Busy weekend planned in downtown Oklahoma City

There's a lot going on this weekend in downtown Oklahoma City. The Festival of the Arts, Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and its expo, a Thunder playoff game, three RedHawks games and performances at the Civic Center Music Hall are all scheduled Friday through Sunday.
BY MICHAEL KIMBALL mkimball@opubco.com Published: April 27, 2012
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In what has apparently become a new rite of spring in Oklahoma City, the last weekend of April is going to be a busy one in and around downtown.

For the third consecutive spring, 18,000 Thunder fans will stream into Chesapeake Energy Arena for a playoff game during what's already the busiest weekend of the year downtown.

The Festival of the Arts and Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon draw their own crowds, along with three RedHawks games in Bricktown and performances at the Civic Center Music Hall.

But the city has already been there and done that, police Capt. Don Martin said. Most of the event organizers, fans, runners, festival goers and emergency crews have done this before or talked to people who have, and they know it's best to plan for crowded streets and parking areas.

“When you leave your house, be sure to have a plan,” said Martin, who supervises the Bricktown and downtown area.

“Don't try to just wing it. Have an idea for where you'd like to park, where you're going and what other events are in the area.”

Traffic flow

Downtown streets are in a perpetual state of construction as Project 180 continues, but many of those streets have been opened and traffic flow should be decent, Martin said.

A new wild card this weekend is the demolition of the old Crosstown Expressway.

The state Department of Transportation shut down Western Avenue between Reno and California avenues on Thursday as part of that project, cutting off a primary route to Interstate 40.

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