There's no shortage of fun happening in Oklahoma City over the coming months. Some of the biggest annual events and festivals are back and better than ever, plus a much-anticipated new Smithsonian-affiliated museum opens in September. We've rounded up the activities you won't want to miss. Consider this your open invitation to explore the Modern Frontier this fall!
FAM – The First Americans Museum will celebrate its grand opening weekend Sept. 18-19 along the Oklahoma River. The new 175,000-square-foot museum will showcase state-of-the-art exhibitions in First American history, culture and art; live public and educational programs; a full-service restaurant presenting unique Native-inspired cuisine; and a museum store featuring authentic one-of-a-kind hand-made items or products by premiere First American artists. All in one place, visitors will experience the collective histories of 39 distinctive First American Nations.
Paseo Arts Festival (Event not an attraction, but it’s a big one) – Starting on September 4, 2021 Artists from all over will converge in the heart of the Paseo Arts District. This tight-knit creative community puts their own spin on everything. Expect good food, art, live music and plenty of chill. The Paseo Arts District is known for its eclectic art galleries (many attached to working artists’ studios) and shops, as well as distinctive Spanish Revival architecture, the district boasts a bohemian vice that will instantly charm you.
Plaza District – If you’re the sort that likes to check out the hip and happening, you’ll find it in the Plaza District; an enclave of locally-owned shops, neighborhood bars, fun-and-funky restaurants, plus the quirkiest mix of patrons and proprietors that unabashedly display their love for individuality and for this city. This district is also anchored by the nationally-renowned Lyric on the Plaza Theatre.
The 22nd annual Mural Expo & Plaza Festival will begin on Oct. 2nd, 2021. This annual festival draws in over 35,000 guests and features over 30 visual artists lined down 16th street, over 200 performing artists, and a variety of children’s art and educational activities. The goal of this festival is to expose the Plaza District to new audiences, offer art experiences for the public and neighborhood.
OKC Pride - Each year, thousands make their way to Oklahoma City for annual celebrations of OKC's LGBTQ+ community. During Pride Month, OKC's calendar is packed with exciting, artistic and celebratory events. However, the Pride celebrations don't all end in June! OKC Pride Inc. will host OKC's Pridefest and the “OKC Pride Parade on 39th” on Sept. 24-26, 2021.
Factory Obscura – If you are looking for a completely out-of-this-world experiential immersion, then visiting Factory Obscura is a must. There is nothing else quite like it. This hands-on exhibition is meant to take you into another dimension, one that uses all your senses. Factory Obscura will spark a sense of wonder through new media environments of sights, sounds and all the feels. The current iteration, Mixtape, is the first permanent installation of its kind in OKC.
Oklahoma City National Memorial – This space is sacred ground for Oklahoma City residents, especially those who were here for the horrific events of 1995. Built as a tribute to “those who were killed, those who survived, and those who were changed forever,” the National Memorial has become a profound statement of the resolve, hope and community spirit that grew after the Murrah Bombing. Designed to be seen by day and by night, the grounds also house the Memorial Museum, a project to educate the public about the bombing, its impact and the resiliency of hope.
Oklahoma City hosts the 2021 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon October 2-3, 2021, as a tribute to those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever. It also supports the privately owned and operated Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.