FRIDAY NIGHT ALIVE

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FRIDAY NIGHT ALIVE

Street festivals make Friday nights come alive in Oklahoma City

By Heide Brandes

Anyone who says there’s nothing to do in Oklahoma City on Friday nights isn’t looking hard enough.

From food truck festivals to art walks to district open street parties, Friday nights are hot in the city, and the street festival events held every Friday of the month continue to grow. What’s more – they’re all family- and pet-friendly and usually free!

Every month, four events claim one of the Friday nights as their own. The first Friday boasts of the Paseo Art Walk in Oklahoma’s funky Paseo Art District. On the second Friday, the Plaza District on NW 16th and Blackwelder hosts Live on the Plaza, a street festival and business open house that attracts art fans, music fans, foodies and more.

The third Friday of each month belongs to Film Row and the Individual Artists of America’s Premiere on Film Row event. Rounding up the month is H&8th, a food and music festival that lines up Oklahoma City’s favorite food and drink trucks for a street party at NW 8th and Hudson.

“The goal is to show people that the sidewalks don’t just roll up at 5 p.m.,” said Brian Bergman, a downtown Oklahoma City enthusiast. “(The festivals) are a way that people can see how Oklahoma City can operate at night. Instead of the flight at night where people disappear from the streets at night, it’s become a place to gather.”

PASEO ART WALK

On the First Friday, the Paseo Arts District in Oklahoma City hosts its First Friday gallery walk, held on the first Friday and Saturday of every month. The walk starts from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and continues from noon to 6 p.m. on that Saturday.

Over 60 artists in more than 17 galleries participate. Each event features four to six Art Opening Receptions on Friday night to showcase the new work of the gallery/studio owners or the work of guest artists. Each of Paseo’s 25 galleries host an open house style opening each month, and many galleries change their shows monthly.

“First Friday is a great time to see what is new and meet the artists,” said Jennifer Barron, executive director of the Paseo Arts Association. “Many galleries also will choose to have a small cheese-and-crackers type reception for guests. In addition to what happens inside the galleries, there are live musicians up and down the street and a variety of interactive activities for guests.”

For example, for the past two months, the Paseo hosted the Oklahoma City Astronomy Club, which brings specialized telescopes for visitors to experience.

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