Culture

First Americans Museum grand opening weekend planned Sept. 18-19 in OKC

The First Americans Museum is located along the Oklahoma River southeast of downtown Oklahoma City and the Interstates 40/35/235 interchange. Screenshot of famok.org

OKLAHOMA CITY – Plans are underway for the long-awaited opening of the First Americans Museum during the weekend of Sept. 18-19 to showcase the collective histories of Oklahoma’s 39 tribal nations.

Located along the Oklahoma River southeast of downtown and the Interstates 40/35/235 interchange, the First Americans Museum is a 175,000 square-foot institution that aims to serve as a starting point for attendees to explore First American attractions across Oklahoma. “Only a few tribal Nations were indigenous to what is now the State of Oklahoma. All others were removed from homelands across the contiguous U.S. to Indian Territory. In 1907, Oklahoma became the 46th state to enter the union. The state’s name comes from two Choctaw words 'Okla' and ‘Homma’ meaning Red People,” the FAM website states.

The museum will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18, with a tribal procession of the state’s 39 distinct tribal nations taking place at 10:30 a.m., followed by remarks from tribal, city and museum leaders, according to a news release. To view a complete list of grand opening weekend entertainment, activities, shopping and dining options at the museum, visit www.famok.org

“We are thrilled to share with the public a premier venue dedicated to the history, art and cultural lifeways of First Americans in Oklahoma. We invite everyone to the long-awaited opening of FAM in September,” James Pepper Henry, FAM director and CEO said in a statement. “Those who attend the grand opening will be among the first to experience a national treasure that will be enjoyed for decades to come.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the First Americans Museum will be “following CDC COVID-19 guidelines for large group events. The museum's campus will operate with timed $5 entry tickets (available for purchase online at the FAM website) to ensure visitors have ample space to observe social distancing. Due to observance of health and safety protocols regarding capacity in enclosed spaces, access to FAM exhibition galleries may be limited on opening weekend,” the news release stated.

During the museum’s grand opening weekend only, no on-site parking will be available, except for parking provided for visitors with disability parking placard credentials. For other attendees arriving by vehicle, off-site paid parking will be available ($10 per vehicle) at four designated lots south of the museum specified on the website. Free parking shuttle services will be available to transport visitors to and from the designated parking sites, starting at 8 a.m. Sept. 18, and running throughout the weekend’s scheduled events. The use of rideshare services is strongly encouraged, according to the museum website.

On Monday, Sept. 20, the museum will be open with the $5 discounted timed entry tickets and parking will be allowed on-site at the property. The museum will be closed the following day and regular hours and admission prices will start Wednesday, Sept. 22.

First Americans Museum admission is $15 per person; Tribal members, seniors (age 62 and older), military service members and students (age 13 and older) will be charged $10 per person; Youth (ages 4-12) are $5 and children ages 3 and younger are free.

The museum will be closed Tuesdays each week and will be open Mondays, Wednesdays-Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Follow “First Americans Museum” on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates on its opening day activities and amenities. The museum’s address is 659 First Americans Blvd. and can be reached by emailing info@FAMok.org or calling (405) 594-2100.