When shake-ups occurred in the front offices at Chesapeake Energy and SandRidge Energy earlier this year, the community held its breath, uncertain of the ultimate fallout.
Some cutbacks in charitable giving were certain. Aubrey McClendon, founder and CEO of Chesapeake, and Tom Ward, McClendon's co-founder at Chesapeake before starting up SandRidge, were both generous in their contributions. Without Chesapeake under McClendon, the mere existence of boathouse row along the Oklahoma River would be in doubt.
And without SandRidge under Ward, it's uncertain that the SandRidge Skytrail would be a reality today.
The first Christmas downtown without McClendon and Ward, however, is continuing ahead with hopes that the two companies may not disappear after all, and that McClendon and Ward's own new startups will once again match their ambition and visions.
Downtown in December, the annual holiday celebration, remains sponsored by Devon Energy, which is also hosting the weekly Saturdays with Santa and the Devon Ice Rink at the Myriad Gardens. Continental Resources, meanwhile is hosting free family Move Mondays at Harkins theaters in Lower Bricktown while the Sonic Segway Santa is a favorite with downtown visitors and workers.