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OKC Central: Downtown revival story follows advice by original Oklahoma City founders

by Steve Lackmeyer Published: April 23, 2013

On at least two nights there will be an overlap in games played by the RedHawks while the Oklahoma City Barons battle for the American Hockey League trophy at the nearby Cox Arena.

On the final Friday of the month, MidTown will again host the increasingly popular H&8th outdoor food market that last month drew thousands of people to the corner of NW 8 and Hudson Avenue.

If this mix isn't enough to make an impression on visitors, the sight of a massive influx of FFA kids in Bricktown during their annual convention should be enough to convey that downtown isn't just for adults. Stay at the Colcord Hotel, and one might see Oscar-winning actor William H. Macy, who has spent quite a bit of time downtown setting up production for his latest movie (other celebrity sightings are likely thanks to the movie and the draw of the Thunder during the playoffs).

When our city's founders gathered at First Lutheran Church a century ago, they were warned by Mayor Whit Grant that only with the involvement of its citizens, working hard and looking forward, could Oklahoma City continue to thrive.

About 40 years ago we almost forgot this bit of wisdom. The key to the Oklahoma City success story being sought out by civic leaders across the country is that Grant's spirit remained alive in our deepest core, we did pull together, and after 20 years of work we're enjoying the fruits of that work.