Final preparations underway for The Arts Council of OKC’s New Year’s celebration

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Arts Council of Oklahoma City is busy making their final preparations for the big New Year’s celebration, Opening Night.

Opening Night, OKC’s New Year’s Eve celebration, is just a few days away. The Arts Council of OKC is busy preparing.

"This is the day that we actually get to move the ball and bring it out to it's super secret preload location,” Peter Dolese, the Executive Director for the Arts Council of OKC, said.

Dolese is talking about the Opening Night Ball, part of the grand finale of the night, is one of the highlights of the event. It weighs 3,000 lbs and has 2,500 lights.

"Preparations are really getting underway with all the various venues. We have nine different stages that are going to be part of Opening Night this year and four different locations in downtown Oklahoma City,” Dolese said.

The event includes many fun activities including live music, delicious food from various local food trucks, face painting for the kids, fireworks and the rising of the Opening Night Ball.

"Other than New York, I don't think there is anywhere else that has this concept of having an iconic image of something rising or dropping. In New York, their ball goes down in OKC, we rise our ball,” Dolese said.

"The culmination of all of that coming together, seeing the fireworks displays, seeing the ball being raised and just the tradition of it, I really enjoy it all,” Rachael Crawford, co-chair of Opening Night, said.

On Thursday, a production crew loaded the Opening Night Ball onto a trailer and transported it to Allied Steel Construction Company where final preparations will be made to the ball before it is ready to rise in Bicentennial Park during the midnight fireworks display.

"It's nestled into a spot right next to the civic center. So, the ball can drop right at the stairs in the front entry of the civic center,” Dolese said.

Since last year was the 3rd coldest New Year’s Day on record in Oklahoma, the arts council is excited this year will be a little bit warmer.

"I think once people realize how much they can actually go into venues and if they want to step outside they can, if they don't they can get warm inside. There's not a lot of things that will be keeping them for attending downtown,” Crawford said.

Opening Night events begin at 7 p.m. on Monday, New Years Eve.

Opening Night tickets can be purchased at any 7-Eleven or MidFirst Bank location for $8.

For more information, click here.

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