Oklahomans are spreading cheer this Christmas season in downtown Oklahoma City with a variety of winter holiday events.
Devon Energy presents Downtown in December each year in the heart of Oklahoma City. Throughout late November, December and January, Downtown in December creates a winter wonderland experience for Oklahoma City residents with attractions such as outdoor ice skating, a tree lighting festival, visits with Santa Claus and performances by local arts programs.
Although various holiday events have occurred in Oklahoma City for several years, Downtown in December started in 2002 when Downtown OKC, Inc. officially branded the holiday experience.
Riley Cole, marketing coordinator for Downtown OKC, Inc. said Downtown in December unites people from all walks of life in the Oklahoma City area.
“There is no doubt the holidays bring a bigger sense of community in downtown OKC,” Cole said. “With there being several free events, Downtown in December always draws a good crowd, even on weeknights. It allows people of different backgrounds to come together and celebrate the season under the twinkling lights.”
Cole said she participates in the Downtown in December holiday activities each year. According to Cole, among her favorite events are the holiday pop-up shops at Midtown and the light displays throughout the downtown area.
“What draws my attention the most are the shopping events and the light displays,” Cole said. “The holiday pop-ups at Midtown are some of my favorites because they bring in local shops with awesome retail, and they’re in the geodesic domes. Also, the Bricktown Canal lights and the Automobile Alley light displays are some of my personal favorites. They’re perfect for taking a stroll and hanging out downtown.”
Downtown in December is an annual tradition for sophomore Paige Arter and her family. Arter said she, like Cole, appreciates the event’s support of local small businesses.
“I like the community, and how it brings local shops and local places,” Arter said. “It’s supporting a local cause, and you get to go down there and you can run into people you don’t normally see. It’s really cool that the whole community can come to this one thing.”
Arter said her two favorite aspects of Downtown in December are touring local Christmas lights displays and shopping at the pop-up shops in Midtown.
“The pop-up shops are easy to buy gifts for people, and I just think there’s something about Christmas lights that makes everyone really happy,” Arter said. “The fact that it’s covered in Christmas lights makes it even better.”
Fellow sophomore Darian Guinn participated in Downtown in December last holiday season. Guinn said the local event provides a memorable holiday experience for families and friends.
“It’s the holiday spirit,” Guinn said. “It’s an awesome thing because it gives family and friends the opportunity to get together and hang out around the holidays.”
Guinn said she plans on shopping the local pop-up shops and touring Christmas lights this year, as well as skating at the Myriad Gardens ice skating rink.
“I think I want to go ice-skating, and probably to see the lights too, “ Guinn said. “I also think it’s cool they have the pop-up shops so I have the opportunity to buy gifts too.”