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Future of Norman’s 89er Day Parade unknown

NORMAN, Okla. – The fate of the Norman 89er Day Parade remains to be seen.

It’s a tradition celebrated by many Oklahoma communities.

"The Land Run was a big part of history," said Steven Smith, a long-time Norman resident. "We had the Sooners, and we had the Boomers."

An 89er Day Parade has flooded the streets of Norman in late April or early May since the mid-1960s.

It’s an event Smith has attended for years.

"I love the parade," Smith said. "It's great that the people of Norman can get out and celebrate 89er Day."

However, the parade has been surrounded by a bit of controversy over the past decade, leading to a few protests.

"There are a lot of natives in Norman who feel like this is a parade celebrating something that was a mark of genocide and colonization,” said Christian Owen. "So, it’s not really a moment to necessarily be celebrated."

Owen is one of the organizers of last year’s protest.

"It's a moment in history. It's something we should be educated about but not something that we should necessarily be handing out candy and making a celebratory event,” Owen said.

Owen said, in the past, there has been talk about still having the parade but changing the theme which she said she would like to see.

Other Oklahomans, like Smith, feel differently.

"I think it should stay, because it's part of Norman history," he said. "It's been around for quite a while now."

It still remains to be seen if there will even be a parade this year.

"At this point, we don't see anything for them having a permit for the parade. They haven't asked the city for $5,000,” Owen said.

Owen said this is the only parade that receives those taxpayer dollars from the city.

However, the parade is organized by a committee which is not affiliated with the city.

The fate of this year’s event is in their hands.

NewsChannel 4 called city officials who said they still don’t know if the parade is planned for this year.