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.