15 Labor Day Events Across Oklahoma to Celebrate the End of Summer

With Labor Day approaching on September 5, the unofficial end of summer is almost here.

Across the Sooner State, this year’s end-of-season festivities include the in-person return from Cherokee National Day and Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival after two years of cancellations or limitations due to the COVID-19 pandemic; the beginnings of a new glass art collection planned at Oklahoma City Museum of Art; and a range of over 40 current and classic rock bands in Rocklahoma.

For those ready for another summer celebration before fall arrives, here are 15 events happening around the state earlier this Labor Day weekend:

1. Rocklahoma

WhenSept. 2-4. Doors open at 2 p.m. daily.

Where: Pryor Creek Music Festival Grounds, 1421 W 450 Road, off US 69 north of Pryor

Information: www.rocklahoma.com

Rocklahoma was a Memorial Day weekend tradition before the COVID-19 pandemic caused a shift to September of last year. Now billed as “America’s Biggest Labor Day Weekend Party,” the three-day camping and music festival will feature more than 40 current and classic rock bands this year.

The 2022 lineup includes Korn, Five Finger Death Punch, Shinedown, Evanescence, Megadeth, Seether, Three Days Grace, Cypress Hill, Jelly Roll, Slaughter, Skillet and more.

The Thursday Night Roadhouse pre-party on September 1 will be hosted by Eddie Trunk and will feature performances by Fan Halen, Count’s 77, Enuff Z’nuff and One Night Stand. Doors to the Roadhouse will open at 11 a.m. daily during the festival.

2. Children’s day at the park

When: 9 a.m. to noon Sept. 5

Where: Central Park, 700 S Broadway Avenue, Moore

Information: https://www.cityofmoore.com/upcoming-events/kids-day-park

The free day of activities centered around the all-inclusive playground, Kids Day at the Park will include inflatables, a food truck, garden games and free snow cones.

Dancers enter the Cherokee Cultural Grounds arena during the grand entrance of the 2018 Cherokee National Holiday Intertribal Pow Wow.

3. Cherokee National Day

When: 1-4 Sept.

Where: Various locations in Tahlequah

Information: https://thecherokeeholiday.com

The 70th annual event will mark a return for in-person activities, including a new fishing tournament, cornhole competitions, the return of traditional games, an inter-tribal powwow, softball tournaments, a homecoming art exhibit and other long-time favorite festivities. date.

Cherokee National Day commemorates the signing of the Cherokee Nation Constitution in 1839, which restored tribal government to Indian Territory after the forced eviction from Cherokee homelands in the southeast.

4. Cherokee ‘Performers’ Album Release Concert

When: 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 3

Where: One Fire Field, 17475 S Muskogee Ave., Tahlequah

Information: https://www.facebook.com/HortonRecords

As part of the Cherokee National Day, more than a dozen recording artists featured on the pioneering Cherokee-language album “ᎠᏅᏛᏁᎵᏍᎩ / Anvdvnelisgi / Performers” will perform an album release concert.

The range includes Zebadiah Nofire, Kalyn FayIIA, Colby Luper, Desi & Cody, Agalisiga Mackey, Medicine Horse, Travis Fite, Monica TaylorAaron Hale, Ken Pomeroy and a few surprise guests.

Tulsa-based non-profit label Horton Records will release the album worldwide in October.

The Oklahoma City Museum of Art announced in late 2021 a major donation of more than 100 significant works from the

5. “Highlights of the Rose family glassware collection”

When: 3 Sept.-Jan. 15

Where: Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive

Information: www.okcmoa.com

The downtown OKC Museum will feature key pieces from the recently gifted Jerome V. and Judith G. Rose family’s glass collection, which includes nearly 180 works by more than 80 artists.

Labor Day weekend will also be the last chance for visitors to see “The Perfect Shot: Walter Iooss Jr. and the Art of Sports Photography”, the largest-ever retrospective of the venerable Sports Illustrated photographer’s work, which ends September 4.

6. Henryetta’s Labor Day Celebration

When: 1-5 Sept.

Where: Various rooms in Henryetta

Information: To research Celebrating Henryetta’s Labor Day on Facebook

One of the largest Labor Day events in the state, Henryetta Labor Day Celebration features festivities throughout the city. Activities include a carnival, parade, car and bike show, barbecue competition, horseshoe and cornhole tournaments, live music and the Jim Shoulders Living Legends Rodeo.

Respected country instrumentalist Jana Jae will host her Jana Jae Fiddle Camp and Music Festival over Labor Day weekend in Grove.

7. Jana Jae Violin Camp and Music Festival

When: 2-4 Sept.

Where: On Great Lake O’ the Cherokees in Grove

Information: www.grandlakefestivals.com

This year, the Jana Jae Fiddle Camp and Music Festival, hosted by country music instrumentalist and former “Hee Haw” standout, will feature the standard-bearer of western music Cowboy Jim Garlingwell-known bone player Barry PattonMarriott Junior Violin Champion and more.

The festival will feature small group music lessons during the day at the Grove Civic Center, followed by free evening public events with live music and home dinners at Snider’s Camp.

8. Rentiesville Dusk ’til Dawn Blues Festival

When: 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. from Sept. 2 to 4

Where: Rentiesville

Information: dcminerblues.com

The Rentiesville Dusk ’til Dawn Blues Festival lives up to its name each year, with the opportunity to hear the blues all night for three days on three stages at Rentiesville, one of Oklahoma’s historically black towns.

The event will feature 30 musical acts, including Selby Minner, Johnny Rawls and Walter Taylor III, as well as activities for children.

"bowl of cherry tomatoes" by Pattie Calfy will be included in the Paseo Photofest 2022 juried exhibit at the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center.

9. Paseo Photofest Opening Reception

When: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 2

Where: Paseo Arts and Creativity Center, 3024 Paseo

Information: https://www.thepaseo.org/pacc

Each year, Labor Day weekend overlaps with the monthly Paseo First Friday Gallery Walk. But at the Paseo Arts and Creativity Center, the holiday weekend also coincides each year with the opening reception of photofest, a juried exhibition open to Oklahoma artists working in all types of photography-based artwork, from traditional and digital processes to multimedia works that incorporate photography.

The center will also mark the Friday evening opening of the solo exhibition “Sister, Sister” by the artist, mentor and educator of OKC Katelynn Noel Knick. The exhibit shares insight into the grieving process Knick went through after the sudden loss of her sister.

10. Elk City PRCA Champions Rodeo

When: 8 p.m. from 2 to 4 Sept.

Where: Beutler Brothers Rodeo Arena in Elk City

Information: www.elkcityrodeo.com

A Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association event, the 84th Annual Elk City Champions Rodeo features bull riding, barrel racing, rope tie-down, bareback riding, steer wrestling, rope team riding and saddle bronc riding.

The rodeo parade is scheduled for 10 a.m. Sept. 3 in downtown Elk City.

Bat-Or Kalo is the singer of the Oklahoma group KALO.

11. Medicine Park Blues Ball

When: 7 p.m. Sept. 2 and 3 p.m. Sept. 3-4

Where: Hitchin’ Post Park, Medicine Park

Information: Look for Medicine Park Events on Facebook

To listen KALO, Dirty Red & The Soulshakers, Indigenous, Sweet Brenda & Sour Mash, Big Train & the Loco Motives and more at the Sweet 16th Annual Blues Ball in the historic resort town. Free entry.

12. Rock the Route in the Yukon

When: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 1

Where: Along Main Street in the Yukon

Information: www.yukonok.gov/RocktheRoute

One way to pop over the holiday weekend: head to downtown Yukon’s Rock the Route festival, featuring Red Dirt and Texas country music from Muscadine Bloodline, Jack Ingram and Gannon Fremin and CCREV

Festivities will include food trucks, face painting, a climbing wall, photo booth, Okie Gellyball and more. Also, some businesses will stay open later than usual and offer special sales.

The Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival will return this year after being canceled for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

13. Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival

When: 2-4 Sept.

Where: Tuskahoma Capitol Park, Tuskahoma

Information: https://www.choctawnation.com/events/cultural/labor-day

Celebrating faith, family and culture, the long The Choctaw Nation Labor Day Festival will be back with events like the Gourd Dance, Princess Pageants, Sports Tournaments, Vendor Booths, Carnival Rides and concerts by country hitmaker Clint Black and contemporary Christian band We The Kingdom.

14. Last Red Brick Nights of the Year at Guthrie

When: 5:03 p.m. Sept.

Where: Oklahoma Avenue and Wentz Street in downtown Guthrie

Information: https://www.facebook.com/RedBrickNights

Guthrie’s latest downtown monthly Red Brick Nights Street Festival of the year overlaps the Labor Day weekend. The festivities begin with food trucks, vendors and kids’ activities at 5 p.m. Live music begins at 7 p.m., featuring local artists Passable Service, Chloe-Beth and Noah Engh.


15. Tommy’C. Thomas’ Howell in Ponyboy

When: 8 p.m. Sept. 3-4

Where: Ponyboy, 423 NW 23

Information: https://www.ponyboyokc.com

Tommy “C. Thomas” Howell, who played Ponyboy Curtis in the 1983 Film shot in Tulsa “The Outsiders”, will kick off their national tour with a two-night adventure in the OKC location that shares the name of its beloved character. Howell will perform original music and tell stories during his shows. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. both nights.

Writer Brandy “BAM” McDonnell has covered Oklahoma’s arts, entertainment and culture sectors for The Oklahoman for 20 years. Contact her at [email protected], www.facebook.com/brandybammcdonnell and twitter.com/BAMOK. Support her work by signing up for her See & Do Oklahoma Newsletter and subscribe to The Oklahoman.