We like our things big here in America — everything from our football stadiums to our McDonald’s. That also includes our fireworks shows, and you won’t find one bigger than the one at Bricktown 4th Fest. The event attracted about 5,000 people last year to the iconic district just east of downtown OKC, and with an array of live music, food and cold beverages, this year’s promises to be bigger and better. The party begins 4 p.m. (with fireworks at 9:30 p.m.) Friday in Bricktown, at the corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma avenues. Admission is free. Call 236-4143 or visit bricktownokc.com.
Three cheers for Red, White and Boom, the musical celebration of all things America hosted by the OKC Philharmonic Orchestra and vocalist Mike Eldred. The show features a number of classic American favorites, and it concludes with one of OKC’s finest fireworks displays (you know, the “boom” part). The concert begins at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, with fireworks at approximately 10 p.m., at Entertainment Plaza in State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing Blvd. Admission is free. Call 842-5387 or visit okcphilharmonic.org.
If your idea of celebrating Independence Day is by supporting local artists (and we won’t fault you if it is), then check out the First Friday Gallery Walk, featuring 20 art galleries and more than 75 artists, including Darby Perrin, one of the top aviation artists in the country. Get to walkin’ 6-10 p.m. Friday and noon-5 p.m. Saturday in the Paseo Arts District, between NW 30th and 27th streets and Walker and Hudson avenues. Admission is free. Call 525-2688 or visit thepaseo.com.
There are few things we value more dearly in this country than the First Amendment (that is, of course, why it was the first). Freedom of Expression, a collaborative new exhibit by abstract painter Theresa Hurt and metal sculptor Basil Martin III, celebrates this idea with its thought-provoking interpretations. The exhibition opens Friday and runs through July 26 at In Your Eye Studio & Gallery, 3005-A Paseo St. Admission is free. Call 525-2161 or visit inyoureyegallery.com.
Update: This show has been cancelled due to an illness in the band. Ticket refunds are available at the point of purchase.
Sorry, other shows. Any time Willie Nelson comes to town, it’s just gonna be our pick. That’s the way it goes. Not to mention, the country icon is bringing Alison Krauss and Jason Isbell with him, so we really were left with no other options. See the acclaimed and beloved singer-songwriters perform in an outdoor setting (because, you know, it’s Willie) 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 9 at The Zoo Amphitheatre, 2101 NE 50th St. Tickets are $39.50-$99.50. Call 602-0683 or visit thezooamphitheatre.com.
Wednesday, July 9
It’s never too early to celebrate the Fourth of July. At least it isn’t at LibertyFest, an event spanning two weekends and featuring live patriotic music, a car show, A Taste of Edmond and more. The fest kicks off with the Concert in the Park 7:30 p.m. Thursday outside UCO’s Mitchell Hall Theatre, 100 N. University Drive, in Edmond. Admission is free. Call 340-2527 or visit libertyfest.org.
If you build it, Field of Dreams will come. Well, they built it, and Field of Dreams — arguably the best baseball movie starring Kevin Costner (of which there are many) — is coming to Sonic Summer Movie Nights. The popular film series starts back up 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 2 on the Great Lawn at Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. Admission is free. Call 445-7080 or visit myriadgardens.org.
Wednesday, July 2
We have seen our fair share of festivals here in OKC, but as far as headliner-worthy names go, we haven’t seen anything like OKC Fest. Dierks Bentley? Lady Antebellum? Merle freaking Haggard? Yeah, OKC Fest has them. The music, food and family-friendly fest starts Friday and runs through Saturday near Myriad Botanical Gardens, 301 W. Reno Ave. Tickets to the main stage events are $35. Call 866-977-6849 or visit okcfest.com.
Oklahoma City has quietly put together a damn fine collection of stand-up comics, and many of its finest purveyors of laughter will be at Comedy Night with Cameron Buchholtz, featuring none other than the North Star of the local comedy scene himself, (you guessed it) Cameron Buchholtz. Special guests include BradChad Porter, Nathan Joyner, Madison Allen, Justin Keithley and host Jeramy Westbrook. Sets begin at 9 p.m. Thursday at VZD’s Restaurant & Club, 4200 N. Western Ave. Admission is $5. Call 524-4203 or visit vzds.com.
Stuff happens. Some might use a different noun, but that’s basically the theme of the new production Mistakes Were Made, a satirical comedy about a high-strung theatrical producer set to receive its Oklahoma City premiere. Laughing commences 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday at Carpenter Square Theatre, 800 W. Main St. Tickets are $5-$20. Call 232-6500 or visit carpentersquare.com.
Few things are as American as racing, whether by foot, by automobile or by horse. Boat racing is pretty darn American too, so go cheer on competitors at the Riversport Challenge, a dual 500-meter kayak race and 5k running race as part of the SandRidge Energy Stars & Stripes River Festival. The whistle blows at 8 a.m., and events run through 10 p.m. in the Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln Blvd. Admission is free, while challenge registration is $35 for adults and $15 for children 12 and under. Call 552-4040 or visit boathousedistrict.org.
As far as local music goes, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better lineup than the one at this weekend’s miniature festival Midtown Music, which features Power Pyramid, Gentle Ghost, Brothels, Sonic Violence and Bored Wax. The fact that the dudes from The SpyFM’s “You’re Welcome” will broadcast live is just icing on the indie-rock cake. The broadcast begins at 5 p.m. and the music at 5:30 p.m. on the rooftop at Packard’s New American Kitchen, 201 NW 10th St. Admission is free. Call 605-3771 or visit packardsokc.com.
Blues and barbecue go together like wine and cheese, Simon & Garfunkel and legs and eggs — which is to say, each is good on their own, but they’re even better when paired with one another. Bricktown Blues and BBQ Festival features some of the finest local offerings in each of these departments, which you can see/hear/taste for yourself 4 p.m.- midnight Friday and 2 p.m.-midnight Saturday on the corner of Sheridan and Oklahoma avenues. Admission is free. Call 236-4143 or visit bricktownokc.com.
The last year has been one for the LGBTQ record books: Our state’s ban on same-sex marriage was deemed unconstitutional (pending appeal), three same-sex couples were issued licenses through the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in November and The Boom’s Gospel Brunch still hasn’t been shut down by local officials. So get your tushes out to OKC Pride’s 2014 events, beginning with a Block Party 7 p.m. Friday and concluding with the 2014 Pride Parade 6 p.m. Sunday. It all goes down on, er, at the NW 39th Street Enclave around 39th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. Admission is free. Visit okcpride.org.
You love America, right? Right? Well then you’ll love the Star Spangled Salute Air Show, featuring the United States Air Force Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team doing their thing way up in the air. The exciting two-day event is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Tinker Air Force Base, 3001 S. Douglas Blvd. Admission is free. Call 739-7646 or visit www. tinker.af.mil.