OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Thousands of people across the metro are getting ready for 2023 as the 37th annual opening night hosted by the Arts Council Oklahoma City in Bicentennial Park kicks off Saturday.
There are activities for everyone of all ages and also a 10 foot ball rise when it hits midnight!
“Opening night is a family friendly New Year’s Eve celebration. So, we have multiple venues at City Hall, Oklahoma City Museum of Art. We have the downtown library, the Civic Center in particular. And the Hall of Mirrors is a children’s area with Bricktown clowns and a very special artistic Children Activities Festival, specifically designed by Arts Council OKC staff,” said Angela Cozby, Executive Director, Art Council Oklahoma City.
Angela Cozby, the executive director of Art Council Oklahoma City said they are expecting to see thousands of people in downtown Oklahoma City Saturday night.
“We’ve had anywhere from 5,000 to 35,000 to 40,000 people… The weather is absolutely perfect. There’s plenty of parking and local garages. We’ve been working with Oklahoma City Police Department and local officials to ensure a safe and exciting event. So, we just really hope the community wants to come out and celebrate 2023,” said Cozby.
There are foot trucks, live music, fireworks and of course a ball rise at midnight.
“We have our finale, which kicks off at 9 p.m. with Short Dog on stage here in Bicentennial Park, right out in front of the Civic Center,” said Cozby.
Saturday morning there was also a 5K to kick off the festivities.
Runner, Myles Mayfield from Mustang came in first place in under 20 minutes and beating over 250 runners.
“Feels good, but also kind of odd because I’m used to being in cross country races, seeing a good ten, 20, 30 guys ahead of me,” said Myles Mayfield, 5K winner from Mustang.
It’s Myles Mayfield’s first time winning a race like this and said his plans for New Year’s Eve includes resting after the big win.
“Probably go home and rest and just maybe hang out with family and just have a nice night,” said Mayfield.
Several people across the downtown area gearing up for their New Year’s Eve Plans.
The New Year also brought in a lot of people from out of town. Michelle Ibanez from Dallas said this is her first time in Oklahoma City.
“We’re here to celebrate the New Year’s. We’re just going to hang out, walk around here and explore the area… It’s really fun, actually. We are trying to go on the boat ride so we can get a little more experience of the area,” said Michelle Ibanez, in town from Dallas.
Michelle’s goals for 2023 are hitting the gym more.
“I want to start hitting the gym more. I want to join powerlifting, weightlifting,” said Ibanez.
Other people are also heading to Saturday night’s Thunder game.
“We really hope they win. And then we’re just going to go home and just have fun until midnight and go to bed,” said Sarah Macllister, from Oklahoma City.
Her New Year’s Resolution includes donating blood and running a 5K.
“I want to donate blood and I want to run a 5k,” said Macllister.
One family from Springfield, Missouri is also heading to the basketball game Saturday night.
“I’m here to watch the Thunder beat the Sixers tonight… We just came to hang out with family and have some fun hanging out in Bricktown and just kind of sightseeing,” said Caelum Friggle, from Springfield, Missouri.
Another out of towner from Arkansas is also attending the game.
“We’re walking around looking for somewhere to eat, and then we’re going to go to the game,” said Taylee Davis, from Arkansas.
Taylee Davis said she’s definitely staying up until midnight.
“We’ll be celebrating it together,” said Davis.
Davis also planning on working hard in the gym.
“Stay in the gym, work hard,” said Davis.
Two girls in Oklahoma City came from Tulsa and have some New Year’s resolutions.
“Probably travel a little bit more.. Just get out somewhere else other than our little town,” said Jocelyn Bernal, from Tulsa.
“I want to graduate next year,” said Carli Dillard, from Tulsa.
Tickets for opening night are $10 a person, but you can enjoy the fireworks and ball rise Saturday night for free!
“Tickets will be on sale in our headquarters area, which is located right inside the Museum of Art. They’re currently also on sale at OnCue locations and Dunkin locations, and they’re only $10 for a wristband. So very, very affordable. It kicks off at 7 p.m. The 9 p.m. finale show begins right here in Bicentennial Park, which you don’t need a wristband to attend that,” said Cozby.