Some cities drop the ball on New Year’s Eve, but Oklahoma City’s Opening Night keeps it in the air. The annual family-friendly event in downtown Oklahoma City set an attendance record to greet 2009, with more than 73,000 revelers gathered in the streets, but with a new decade beginning, that number could rise like the Opening Night ball itself.
The 23rd annual Opening Night kicks off at 7 p.m. Thursday with more than 30 performances in 10 venues throughout downtown. Among the highlighted performers this year are the Uglysuit, the Non and headlining R&B/rock band PowerHouz, which will be playing at Kerr Park until the countdown.
The activities and performers this year range from the Tornado Alley Rollergirls at 7 and 8 p.m. in the Cox Convention Center’s Exhibit Hall 1, to the big band sounds of the Floyd Hanes Orchestra, holding court throughout the evening at Leadership Square. And of course, one of the most popular Opening Night destinations is the children’s area at Cox Convention Center, featuring hands-on activities such as face painting, inflatable obstacle courses, art projects and a scavenger hunt.
Also at Cox Center will be magician David Thomas, performing large-scale illusions involving full-stage sets, lavish costumes and choreography at 7:30, 9 and 10:15 p.m. in Exhibit Hall 2. Other performers in the children’s area include the All About Irish Performance Troupe and Oklahoma Children’s Acting Guild.
Opening Night is presented by Arts Council of Oklahoma City. Wristbands allowing admission to all venues are available in advance and also will be on sale that night.