OKLAHOMA CITY (September 24, 2011) – The seventh Annual Devon Energy Holiday River Parade is scheduled for Friday, November 25, at 6 p.m. The day after Thanksgiving, the Oklahoma River will come to life with fireworks and decorated boats of every shape and size.
The evening begins with a fireworks show followed by the parade showcasing approximately 20 boats decorated in dazzling lights, including the three Devon Energy River Cruisers. The grand finale is a special visit from Santa and his reindeer. Due to the support of corporate sponsors, admission and parking is free for this family holiday event. The Devon Energy Holiday River Parade attracts over 30,000 people annually to the shoreline of the Oklahoma River. The event has become a family holiday tradition in Oklahoma City.
“It is hard to believe it has been over seven years since we officially opened the Oklahoma River with the first Holiday Parade,” said Ron Norick, Oklahoma City Riverfront Redevelopment Authority Chairman and former Oklahoma City Mayor. “It is amazing to see the development that has taken place on the river since then, not to mention the special events that have attracted thousands of people to our river.”
The two major viewing areas, the Boathouse District and Wiley Post Park, open at 4 p.m. for spectators. Festivities begin at approximately 6 p.m. The parade begins at Regatta Park and “Boathouse District,” travels west along the north shoreline of the Oklahoma River to Wiley Post Park and then returns to Regatta Park. The holiday parade’s finale will feature a special appearance by Santa and his reindeer.
For his many years of community service, his distinguished Navy career and a longtime advocate and supporter of the Oklahoma River, Ray Ackerman has been selected as the Grand Marshal for the 2011 Devon Energy Holiday River Parade. Ray's 35-year Navy career in both the active and the reserves capacity, he started as a Navy Fighter pilot, active retired as a Rear Admiral. In 1952, started Ackerman McQueen which is now the largest agency headquartered in Oklahoma with offices in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Dallas, Colorado Springs and Washington D.Q,
Net proceeds from the Devon Energy Holiday River Parade will benefit the Oklahoma River Foundation. The foundation was established in 2004 and is managed by the Oklahoma City Community Foundation. The past six Holiday River Parades have generated over $600,000 for the Oklahoma River Foundation for future improvements to the Oklahoma River and the 14-mile trail system.
In addition to the Title Sponsor Devon Energy, presenting sponsors to date include BancFirst, Chesapeake Energy, Chickasaw Nation, City of Oklahoma City, E.L. & Thelma Gaylord Foundation and the OKC Riverfront Redevelopment Authority.
Anyone can enter and compete in the boat parade. There is no entry fee for the parade; however, participants are asked to make a contribution to the Oklahoma River Foundation. Boat entry forms are available online at www.okcparade.com or the River Parade office located at 100 Park Avenue, Suite 700 in downtown Oklahoma City. Corporate and individual sponsorships for the Devon Energy Holiday River Parade are available. For sponsorship or event information, contact the event chairman Mike McAuliffe at (405) 231-0912 or visit www.okcparade.com.