Opening Night

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Opening Night – It’s a fun, family-friendly event full of action, music and fireworks

By Sandi Davis

As the numbers go down and the ball goes up, fireworks will light the downtown Oklahoma City night sky as the Opening Night 2015 winds up another successful year.

Before that however, the Arts Council of Oklahoma City and hundreds of volunteers will work to provide its audience a fun, family friendly, alcohol free mix of art, performances and hands on projects for the 28th year.
The event will begin with The “Finale 5K” run at 4 p.m. Dec. 31 starting from the finale site near Bicentennial Park. The USA Track and Field organization sanctioned run will travel through downtown over the Skydance Bridge and end where it started.

“We’ll have performers along the route to keep the runners entertained and we’re having a costume contest among the runners,” said Kaitlyn Carter, director of Opening Night 2015. “The winners, and the winner of the costume contest will get original works of art. Every participant gets a medal specially created for the run.”

In the past Opening Night has sprawled throughout the entire downtown area and sometimes into Bricktown. This year’s event will be consolidated but still starts at 7 p.m. and ends with the midnight finale.

“We’ve condensed our footprint,” Carter explained. “People don’t like walking so far between venues.”
This year, the expanded children’s area takes up the Hall of Mirrors in the Civic Center Music Hall.

Entertainment will be scattered in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, the Civic Center and City Hall and in Bicentennial Park.

Performers include five live bands, Oklahoma City Improv, a magic show, Bricktown Clowns and strolling entertainers.

Folks wanting a snack or a non-alcoholic drink will find food trucks in Finale Alley.

“The nucleus of Opening Night is the children’s area,” Carter said. “This is a great family event and there are not a lot of New Year’s Eve events that are for the whole family and this is a big party.

Children can have their faces painted, work on an interactive art project or get the whole family involved in a giant game area.

“With all the development in the city and the growth of Oklahoma City, there is a lot here that people don’t know about and this is a great way to see it first hand,” Carter said.

The biggest event happens at midnight as 2015 is ushered out and 2016 is welcomed in.
Shortt Dogg will be playing on the Bicentennial stage starting at 9 p.m. The eight musicians in the band play funky, upbeat dance music and will entertain until midnight, when the finale begins.

Fireworks are keyed to music in the spectacular show, the perfect way to start a new year.

Wristbands for Opening Night 2015 are $8 in advance and $10 the night of the event. Pick them up at 7-Eleven stores, metro area Homeland Stores, MidFirst Bank locations and Science Museum Oklahoma beginning Dec. 1. At the event, ticket kiosks will be scattered around the party area.

For more information, call (405) 270-4848 or visit the website www.artscouncilokc.com/.

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