Opening Night OKC

 

Written by Heide Brandes in the December 2015 Issue

Ring in the New Year in style by heading to downtown Oklahoma City for Opening Night, the New Year’s Eve Celebration hosted by the Arts Council Oklahoma City.

Downtown at MidnightA tradition since 1987, Opening Night is a family-friendly event that features performing arts, children’s activities, street performers, a festive 5K and one of the largest fireworks shows in the state. This year, however, visitors will notice a few new changes that are designed to improve the experience of Opening Night.

“We have five venues across downtown, which include the Downtown Library, the OKC Museum of Art, the Civic Center, City Hall and Bicentennial Park, where the big finale is,” said Christina Foss, Director of Communications, Arts Council Oklahoma City.

“The layout is quite different from in the past. Before, we were more east downtown, but we moved the event west to center it around Bicentennial Park. There will be less walking distance in the cold, and everything is next to the park where the big countdown will happen.”

New Year’s Eve in downtown Oklahoma City will begin with a festive run, the Finale 5K. In it’s third year, the run winds through downtown and over the Skybridge.

“We will have entertainment all along the route,” Foss said. “We will also have original artwork as the awards. The top three finishers in each age group will receive a pottery medal while overall finishers receive an original sculpture.

“It starts at 4pm, so you can come enjoy the run and then stay for Opening Night, which begins at 7pm” Foss said.

The Children’s Area in the Civic Center Hall of Mirrors is one of the most popular venues at Opening Night. Families can enjoy face painting, an interactive art project, a giant game area and lively music performances within the safety of the Civic Center.

“The face painting is always so popular,” said Foss. “The family-friendly environment is what attracts people to Opening Night. We have the entire city involved in making sure people feel safe and comfortable.

In addition to the new locations, Opening Night unveils Finale Alley this year. Some of the city’s best food trucks will line up along the alley of Bicentennial Park to serve food of all sorts until midnight.

“Bicentennial Park is where the night ends,” Foss said. “We will do the countdown to midnight, the fireworks show and raise the ball. The fireworks display is definitely the most popular event of the night.”

The event begins at 7pm and wristbands can be purchased for entrance into all venues. If purchased before New Year’s Eve, cost is $8 or $10 the night of. Wristbands are available at 7-Eleven stores, metro Homeland Stores, MidFirst Bank locations, and Science Museum Oklahoma.

Performances by Urban Addiction, Bricktown Clowns, Abby Lauren, OKC Improv, Michael Kin, Edgar Cruz, Tequila Azul and Shortt Dogg will be held at the various venues during Opening Night.

Every year, 25,000 to 75,000 attend Opening Night, presented by the Arts Council Oklahoma City.

“We hope everyone comes out to celebrate Opening Night,” said Foss. “It truly is one of the best family-friendly events in the state.”

For more information, visit www.artscouncilokc.com/opening-night.

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