Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Opening Night Celebration to Be Bigger, Improved

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Opening Night Celebration to Be Bigger, Improved

Article excerpt

By Joan Gilmore Columnist for The Journal Record Oklahoma City's fourth annual family-oriented New Year's Eve celebration, Opening Night, will be bigger and better than ever, according to co-chairs Sue Hale and Rick Vermillion. The communitywide celebration drew more than 40,000 people to downtown Oklahoma City last year, and even more are expected this year, weather permitting.

Last year, participants "Reveled Without a Pause" among more than a dozen downtown parking garages, building lobbies and plazas which were transformed into stages for both visual and performing arts. A spectacular visual display at midnight concludes the evening.

The events have been expanded this year, with St. Paul's Episcopal Cathedral added for activities for seniors. Shuttle buses will be available to take them from the cathedral's Willey Hall to downtown activities if desired. At St. Paul's the Sisters of Swing will perform vocal music, and Rhapsody will provide big band music. Lee Jacobson, a caricature artist, also will be on hand.

Activities for children are being expanded, too. The Children's Corner will be at BancFirst with mask making from 7 until 10 p.m. (50 cents admission), appearances by Tupper the Clown, Prime Mime Time, Silent Partners and Who Dean the Great (a magician). A children's dance troupe also will perform.

Special arrangements have been made with 30 downtown restaurants to remain open and offer everything from quick snacks to full-course meals.

More than 50 performers will entertain revelers at Opening Night, which is sponsored by the Arts Council of Oklahoma City. Some of the musical entertainment to be seen and heard on New Year's Eve will include Al Good and his Orchestra, Chris Hicks Band, Peter Krauss Quintet, the Riverboat Jazz Kings, After Five, Oklahoma Arts Quintet, Edgar Cruz, Pearl and the Billy Joe Foster Swing Band. …

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