Get into the Christmas spirit with ‘Downtown in December’ events

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – With Thanksgiving behind us, organizations across Oklahoma City are getting into the holiday spirit.

Downtown in December is back for its 19th year with more than 20 holiday events and activities this winter.

“Downtown in December is our favorite way to end the year and though we know that this 2020 series of events will be different, we are looking forward to sharing this holiday tradition with you in new ways,” said Jane Jenkins, President and CEO of Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership. “Everything that has changed about our programming was developed with the safety of our community in mind and with a goal of maintaining our seasonal celebrations.” 

Devon Ice Rink

The Devon Ice Rink is returning to the corner of Robinson Ave. and Sheridan Ave. for its 10th year. So far, the opening of the ice rink has been delayed.

Organizers say when they do open, they will be limiting the number of skaters on the ice and implementing other social distancing policies.

Lights on Broadway

The Automobile Alley Association and Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership will host the fifth annual Lights On Broadway event this season.

In all, more than 230,000 colorful LED lights will curtain the buildings along 10 blocks of North Broadway and side streets through Jan. 10.

In order to make the event as safe as possible, it will span four Saturdays; Nov. 21, Nov. 28, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

From 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. each Saturday, various retail shops and restaurants will feature special promotions, giveaways, and family-friendly activities.

In addition to the light display, attendees can enjoy outdoor programing and free carriage rides. Instead of waiting in line for a carriage, you can book a reservation online.

The Curbside Chronicle pop-up will return and will be located at NW 8th Street and Broadway Avenue selling holiday wrapping paper benefitting the Wrap Up Homelessness program. One hundred percent of the proceeds from each package of wrapping paper go towards The Curbside Chronicle and its mission to employ and empower men and women transitioning out of homelessness in OKC.

Oklahoma City Tree Lighting Festival

The City of Oklahoma City will kickoff its Christmas events on Friday with the Oklahoma City Tree Lighting Festival.

To comply with COVID-19 safety precautions, the event will be hosted virtually, beginning at 7 p.m.

Local American folk-rock band The Imaginaries will open the show, followed by a show-stopping South Asian performance by the Sainrithya Dance Academy. 

Local artist and community leader Jabee will make a special appearance to read “A Visit From St. Nicholas” a poem by Clement Clarke Moore.

Lyric Theatre will return this year and will share a preview of their adapted outdoor performance of “A Christmas Carol” from the Harn Homestead.  

After the lighting of the OKC Christmas Tree, former American Idol finalist and one of Oklahoma City’s favorite soul and R&B artists, Tony Foster Jr., will return with Kandace Duke to close out the evening with a holiday performance to be remembered. 

The tree will be on display in Bricktown at the canal overlook, located at 111 S. Mickey Mantle Dr., throughout the holiday season.

The Saints Santa Run

The virtual Saints Santa Run can be completed from anywhere during the month of December. Participants will receive a commemorative 2020 Saints Santa Run t-shirt and finisher medal.

Free streetcar rides

EMBARK is once again making it even easier to get around downtown as they offer free rides on the Oklahoma City streetcars each weekend beginning Nov. 20 through Jan. 3.

Lyric Theatre

Lyric Theatre will host ‘A Christmas Carol’ with an all-new outdoor production.

The historic Harn Homestead has been transformed into a Victorian Era with its host of unforgettable characters.

Oklahoma City Ballet’s The Nutcracker: Short and Sweet

Oklahoma City Ballet’s The Nutcracker: Short and Sweet returns to the Civic Center Music Hall from Dec. 12 through Dec. 20.

This year’s production will be shortened to one act but will still include all the favorite characters from the dancing snowflakes to the Kingdom of Sweets.

Holiday Pop-Up Shops

If you want to shop local this Christmas, the Holiday Pop-Up Shops are returning to the Midtown District.

For 2020, the pop-up shops will be an all-outdoor event at the corner of 10th and Hudson every Saturday and Sunday of the holiday season.

The tents will be surrounded by the Bishop John Carroll tree lot and the 30-foot Midtown tree. Katiebug’s Hot Chocolate and Curbside Chronicle will return as well to take part in the holiday cheer. The holiday shopping village is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday, beginning Nov. 28 through Dec. 20.

Merry Midtown

Merry Midtown begins Nov. 27, making Midtown a destination for dining, holiday shopping, and general merriment with promotions and special holiday touches.

Arts District Community Tree

The Arts District is bringing Palm Springs to Oklahoma City with a mid-century decor and collaborative Christmas tree.

Beginning Nov. 27, the Arts District Community Tree will stand on the West Village platform at Fred Jones Avenue and Main Street.

All are encouraged to help decorate the tree by visiting district businesses marked with a pink flamingo to receive a complimentary ornament to add to the tree.

Some businesses are also participating in ‘A Palm Springs Holiday’ event on Nov. 27 where attendees can enjoy live music, holiday discounts, photo ops, giveaways and a chance to win a trip to Palm Springs.

Small Business Saturday

Downtown’s local merchants have updated their websites to introduce local delivery and pick-up options, along with putting in place a range of new safety protocols in their stores.

Merry and Bright Winter Holidays

From Nov. 25 through Jan. 4, the Myriad Botanical Gardens will host Merry and Bright Winter Holidays.

The grounds will be full of lights and festive decor that are free and open to the public. Also, the gardens will host several workshops to make wreaths, gingerbread houses, etc.

Bricktown Canal Light Display

The Bricktown Canal Light Display will brighten the Bricktown experience from Nov. 27 through Jan. 10.

The display is free and begins at dusk each evening.

Plus, the Bricktown Holiday Trees will brighten the canal this season.

Additional Downtown in December events include: 

  • Canterbury Christmas at The Civic Center 
  • Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s “A Classic Christmas” 
  • ‘Tis the Season at Scissortail Park 
  • Deck the Halls with Crew Workspace & City Care 
  • OKC Museum of Art Holiday Events 
  • Painted Door Christmas Open House Party 
  • Canterbury Christmas at The Civic Center 
  • Skirvin Holiday Events 
  • The Melting Pot Holiday Events 
  • Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s Opening Night 

To learn more, visit Downtown in December’s website.

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