Oklahoma Unions Announce “Oklahoma Laborfest” for August 26-28

Oklahoma’s largest coalition of labor Unions and labor activists, the Central Oklahoma Labor Federation (COLF), has  announced its plans for the first ever “Oklahoma Laborfest.” After several planning committee meetings of union members and labor advocates, COLF President Tim O’Connor unveiled the purpose and framework of the festival on June 24.

“The purpose of this festival is to create greater awareness of Oklahoma’s working class culture and to build pride in the state’s rich labor history through music, the arts, and camaraderie” said O’Connor.

“Our youth should know about Oklahoma labor heroes like Kate Barnard and Pete Hanraty. They should know our state motto ‘Labor Omnia Vincit’ which means ‘Labor Conquers All.’ We should appreciate Oklahoma’s history of fighting for workers’ rights since the beginning of statehood.”

O’Connor continued, “Unfortunately this history is not being taught to our children today and we run the risk of it being forgotten. With this festival we intend to promote labor literacy among the general public in order to preserve this history and strengthen labor solidarity in the state of Oklahoma.”

Oklahoma Laborfest will be a 3-day festival with activities for all ages in the Plaza District of Oklahoma City, located on NW 16th between Indiana and Blackwelder.

The festival will kick off with a labor poetry reading on August 26th, a showing of the movie ‘Tar Creek’ with a director Q&A on August 27th, and multiple events on August 28th. Events planned for the 28th include panel discussions, an open musicians’ circle jam and sing-a-long, performances by Buffalo Fitz and Green Corn Revival, a labor poster art contest and show, kids activities such as an impromptu children’s theatre, labor and social justice booths, vendors, and book readings by authors and labor activists Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Stewart Acuff.

Oklahoma Laborfest will culminate in a performance entitled ‘Oklahoma Speaks’ at the Lyric Theatre on the evening of Saturday, August 28th. This event is modeled after the recent History Channel production ‘The People Speak’ and will include dramatic readings of selected historical texts from Oklahoma’s labor and civil rights movement as well as musical performances of songs connected to these movements. The Red Dirt Rangers and Mary Catherine Reynolds will be the featured musical guests for this event.

For more information, including the call for entries for the Oklahoma Laborfest poster art competition and the schedule of events as it continues to develop, please visit Oklahoma LaborFest

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The Oklahoma Laborfest Committee consists of multiple union members and labor activists throughout central Oklahoma.

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