Arts Council Oklahoma City (ACOKC) is making preparations once again for the Opening Night New Year’s Eve celebration. The big news is this year the event is moving to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Opening Night is the essential event for families and friends to celebrate ringing in the New Year. Opening Night includes wonderful local entertainment/music venues and fun areas devoted to artistic children’s activities. For the past few years, the event’s New Year’s Eve finale – which draws thousands of celebrants – has been centered in Bicentennial Park, with entertainers performing throughout the evening in surrounding venues like the Downtown Library, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, City Hall and Civic Center Hall of Mirrors.
“We feel this change in venue allows us to control the crowd, to have masks and hand-washing areas available, and to take precautions against the spread of COVID-19,” said Peter Dolese, ACOKC Executive Director, “The ballpark will provide ample space for multiple performances at one convenient safe location.”
“The opportunity to partner with the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark is exciting for us,” says Seth Lewis, ACOKC Projects Director, “There are many outstanding performance areas in the park and fantastic site lines for the fireworks display at midnight.”
Opening Night Co-Chairs Colby Wedel and Mark McBride are diligently working on preparations for the many changes to this year’s event. “I am honored to serve as a Co-Chair for Opening Night this year,” says McBride, “I’ve volunteered with Arts Council OKC for over 10 years and my whole family loves the way ACOKC serves the community.” “Opening Night was the first event I worked on as a volunteer,” says Wedel, “I had so much fun that night with staff and volunteers; I’m really looking forward to co-chairing the event.”
Wristbands will be available to purchase for access into the ballpark where you can expect to see music, magicians, interactive art for kids, and family-friendly entertainment. Activities come to a close with a fabulous firework display at midnight for all to celebrate the hope of a new year.
“This is such a fantastic opportunity to continue the tradition of Opening Night in a beautiful safe environment,” says Peter Dolese, ACOKC Executive Director, “Moving Opening Night to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark will ensure its nonstop success, creating once again an excellent platform for our mission of ‘Bringing the Arts and the Community Together’ to be fully realized.”