Featuring new Friday ‘date night party,’ new parade day & route
A cultural experience found nowhere else welcomes thousands when the 32nd Annual Red Earth Festival opens June 7 at the Cox Convention Center in downtown Oklahoma City. Native artists, dancers and singers from throughout America will gather to celebrate the richness and diversity of their heritage with the world, and for three exciting days, June 7-9, 2019, Oklahoma City will be at the center of western and Native art as Oklahoma’s Capitol City celebrates the Native cultures that make it unique.
The award-winning Festival opens at 2 pm Friday, June 7 with the Red Earth Art Market, featuring over 100 artisans and their original artworks. Festival guests will experience the artistic creations of some of the country’s most celebrated artists as they offer for sale exquisite examples of contemporary and traditional paintings, beadwork, basketry, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, graphics and culture attire. The Red Earth Art Market runs all three days of the Festival.
New for 2019 is Red Earth After Hours, a “Date Night” event from 5-8 pm on opening day featuring live music by the Smilin Vic Band, cash bars and light bites.
“We’ve created a ‘Party in the Art Market’ - a Friday night date night during opening day of the Red Earth Festival featuring the Smilin’ Vic Band,” said Eric Oesch, Red Earth co-director. “For the price of a regular admission ticket you can not only shop over 100 amazing artists by party with live music, cash bars and lite bites. We can’t think of a better way to spend a summer night!”
To open day two of the Festival, a grand parade unlike any other in the world welcomes thousands as they line the streets for the Red Earth Parade, scheduled 10 am Saturday, June 8. Parade participants in colorful regalia along with tribal dignitaries, princesses, floats, classic cars, Clydesdales and other entries participate in the annual parade to delight of both children and adults. A new parade route travels south on Walker Avenue from NW 6th Street to Sheridan Avenue with ample opportunities for a close-up view of what has been referred to as “America’s most unique parade.”
In addition to the beautiful artwork featured in the juried art market, the Red Earth Powwow scheduled Saturday and Sunday inside the 13,000 seat Cox Arena features hundreds of dancers in exciting dance competitions, intertribal dancing and exhibition dances. The spectacular Grand Entry of Dancers is a kaleidoscope of colors as participants dressed in stunning one-of-a-kind handmade outfits enter the dance arena in an ages-old ceremony held at 12 noon and 7 pm on Saturday and noon on Sunday.
Red Earth guests will hear the rhythmic beat of the most accomplished Native drum groups in the world as both northern and southern style Native dancers compete for prize money during two full-days of highly competitive dance competitions.
Oklahoma is known for the 39 tribal headquarters located within its boundaries, making it home to more sovereign tribal nations than any other state in the country. In fact, the Oklahoma Department of Tourism & Recreation likes to point out that more languages are spoken in Oklahoma than in all of Europe since each tribe has its own distinct language. Sharing is what the Red Earth Festival is all about as representatives of dozens of tribal nations, bands and tribes gather in Oklahoma City to share their cultures during the award-winning Red Earth Festival.
Through the years, the Red Earth Festival has become one of the most respected visual and performing events of its type – setting the standard for many of today’s Native art shows. A recent USA Today 10Best Reader’s Poll named the Red Earth Festival one of the Top Ten Art Festivals in America.
The Oklahoma Travel Industry Association has awarded its Redbud Award for Oklahoma’s Outstanding Event to previous Red Earth Festivals, and USA TODAY has named the Red Earth Festival one of 10 Great Places to Celebrate American Indian Culture. The American Bus Association has listed the Red Earth Festival a Top 100 Event in North America placing it alongside such greats as the Indianapolis 500, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Calgary Stampede as one of the very best events.
Tickets for the three-day festival can be purchased in advance online by visiting www.RedEarth.org. or at the door. All children 18 and under are admitted free of charge with a paid adult. General admission day tickets are $15 per day and include admission to the Red Earth Art Market, Red Earth After Hours on Friday, general admission seating to Saturday and Sunday’s powwow and access to all events and performances scheduled throughout the weekend. A three-day Festival Pass is available for $33.