travel ok events

Military tributes to fun festivals, Memorial Day weekend events planned across Oklahoma

Despite the continuing bouts of springtime storms, the unofficial start of summer has almost arrived.

From military tributes and family-friendly festivals to outdoor music and long-running rodeos, many venues across the Sooner State have special events planned for Memorial Day weekend .

With Memorial Day coming up on May 27 — and events planned throughout the holiday weekend — here are some of the festivities where Oklahomans can kick off their summer season:

Oklahoma National Guard Museum’s Memorial Day Ceremony  

Previously known as the 45th Infantry Division Museum , the Oklahoma National Museum , 2145 NE 36, will host its annual ceremony honoring U.S. service members at 10 a.m. May 27. Brig. Gen. Christopher Eason, assistant adjutant general of the Oklahoma Air National Guard, will be the keynote speaker. Pre-ceremony music by the 145th Army Band starts at 9:30 a.m. Admission is free. Information : https://www.facebook.com/okngmuseum .

Fort Sill National Cemetery Memorial Day Ceremony, Elgin

The U.S. Department of Veterans’ Fort Sill National Cemetery, 2648 NE Jake Dunn Rd. in Elgin, will host a solemn wreath-laying ceremony at 10 a.m. May 27. It will include speeches, a moment of silence and the rendering of military honors. Information: https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/ftsill.asp .

Enid Memorial Day Ceremony

The Memorial Day service starts at 10 a.m. May 27 at Woodring Regional Airport, 1026 S 66, Enid. A free meal will follow for veterans; donations are accepted. Information : https://visitenid.org/event/memorial-day-service .

33rd annual Chuck Wagon Festival  

This family favorite festival features outdoor cooking, live entertainment, artisan demonstrations, Western reenactors, Native American cultural showcases, country and Western dancing and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 25-26 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, 1700 NE 63. Information : https://nationalcowboymuseum.org/annual-chuck-wagon-festival .

When is Memorial Day? Here's when the holiday falls in 2024 and why its celebrated

Halloween in May 

The local music organization Make Oklahoma Weirder riffs on the Christmas in July concept with its third Halloween in May at 8 p.m. May 25 at Capitol Hill’s Resonant Head , 400 SW 25. The event is a mixed-genre concert and costume contest that includes tacos, candy and stickers. This year's event will feature performances by Tulsa Indigenous doom metal band Medicine Horse, Oklahoma City hip-hop/R&B group Mars Deli , OKC glam garage rock band Bad Athlete and Norman goth cowboy club music outfit Laine's Heathen Boots. Doors open at 7 p.m. Information : https://www.facebook.com/WeirderOK .   

Bethany 66 Festival  

Free festivities include a classic car show, children's activities, food trucks and live entertainment by Brian Lee Dunning , John the Franklin, Deep Fried Sequins and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 25 in the one-block area from 38th Street north to 39th Expressway, between Peniel and Asbury. Information : https://www.facebook.com/BethanyImprovementFoundation .

78th annual Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo, Claremore  

The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event will feature bronc riding, barrel racing, bull riding and more. Gates open at 6 p.m., the preshow starts at 7 p.m., and the rodeo action begins at 8 p.m. May 24-26 at Will Rogers Stampede Arena, 13653 E 480 Rd. The festivities begin with Boots on the Boulevard , featuring food trucks, a mechanical bull, a dunk tank and live music from 6 to 9 p.m. May 23 in downtown Claremore's Lilac District . Information : https://www.facebook.com/WillRogersStampede .   

GalaxyCon OKC

The inaugural GalaxyCon OKC will feature more than 150 fandom guests and 300-plus hours of programming, including photo ops, Q&As, panels, costume contests, cosplay events, workshops, parties, gaming tournaments and celebrity meet-and-greets. Celebrity guests include "Star Trek" cast members George Takei, Brent Spiner, Gates McFadden and John de Lancie ; "Daredevil" stars Vincent D'Onofrio , Charlie Cox and Deborah Ann Woll; "The Boys" star Antony Starr ; and original "Blue's Clues" host Steve Burns . Information : https://galaxycon.com/pages/galaxycon-oklahoma-city .

More: AAA forecasts nearly 44M travelers for Memorial Day weekend: See best times to travel

Simmons Center Memorial 5K Fun Run and Walk, Duncan  

The Simmons Center, 1330 Chisholm Trail Parkway, will honor veterans and active-duty servicemen and women at this event at 9 a.m. May 25. Information : http://www.simmonscenter.com .   

Tulsa-based artist Elisa Harkins (Cherokee/Muscogee) sings in a combination of Cherokee, English and Muscogee (Creek) to electronic dance music, some of which is inspired by sheet music of Indigenous music notated by Daniel Chazanoff during the 20th century, at 7 p.m. May 24 at Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center's Te Ata Theater, 11 NW 11. Information: https://oklahomacontemporary.org/performance/upcoming-performances/wampum .

47th annual Paseo Arts Festival   

The long-running event will feature 90 visiting artists, plus dozens of neighborhood artists, along with 50-plus Oklahoma entertainers, numerous food and beverage vendors, children's activities, free shuttle service and more. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 25-26, with live music until 10 p.m., and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 27 in the Paseo Arts District, between NW 28 and Walker and NW 30 and Dewey. Admission is free. Information : www.thepaseo.org . 

28th annual Oklahoma Renaissance Festival, Muskogee  

The family-friendly activities include jousting tournaments, performances by traveling acrobats, Bird of Prey exhibitions, festive food and shopping for handcrafted items. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday through June 2 at the Castle of Muskogee, 3400 W Fern Mountain Rd. The festival is also open on Memorial Day. Information : www.okcastle.com .  

121st annual Boley Rodeo  

Started in 1903, the nation's oldest African American community-based rodeo carries on its long-standing traditions May 25 with a parade at 3 p.m. and the rodeo action at 7 p.m. in the historic Black town of Boley. Information : www.thetownofboley.org . 

21st annual Norman Veterans Car Show  

More than 25 classes of cars, street rods, trucks and more will be displayed and judged at the long-running show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 25 at the Norman Veterans Center, 1776 E Robinson. Information : https://www.canadianrivercruisers.com .  

Riversport OKC summer hours

Riversport OKC starts its daily summer hours on May 27 and continues them through Aug. 4 in downtown Oklahoma City at 800 Riversport Drive. People can participate in rafting, tubing, surfing, flatwater paddling and land adventures from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily during the summer. On Memorial Day, active duty and military veterans receive special $34.99 pricing on their Riversport pass. Information : https://www.riversportokc.org.

Tour de Meers Bike Ride  

An annual fundraising event for the Meers Volunteer Fire Department, the May 25 bike ride offers cyclists varying lengths for their routes, including 10, 22, 36 or 60 miles, in the vicinity of Meers, Medicine Park and the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. Registration begins at 6 a.m., and the ride starts at 7:30 a.m. Information : www.tourdemeers.org .  

OKC Baseball Club vs Reno Aces

What's summer without baseball? The OKC Baseball Club continues its home stand against the Reno Aces at 7:05 p.m. May 23-24, 6:05 p.m. May 25 and 2:05 p.m. May 26 at at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 Mickey Mantle Dr. Fireworks will follow Friday night's game. Information: https://www.milb.com/oklahoma-city/schedule/2024-05 .

The Roots Ball, Medicine Park  

Curley Taylor & Zydeco Trouble, Rachel Ammons, Johnny Mullenax Band, KATSÜK, Brad Fiedler Junk Band, Ozark Cobras and more will perform May 24-26 at Hitchin' Post Park in the historic resort town. Admission is free. Information : https://www.facebook.com/DiscoverMedicineParkOK . 

Six Flags Hurricane Harbor OKC opens

The OKC water park, 3908 W Reno, opens for the summer May 25 with Memorial Day weekend hours from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. May 25-27. The park then settles into regular summer hours of 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day. Information : https://www.sixflags.com/hurricaneharborokc .

'Mamma Mia!'

OKC Broadway is closing its 2023-2024 season with the 25th anniversary tour of the enduringly popular jukebox musical featuring the songs of Rock and Roll Hall of Famers ABBA , with performances continuing through May 26 at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker. Information : https://www.okcbroadway.com/mammamia .

71st annual Barnsdall Big Heart Day  

The all-day festivities May 25 include a parade, a turtle race and frog jump, children's games, a grand fireworks finale and more. Additional activities are planned throughout the holiday weekend. Information : www.facebook.com/BarnsdallChamber .  

Norman's Outdoor Movie in the Park: 'Barbie'

The Outdoor Movie Series at Norman's Lions Park, 450 S Flood Ave., has begun, with a free outdoor screening of "Barbie" scheduled for May 24. Pre-show activities start at 7 p.m., and the movie will begin at sundown. Information: https://www.normanok.gov/residents-visitors/parks-recreation/recreation/special-events .

Trail of Honor Memorial Run, Fort Gibson

Designed to support efforts to create a permanent trail of American flags leading to the Fort Gibson National Cemetery, this 5K and one-mile fun run event will start at 8 a.m. May 25 at Legendary Fitness, 1121 E Poplar Street, Fort Gibson. The Fort Gibson National Cemetery, where veterans from the Revolutionary War to the Persian Gulf War are buried, is open for Memorial Day and Veterans Day, with visiting hours from 7 a.m. to sunset. Information : https://runsignup.com/trailofhonor .

Beats & Bites Festival, Norman

For the eighth year, Norman's Riverwind Casino, 1544 W OK 9, is continuing its outdoor live music series. The May 25 installment features a concert by country music hitmakers Chris Janson and Easton Corbin, plus food trucks and more. Gates open at 5 p.m., and the show starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults; children 12 and younger get in free. Information: https://www.riverwind.com/entertain/beats-and-bites .

NJCAA Division II World Series, Enid

A dozen National Junior College Athletic Association Division II teams from across the country try to navigate “The Road to Enid" May 24-June 1 at David Allen Memorial Ballpark, 301 S Grand Ave. The Enid ballpark has played host to this national championship tournament since 2009. Information : https://visitenid.org/event/njcaa-world-series .

Scissortail Park's Free Concerts in the Park with Jon Muq

A singer-songwriter born in Uganda and now living in Austin, Texas, Jon Muq will perform a free concert in the downtown OKC park, 300 SW 7, at 8 p.m. May 24 before going out on tour with The Black Keys this summer. Tulsa-based singer-songwriter Casii Stephan will open the show.

Black Wall Street Legacy Festival, Tulsa  

Commemorating the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, a series of free, all-ages series of events is planned from May 25-June 1 in and around the Greenwood Cultural Center, 322 N Greenwood Ave., Tulsa. Information : https://www.blackwallstreetlegacyfest.com .

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Military tributes to fun festivals, Memorial Day weekend events planned across Oklahoma

Bull rider Zorgn Jemic prepares before his event at the Boley, Oklahoma parade and rodeo on Memorial Day weekend in 2023.

Looking for an adventure to kick off your summer? Explore Oklahoma's state parks

Oklahoma state parks offer hidden gems like the sand dunes at Little Sahara State Park near Waynoka.

With Memorial Day just around the corner, our parks team at the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation is gearing up for the unofficial start of summer — a season of outdoor adventures, family gatherings and unforgettable experiences.

And there’s no better way to kick off the season and make cherished memories than by exploring one of Oklahoma's state parks.

As the director of Oklahoma state parks, I’m privileged to have the opportunity to experience the beauty of our natural landscapes every day. One of the highlights of my job is getting to introduce people to hidden gems across the state, encouraging them to discover new and novel experiences they may not have known about before.

Summertime brings first-time visitors, as well as familiar faces to our parks, and there’s no greater joy than showing them the ropes.

More: Want to get your kicks on Route 66 in Oklahoma? Passport is your road map

Whether you're an avid hiker or camper, a fishing enthusiast or just seeking a peaceful retreat, there's something for everyone to enjoy. We have more than 30 state parks that stretch across every corner of the state, which allows visitors a chance to take some extra time to explore our charming small towns on the way. Not only does this introduce people to our history and culture, it also supports local museums, shops and restaurants that make up the fabric of our communities.

For anyone that’s looking to make plans this Memorial Day weekend, I encourage you to gather your friends and family and explore Oklahoma from a new point of view. You can go camping under the stars, kayaking on our vast lakes, spelunking in caves or riding across sand dunes. You’re sure to create new memories that will last a lifetime.

Last summer, we welcomed over 35,000 park bookings, a 30% increase over the previous year. This year, we hope to build on that momentum and welcome even more visitors to our parks.

Many of our state parks also will be hosting special events throughout the weekend leading up to Memorial Day, including a black light egg hunt at Tenkiller State Park, a round of Fling Golf at Sequoyah State Park, and a variety of family crafts and multiple opportunities for guided hikes at different park locations. Check with your local park to see what they have planned, and if you’re looking for an overnight getaway, book your stay while lodging is still available.

Whether you're seeking adventure or simply a moment of relaxation, Oklahoma state parks are ready to welcome you with open arms. Come join us this Memorial Day, and together, let’s celebrate the beginning of summer, and discover the beauty of Oklahoma's great outdoors.

More: We can’t be a pro-business state if we’re not telling Oklahoma’s story | Tourism official

Shelley Zumwalt is the executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department.

IMAGES

  1. Festivals & Events in Oklahoma

    travel ok events

  2. Best Things to Do in Oklahoma City

    travel ok events

  3. Festivals & Events in Oklahoma

    travel ok events

  4. Festivals & Events in Oklahoma

    travel ok events

  5. Festivals & Events in Oklahoma

    travel ok events

  6. Top Holiday Events in Oklahoma

    travel ok events

COMMENTS

  1. TravelOK.com

    Day or night, Oklahoma has a lot to celebrate. From cultural gatherings to spectator sports, one-of-a-kind Oklahoma's events will fill any calendar. There's a festival almost every weekend in Oklahoma and our cities and hometowns invite you to join the party. Watch fireworks at Fourth of July events, including - one of the nation's top 10 ...

  2. Events of May: Top Festivals in Oklahoma

    Read about May's top food events in Flavorful Festivals: Top 15 Food Fairs in Oklahoma. The Stillwell Strawberry Festival, Prague Kolache Festival and famous El Reno Fried Onion Burger Festival are all featured! Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's comprehensive site containing travel information, attractions, lodging, dining, and events.

  3. TravelOK.com Homepage

    Festivals & Events. View Events Submit Event. Mar 19 - Apr 19. Tulsa Botanic Blooms. Tulsa, OK. Apr 1 - Apr 30. Azalea Festival. Muskogee, OK. Apr 4 - Apr 6.

  4. TravelOK.com

    Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's comprehensive site containing travel information, attractions, lodging, dining, and events. AT. AU. CH. DE. IE. NL. NZ. UK. US. Brochures. Newsletters. Menu Brochures ... Top Festivals in Oklahoma. Oklahoma's event calendar kicks into high gear during the month of May with an impressive roster of ...

  5. TravelOK.com

    It's all about catfish and campfires on this weeks episode of The Weekender, with Travel Oklahoma! Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's comprehensive site containing travel information, attractions, lodging, dining, and events.

  6. TravelOK.com

    Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's comprehensive site containing travel information, attractions, lodging, dining, and events. AT. AU. CH. DE. IE. NL. NZ. UK. US. Brochures. Newsletters. Menu ... Oklahoma's events roll out the red carpet in May, so grab family and friends for weekend getaways or day trips to popular art fairs ...

  7. Events, Festivals & Shows Happening this Month in Oklahoma City

    Oklahoma City is filled with entertaining events this month! Kentucky Derby Day, Remington Park: May 4. Cinco de Mayo Fest, Scissortail Park: May 5. DANCE! on the Plaza, Plaza District: May 10. OKC Ballet's Shorts, Civic Center Music Hall: May 10-12. OKC Foodie Fest, Bicentennial Park: May 11.

  8. Family Activities

    Family Activities. From hands-on museums designed especially for children to top-rated zoos, there are plenty of family-friendly attractions and activities in Oklahoma. Inspire your kids' love of learning at hands-on attractions such as the Science Museum Oklahoma, Jasmine Moran Children's Museum and Leonardo's Discovery Warehouse.

  9. Military tributes to fun festivals, Memorial Day weekend events ...

    The long-running event will feature 90 visiting artists, plus dozens of neighborhood artists, along with 50-plus Oklahoma entertainers, numerous food and beverage vendors, children's activities ...

  10. Outdoor Enthusiasts

    OUTDOOR GUIDE. Full of valuable information, vibrant photography and illustrations, the Oklahoma Outdoor Guide highlights Oklahoma's top spots for fishing, rock climbing, golfing and more - all for FREE. ORDER FREE GUIDES. Scope out a new spot for a longstanding hobby — or try your hand at something new! OKLAHOMA.

  11. Oklahoma Tourism

    Oklahoma Tourism. 412,562 likes · 2,984 talking about this. Explore hundreds of getaway destinations in Oklahoma plus fun festivals, unique stays and more.

  12. Memorial Day kicks off summer at state parks

    Explore Oklahoma's state parks. With Memorial Day just around the corner, our parks team at the Oklahoma Department of Tourism and Recreation is gearing up for the unofficial start of summer — a season of outdoor adventures, family gatherings and unforgettable experiences. And there's no better way to kick off the season and make cherished ...

  13. Green Country Oklahoma Tourism

    Discover all the fun things to do in northeast Oklahoma's Green Country. Green Country Tourism will help you explore our outdoor recreation paradise with 40+ lakes, state parks, and wide-open prairies. Immerse yourself in our Western heritage and Native American cultures at dozens of museums, festivals, rodeos and powwows. Enjoy the cosmopolitan spirit of Tulsa and the authentic charm of small ...

  14. The Non-Pro & Open Cutting Horse Event

    500 Lake Murray Dr. Ardmore, OK 73401. Phone: 405-598-2568. Office Fax: 405-701-6726. Email Website. The Non-Pro & Open Cutting Horse Event at Ardmore's Hardy Murphy Coliseum features horses in all classes showing off their skills in cutting and a variety of other events, including National Cutting Horse Association Championship classes.

  15. At least 7 dead in North Texas after severe storms

    At least 5 dead in North Texas after severe storms. The storms spawned a tornado that overturned heavy recreational vehicles and shut down an interstate near Dallas. By Ken Miller, Associated ...

  16. Oklahoma's Official Travel & Tourism Site

    Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department's comprehensive site containing travel information, attractions, lodging, dining, and events. AT. AU. CH. DE. IE. NL. NZ. UK. US. Brochures. Newsletters. Menu ... Oklahoma's events roll out the red carpet in May, so grab family and friends for weekend getaways or day trips to popular art fairs ...