Downtown in December is an annual assortment of holiday-related events.
The events are sponsored by Devon Energy, the Downtown Business Improvement District and other corporate sponsors.
“I think being downtown is where people want to be right now, especially students, and this is the perfect place to do that during the holidays,” said Riley Cole, events coordinator for Downtown Oklahoma City Partnership.
Cole said the Myriad Gardens are still open for anyone who wants to see the ice rink but not skate.
“It’s still beautiful in itself even if you don’t want to participate,” she said.
Colton Kastrup, music theater senior and Kappa Sigma president, said Kappa Sigma uses the ice rink for a social event every December with Gamma Phi Beta.
Kastrup said he likes the experience and is looking forward to this year’s event.
“It’s my favorite event of the year,” he said. “I love ice skating and the feel of being downtown and being outside. I enjoy it a lot.”
Kastrup said these types of events can help students get in the holiday mood.
“I think Oklahoma City does a really great job of decorating and putting lights downtown,” he said. “It doesn’t take much to put me in the spirit, but I think it can definitely cheer anyone up.”
Kastrup also said he’s interested in visiting the holiday pop-up shops this year and plans to attend The Nutcracker, which is a touring performance put on by the OKC Ballet Dec. 9-18.
Jake Bannerman, design and production senior, is the assistant production manager for OKC Ballet and will be the production stage manager for the Nutcracker.
Bannerman said The Nutcracker is the OKC Ballet’s highest performing show, and he encourages students to come out and see it.
“It’s a great time,” he said. “It’s a classic ballet piece, and it’s really in tune for the holidays.”
Several other students are working on the production as well, including Emily Diaz, acting senior; Alison Letsos, design and production senior; Onnika Hanson, acting junior, as well as several alumni.
“The ballet has a really good reputation with OCU,” he said.
Bannerman said he’s looking forward to being able to support local businesses and charities.
“I look forward to all the cool events,” he said. “I’m a sucker for a good Christmas-themed store or party happening downtown or supporting local charities, and I love giving back. It’s really a great time to give back to the community.”
Other events include free water taxi rides through the Bricktown canal, the annual Christmas Carol performance at Lyric Theater, a scavenger hunt, 5K run, local performances.
Admission is free Sunday nights at the Crystal Bridge, which is a 15-acre plant conservatory in the Myriad Gardens. There will be lights displayed at the bridge.
Cole said her favorite event is the tree lighting ceremony, in which Mayor Mick Cornett lights the tree downtown on Black Friday. There will be coffee and “holiday treats” available as well some music performances.
“I think it’s just so special and nostalgic,” she said. “It’s just like seeing a whole community come out for like one thing. It just kind of kicks off the holiday season downtown.”
Another upcoming event is “Dog Day in December,” which is a fundraiser for the midtown association. The money will go towards beautification, landscaping, events, and promotion for the downtown OKC area.
“It’s a dog holiday party, and they get photos with Santa,” Cole said. “It’s pretty cute.”
Cole said events like these are geared toward an adult crowd and, although it is an fundraiser, is affordable.
“We have a silent auction, and I’m only a couple years out of college, and I can afford the items in this auction,” she said.
There will also be a lot of local business with holiday celebrations open to the public.
Among these are the Plaza District, the Skirvin Hotel and the Museum of Art, hosting Thanksgiving buffets, holiday movie screenings and even a performance from the OCU choir.
The American Banjo museum will also feature a free show banjo performance from Santa.
Holiday lights will be displayed in Automobile Alley, Film Row and the Bricktown Canal.
Cole said she’s excited for the Downtown in December events and expects a big turnout.
“We’ve been gearing up for Downtown in December since probably June,” she said.￼
￼A full calendar and map of events can be found online at downtownindecember.com.