Preparations underway for Opening Night in Oklahoma City

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) - Tonight, a tradition spanning more than 30 years will continue in Downtown OKC.

With about 25,000 people expected to show up for Opening Night, of course, security will be tight as folks enjoy live entertainment, food and more.

The ball is ready to be raised at midnight and the reason is just as Oklahoman as the tradition itself.

"Well we're in Oklahoma and the wind comes sweeping down the plains so it's not very safe to have a two-ton ball hanging here all day," said Arts Council volunteer co-chair Leah Roper. "So we raise the ball and it's perfect because it's right in line with the fireworks."

But before the fireworks, representatives from the Arts Council say you can find even more magic- in the form of hardworking volunteers.

"We were able to get 200 really great friends and people who love Oklahoma City to come out and help make this event happen," Roper said.

As we head into 2020, the theme for this opening night features post-it notes to encourage folks to not forget some very important things.

"Who you are, where you're coming from, where you want to be next decade," Roper said.

At different locations downtown, you'll find live entertainment, food, drinks, and a children's area.

If you plan on attending tonight's Thunder game ahead of Opening Night festivities, you'll get an LED wristband that will provide a discount for opening night.

"And on top of that, they're LED light up so get lit!" said volunteer co-chair David Rackley.

The wristbands will sync up with music at the game and parts of opening night as you gather with an estimated 25,000 other Oklahomans to ring in the new year.

"That, to me, is the most important and most special," Rackley said. "We have that many people coming together in one location to celebrate."

EMBARK will be offering free rides on streetcars and buses to promote safe travel.

Of course, DUI patrols will be stepped up throughout the state tonight.

For general admission, you can get wristbands at local 7-Eleven stores.

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