TLO 4th of July Event Guide
8:44 AM EDT on June 29, 2017
With this year’s Independence Day falling on a very unlikable Tuesday, Oklahoma City and her surrounding neighbors will be celebrating America’s birthday in damn-near the middle of the week, which is always the worst time to celebrate anyone’s birthday. Invite the entire office to Chili’s for a Wednesday birthday and it’s only Linda from accounting who’s down to split a plate of Southwestern eggrolls and even she bails after 15 minutes.
Why not just treat the thing like Halloween and have it on a Saturday night?
Either way, if after a long, hard day of work—because no one’s giving you a four-day weekend—and being angry at the bank being closed on a Tuesday, you feel the need to drag a flimsy lawn-chair out to some mosquito and chigger infested park to watch a fireworks show that lasts ten minutes and a traffic jam that lasts an hour, here’s five FREE celebrations going down in the city that you and your loved ones can pretend to give a damn about. ¡Cómpralo ya!
Bethany's Freedom Festival
Can you believe that this is the 59th Bethany Freedom Festival? For 59 times, people have willfully gotten into some form of transport and driven to the little town of Bethany to see how that li’l speed trap that could does it up right; prepare to be up at 10 a.m. on Tuesday to see a parade that we both know isn’t very good and then pay a little bit extra for a wristband that’ll get the kids on all kinds of carnival rides, including pony rides, at Eldon Lyon Park. Or don’t, but be prepared for the kids to scream and cry how they don’t love you until around 10 p.m., when the fireworks officially start.
Red, White & Boom
Perhaps the biggest event in the Metro will be the terribly monikered annual Red, White and Boom celebration, held this year at State Fair Park, because everyone should have a chance at getting stabbed on the way back to their car. The OKC Philharmonic—yes, we have one of those—will be doing their yearly Patriotic Pops show, because nothing says “America” like a medley of Aaron Copland hits followed by a `sanitized variant of “Uptown Funk” with an oboe solo. And if the mass parking is going to be anything like it is during the State Fair, prepare for a long trek back only to find your car window busted and the baby seat and all that console change gone.
Yukon's Freedom Fest
The only one of these things that I have personally been to, and man was it a huge ordeal. From the arduous parking to the Lord of the Rings-like trek to Chisholm Trail Park, Yukon’s Freedom Fest is a two-day celebration, starting on July 3rd with a “Tribute to Veterans” and a fireworks show. So far, so good, right? On Tuesday, July 4th, however, the city goes shithouse bonkers with triathlons, sand art contests, car shows, a children’s parade, arts and crafts shows, free swimming, Super Freak in concert, free watermelon and ice cream, a hot dog eating contest, another Oklahoma City Philharmonic concert and then some more fireworks. Maybe if you’re lucky, like me, some dude with a Confederate flag will call you a homosexual epithet on your way out of the parking lot because you’re moving too slow for his tastes.
CNN has touted Edmond’s LibertyFest as one of the Top 10 “Places to be in America on July 4th,” while Stormfront.org agrees, adding that the week-long gated community celebration really “puts the White in red, white and blue!” Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., the LibertyFest Parade goosesteps across town, zombie massacre float included, with a fireworks show scheduled ten hours later at 9:30 p.m. Maybe go have lunch at Pepperoni Grill or something. Many people will be gathering to watch that fireworks at the UCO campus, where a concurrent ParkFest celebration will be starting at 6 p.m. Free watermelon will be provided, but keep your stupid dogs at home.
Louis Fowler’s 4th of July Parade of Canine Anxiety
The festivities start around 10:30 a.m. when I roll out of bed couch to let my dog Hoogie outside to urinate. I try to get it all out of him throughout the day, because, by tonight, he’ll be so mortally terrified of the loud explosions going on around him—he’s a rescue dog who had been badly abused, see—that he’ll hide under my desk, shaking and shivering and probably wetting himself in abject fear. So after I grill us up a special steak or two for dinner, I’ll make a small pillow fort in the office, tightly holding my puppy throughout the evening, hoping that the music of Los Tigres del Norte will drown out the sound of my despicable white trash neighbors setting off bottle rockets until 3 a.m. But ain’t that America?
Can someone bring me some of that free watermelon and ice cream though? Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler.