A version of this story, which I co-wrote with the excellent Jessica Allison, appears in Friday’s Weekend Life section of The Oklahoman.
Get your Fourth on
Oklahomans can celebrate independence with festivities featuring food, music and plentiful fireworks.
Like Americans across this great land, Oklahomans will celebrate the 238th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence Friday with tasty food, festive music and plenty of bombs bursting in air.
We’re highlighting here five of the Oklahoma City metro area’s top July 4 celebrations, but practically every city and town of any size hosts its own Independence Day festivities. For more Fourth of July celebrations, call your local government or go to TravelOK.com.
Bricktown 4th Fest
Live music, fireworks and baseball — three essential things for celebrating America’s birthday — will be offered Friday night in Bricktown. The fun begins at 4 p.m. at the corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma, with a RedHawks game at 7:05 p.m. and a fireworks show at 9:30. Live music from Oil Boom, Hosty Duo, Good Culture and more is planned from 4 to 9:30 p.m. Information: www.welcometobricktown.com or www.bricktown4thfest.com.
LibertyFest in Edmond
Start your Independence Day celebration early Friday with the LibertyFest parade at 9 a.m. in downtown Edmond. Then, celebrate the conclusion of Edmond’s week-long festival with ParkFest at 6:30 p.m., with inflatables, games and free watermelon while supplies last at the University of Central Oklahoma campus, 100 N University Drive. What’s billed as the metro area’s largest fireworks display blasts off at 10 p.m. Information: www.libertyfest.org.
Yukon Freedom Fest
The games begin at 8 a.m. Friday at Yukon City Park, 2200 S Holly, with the annual children’s Cherry Bomb Triathlon and sand art contest, followed by a children’s parade, car show, craft tent, inflatables, swimming at City Splash and other family activities. Evening festivities shift to Chisholm Trail Park, 500 W Vandament, and include live music by Super Freak at 5 p.m., free watermelon and ice cream served at 7 p.m., an outdoor performance by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic at 8:30 p.m., and a fireworks show at 10 p.m. Information: www.cityofyukonok.gov.
The festivities begin at 4 p.m. Friday at Reave’s Park, 2501 Jenkins Ave., with music, food booths, a baby crawl, nickel find, moon bounces, pony rides and more. The celebration concludes with at 9:45 p.m. fireworks show. Information: www.visitnorman.com.
Bethany Freedom Festival
One of the longest-running and most enthusiastic festivals in the area is centered Friday at Eldon Lyon Park, NW 39th between Council and Rockwell. The parade begins at 10 a.m., the annual car show runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the fireworks display, one of the state’s largest pyrotechnics events, begins at 9:55 p.m. The event also includes pony rides, inflatables and live music. Information: www.cityofbethany.org.
And five more …
If none of those festivals light your sparkler, here are five more July 4 festivities happening in various parts of the Sooner State that offer something a little different or extra:
Drumright OilPatch Festival
In the past few years, Sellers Ranch north of Drumright has become the place to hear homegrown country music on July 4, and this year, the ranch will host a “Red Dirt Reunion” featuring Cody Canada & The Departed, Red Dirt Rangers, Chuck Dunlap, Monica Taylor, Tom Skinner and more. Gates open at 11 a.m. Friday, and along with the music, the event will include a children’s fair area, classic cars and motorcycles, helicopter rides, and a variety of entertainers including clowns, stilt walkers, skydivers and jugglers. Information: www.facebook.com/DrumrightOilpatchFestival.
Mustang’s do-it-yourself fireworks fun
For a DIY celebration, head to Wild Horse Park at 1201 N Mustang Road. It is legal to light fireworks in Mustang through July 4, and residents will line the outskirts of the park at 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. to light noisemakers and rockets. Alcohol is prohibited. Information: 376-9365.
World Championship Watermelon Seed Spitting Contest in Pauls Valley
This 57th annual event, which was immortalized in the board game Trivial Pursuit, takes place annually in conjunction with Pauls Valley’s community July 4 celebration in Wacker Park, 100 W Paul Ave. Seed spitting contest registration starts at 5 p.m. Friday, with seed spitting starting at 6:30 p.m. Registration and admission are free. Prizes will be given for the winners in three different age divisions, but the trophy goes to longest spit in all categories. Information: 238-2555.
Celebration in the Heartland in Moore
There’s nothing youngsters like better than getting their toes and toys in the sand, and Moore’s 12-hour celebration Friday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. features an oversized children’s sandbox, along with a barrel train, inflatables, craft vendors, wineries and food booths at Buck Thomas Park, 1903 NE 12. In addition, everyone can show off their wheels in the open car, truck and motorcycle show from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. OKC band Drive will play at 7 p.m., leading up to the massive fireworks display at dusk. Information: www.cityofmoore.com/celebration-heartland.
Tribute to Liberty in Midwest City
There’s something special about celebrating freedom just down the street from Tinker Air Force Base, where so many of our servicemen and women work daily to preserve our liberty. The Tribute to Liberty begins at 6 p.m. Friday at Joe B. Barnes Regional Park, Reno Avenue and Douglas Boulevard, with children’s activities and live music by acoustic duo ME. Dr. Irv Wagner’s Concert Band will give a patriotic performance at 8:30 p.m., followed by fireworks at 9:45 p.m. Information: midwestcityok.org.