady
5 p.m. Justin Witte
6 pm The Flatland Band
7 p.m. Pilgrim
8 p.m. Dustin Pittsley
9 p.m. Dirty Red & The Soulshakers
10 p.m. Shane Henry
June 25th | FREE
One of the premiere early Independence Day festivals is back again in the Boathouse District. If you haven’t had a chance to explore the district in all its glory, this is a great opportunity to do so. Along with a family festival featuring events for the kids and live music, you can enjoy watching the Dragon Boat Paddle Fest as well as various river-sport challenges and races.
Many attendees will enjoy seeing master crews from around the region compete in the Stars & Stripes Regatta. As one of the premiere OKC summer events surrounding Independence Day, this is a must-attend moment for any watersport fan!
July 2nd | 12 pm – 9:30 pm | General Admission $39, Early Access $59, VIP $7
Enjoy people and LOVE beer? This might be the ideal event for you. Join TAPPED as it takes over the Bricktown Ballpark and transforms it into the ultimate beer garden for a day. Your pass gets you access to up to 4 hours of 100+ beer tastings and 8 tasting tickets (8 more can be purchased on location for only $1).
Along with all the great local and regional beers available, you’ll be treated to the standard stadium fair as well as Bricktown’s Flashpoint Grills. A live DJ will be there to set the mood, and guests can team up and play classics like giant Jenga, corn hole and foosball. This is an event you won’t want to miss!
July 12 – 16th | $40 – $89
Take a trip back to the Emerald City with Dorothy and the gang in this classic story retold from the stage. If you haven’t had the privilege to see a performance from the talented Lyric Theatre yet, you’ve really been missing out. This is one of many Lyric OKC summer events they’ve got planned, but it’s the one we’re most looking forward to.
The show features fantastic recreations of the tornado and the infamous wicked witch, as well as epic set pieces and a live orchestra. Playing at the Civic Center for only one weekend, this is one show you shouldn’t miss.
August 6th | 6pm – 10:30pm | FREE
Out of all the OKC summer events, this national festival is taking the City by storm. In its third year, the Internet Cat Video Festival celebrates the World Wide Web superstars: our own furry little felines. The event truly brings people together. Leslie Spears, Director of Marketing and PR had this to say about the event: “The crowd is so fun and unique, equal men to women. People come dressed in cat ears, costumes and some crazy fun meowsy-shirts.”
The event crowd doesn’t stop with cat fanatic adults, either. “I’ve seen little girl slumber parties come where they dress up like kittens, and lots of couples.” Leslie noted. This is the third year for the Internet Cat Video Festival, which started as a single festival in Minneapolis. “In 2014, our director, Maureen Heffernan, had heard of the Cat Video Festival that was created by the Walker Art Center.” Leslie told us, “They had done it one year on their own then decided to tour it. Genius! It’s now in several states and we’re the only Oklahoma venue.”
The entire event surrounds a 75-minute long video created for the festival, which Leslie describes as “the star of this event.” Featuring the internet’s finest cat-related meow-ments, the video is put together by the Walker Art Center and distributed to the touring event. The video begins at 9 pm, but you should definitely arrive at 6 pm to enjoy all of the incredible pre-screening festivities. Face painting, food trucks, live music and more await those who arrive early. If you’re a cat lover, a fan of internet culture or just love when those cat videos appear in your social media feed, this is one free OKC summer event you don’t want to miss.