The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

31 December 2005

It all starts here, so to speak

Since the Arts Council of Oklahoma City devised Opening Night back in 1987, the number of folks who show up at the city's biggest nighttime party has generally been increasing, a trend I attribute to global warming. (Hey, it's December out there, at least until midnight.) My rule of thumb for guesstimating the crowd has been: take the temperature at sunset, in degrees Fahrenheit, and multiply by a thousand. This year, therefore, we should have about 55,000 folks milling about downtown.

This rule, of course, collapses when the temperature is near zero: even if glaciers are advancing down Broadway, there will still be a hardcore of partiers at Opening Night. And there's one new variable this year: Mavericks vs. Hornets at the Ford Center, which starts an hour earlier than the usual 7 pm (actually, closer to 7:12) tipoff, so as to give roundball fans some extra time to hit the streets.

The Opening Night events begin at 7 pm, and one button for six bucks gets you into as many of them as the laws of physics allow.

Update, the morning after: The Oklahoman reports about 65,000 people showed up.

Posted at 10:43 AM to City Scene


It's really a lot of fun, and the midnight fireworks are something special. But the combination of Hornets game, Blazers game, and mild temperatures may make it just a bit too crowded for us this year. We've got a recipe for wassail that we'll probably just mix up at home this evening as our celebration.
Happy New Year, old friend!

Posted by: Stacey Goodwin at 3:34 PM on 31 December 2005

I attended the first Opening Night and at the time knew it would be the last. I think with all the people crammed together it doesn't matter how cold it might be. I do think it is a great concept though just not for me.

Posted by: ceres at 12:31 AM on 2 January 2006