Everyone loves a parade and, since 1889, Oklahoma City has certainly had its fair share of them … everything from a 1911 parade celebrating the end of the big street car strike, civil rights marches in the 1960s and Martin Luther King Day parades later on, Red Earth parades, St. Pat’s parades, end-of-war parades, to Gay Rights parades, just to name a few. These days, we even have “water” parades on the Oklahoma River! For a look at many of them, see my Okc Parades post.
As for Oklahoma’s Centennial, there have already been numerous parades in Oklahoma and beyond which celebrate Oklahoma’s Centennial and admission as the Union’s 46th state. Most notably, Oklahoma’s Centennial was featured in Macy’s 2006 Thanksgiving Parade and the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade.
From The New Yorker
From the November 23, 2006, Orlando Sentinel
Click here for a Macy’s 2006 Parade video
Rocket Man in the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade
Click here for a 2007 Tournament of Roses Rocket Man Video
See the Oklahoma Municipal League website for more about the Roses parade.
BUT, [drum roll] the biggest and grandest Oklahoma Centennial parade is yet to come – on October 14, 2007, in my hometown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma …
The Oklahoma City parade, sponsored by The Noble Corporation, is projected to last one and one-half hours and is expected to be the largest parade in our state’s history. The parade’s theme is, “Celebrate Oklahoma! A Unique History. An Extraordinary Future.”
OETA will also broadcast live Oklahoma’s Centennial Parade in Oklahoma City throughout the state on the OETA network. The OETA website says,
With floats, giant helium-filled balloons, celebrities and marching bands, The Oklahoma Centennial Parade Presented by The Noble Corporation will be an event unlike any other the state has seen.
LOCATION & TIME. The parade will begin at 2:00 p.m. on October 14 and its route will start at Hudson & Sheridan, go to Robinson, turn south to Reno, turn North at E.K. Gaylord, follow that to Broadway up to NW 8th, the end of the parade. A map is shown below:
From Oklahoma Centennial Parade’s website,
In 1907, Oklahoma began what has become a great journey as the 46th state in our great Union. A proud spirit drives this journey forward into the next hundred years with the accomplishments of her citizens, the contributions of her diverse cultures and a genuine warmth and friendliness. This journey will also wind through the streets of Oklahoma City on Sunday, October 14, 2007 as the Oklahoma Centennial Parade echoes this legacy: Oklahoma – A Unique History…An Extraordinary Future.
With floats, giant helium-filled balloons, celebrities and marching bands, the Oklahoma Centennial Parade Presented by The Noble Corporation will be an event unlike any other the state has seen. Hundreds of thousands spectators will gather along the streets of Oklahoma City in addition to those watching at home on OETA. It is our chance to celebrate as a community that which binds us together – being an Oklahoman.
The same website once solicited participants and volunteers to help … but … don’t bother to apply because a swarm of responders have already filled the quotas … from the parade’s website …
Thank you for your interest in the volunteering for the OK Centennial Parade. Due to the tremendous response from your fellow Oklahomans all positions have been filled and we are unable to accommodate anymore. If you would like to be put on a waiting list, please email us your name to email@example.com. We will contact you should a position become available.
PARADE PARTICIPANTS. Official website internet sources don’t yet list the “who’s who” of participants, but here is what I’ve found so far from “official” internet sources …
The “Oklahoma All*Star Centennial Band” is pretty special and needs more attention here than the college and high school bands just mentioned, no disrespect to them intended! The pics below are from the 2007 Rose Parade.
From the Oklahoma Municipal Leagues’s website,
The Oklahoma Centennial Commission created Oklahoma’s All*Star Centennial Band, composed of 150 talented high school musicians from across the state who auditioned for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. After opening the [Tournament of Roses] Parade, Oklahoma’s All*Star Centennial Band will be the lead marching band. Former conductor of the Walt Disney World Band and Orchestra, Michael Davis, is director of the All*Star Centennial Band, and native Oklahoman Charles Jones II, a live entertainment production consultant to Walt Disney World theme park division, is producing the opening show, which will be choreographed by Charles “Chase” Senge, senior show director for Walt Disney Entertainment.
According to the band’s website, it has had and will have quite a schedule …
Helium Balloons. According to published information, the balloons will rival those in the Macy’s NYC Thanksgiving parade … sorry, but I have no pics as yet. The details of the parade are still pretty much “under wraps,” I suppose … when I get better information, I’ll update this post.
Participants. Neither do I have a “list” of non-band participants, but we know that it will be great. We already know that Oklahoma City will host a pre-2008 Beijing Olympics event in October 2007 involving international rowing competition centered at the Chesapeake Boathouse. The USA Rowing World Challenge will showcase top international rowing talent from the most competitive teams in the world as they prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games. The event is expected to attract more than 150 international athletes and 50,000 spectators to Oklahoma City for the 10-day event.
The 10-day event will close with international athletes joining Oklahomans in celebrating the state’s 100th anniversary at the Oklahoma Centennial Parade on October 14.
“The Oklahoma Centennial Parade is one of the centerpieces of our state’s two-year centennial celebration, and we couldn’t be more pleased to have athletes from around the world joining us,” said J. Blake Wade, executive director of the Oklahoma Centennial Commission.
And, of course, at some time not yet specified during October 2007 Oklahoma City will have a moment in time to “reclaim”, even if only for a night, its adopted NBA team, the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets in a pre-season game! And wouldn’t it just be too cool if that game in October happened to coincide with the Oklahoma Centennial Parade! We shall see …
3-Day Package Offering. Want “reserved seats” for a group 3-day package? At $285 per person double occupancy/$350 single it may or may not be something to consider. TravelOK.com informs us of a 3-day Centennial Parade “package” deal on October 12-14 which requires at least 20 to participate in the “package.” If interested, check it out at TravelOK.com website. On the parade’s day, the package includes …
October 14 – This morning we depart the hotel for the Oklahoma History Center. As we walk into this architectural masterpiece we enter the atrium that has a magnificent view of Oklahoma’s Capital Building. The museum’s five different Smithsonian quality galleries of exhibits bring to life the voice and vision of Oklahoma. We will walk thru Oklahoma’s inspiring and adventurous past as we hear stories of triumphs and tragedy that have made Oklahoma the great state it is. Brunch is included at the History Center before we depart for downtown Oklahoma City. With reserved seats we will have a wonderful view of the Oklahoma Centennial Parade presented by the Noble Corporation. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to join others in celebrating Oklahoma’s Centennial. This Oklahoma themed parade will contain floats similar to the Oklahoma Rising float that was in the Macy Day parade and the 2007 Rose Bowl Parade. Hundreds of balloon handlers have been training to maneuver the giant helium-filled balloon along the streets as marching bands are preparing for their Centennial performance. Don’t miss this parade unlike any before in Oklahoma.
That’s all for now, but this post will be updated as additional information becomes available.
GO, OKLAHOMA, GO! Make your plans now to be in downtown Oklahoma City on this most magnificent of all Oklahoma parade days, October 14, 2007, at 2:00 p.m.