Tulsa PRIDE celebrating love and equality this weekend

TULSA, Okla. — The people behind Tulsa’s PRIDE festival said their staff are stepping up security so festival goers can feel safe coming to their events this weekend.

Tulsa PRIDE is 35-years-old this year and event organizers said security is top priority.

“I know that the people that are going to be protecting this event are going to do their job and they’re going to keep this event safe,” Alex Wade, Deputy Director of Oklahomans for Equality, the group behind the event.

This all comes after incidents earlier this month: the shooting at Saint Francis and 31 white nationalists in Idaho being arrested and accused of planning to riot at a Pride festival there.

People behind Tulsa PRIDE said they’re making sure their 200 volunteers know what to do in an active shooter situation.

“200 volunteers and they’re all going to be going through kind of what that active shooter training looks like, so they have a good understanding of what to do and there will be specific designated people,” said Wade.

“We’re making sure everybody understands where the exits are how to get through them, if they need to barricade...You know when there’s an active shooter what they tell you is run, hide, fight. We need to make sure people, if they have to run, they know where to go, and they need to hide, where they can hide and all those different things. We want to keep people as safe as possible given everything that’s happened in the world,” he continued.

Organizers are with working with police, private security, and EMSA. Marshalls will also be at the entrances and exits to the festival.

Wade says some people have asked if they can bring weapons but he says they are banned at the event.

“No weapons, that’s gonna be a big thing, we’ve had people reach out asking if they can carry and we say no you cannot, because our police officers need to know who is in their team, who’s there to help the event, who is there as a participant,” said Wade.

Kao Morris, who works at the Equality Center, said he’s excited about PRIDE and confident in security plans.

“It’s going to be a wonderful weekend full of love and unity and community,” said Morris.

Organizers said there are most years protestors are outside the festival, but they’re asking people not to engage with them.

“Do not engage, it’s not going to be a productive conversation, they are welcome, they are able to do that, they are on public property, nothing good is going to come from engaging with those protestors,” said Wade.

The people behind the festival said they just want to make sure everyone feels safe and feels like they can be themselves.

Tulsa Pride Festival

June 24th, 25th, and 26th, 2022

Rainbow Run - Friday, June 24th, Fun Run 7:00 p.m.,5K 7:30 p.m.

Festival & Parade - Saturday, June 25th, Gates open at Noon.

Pride in the Park - Sunday, June 26th, 1:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Tulsa Pride Parade, Saturday June 25th, 2022 Step-off time 6:00 p.m.

The Parade begins at 13th and Boston, goes North on Boston Avenue to 4th Street, and then East on 4th Street to the Tulsa Pride Celebration at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center!

The Tulsa Pride Parade is the annual LGBTQ+ Pride Parade in Tulsa. The Tulsa Pride Parade’s arrival at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center kicks off our Celebration’s rocking evening of entertainment on the Main Stage.