Winterfest kicks off Nov. 23 with Turkey Trot 5k in downtown Tulsa
BY NOUR HABIB World Scene Writer
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
11/06/12 at 5:33 AM
Winterfest will present a fireworks display and offer a free skating day in honor of its fifth year as the anchor of downtown Tulsa's holiday activities.
Winterfest, presented by Arvest Bank and the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation, will be at the BOK Center from Nov. 23 to Jan. 6. The Turkey Trot 5k, in which 1,200 runners participated last year, will kick off the festival at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 23.
Winterfest attractions include a 9,000-square-foot outdoor skating rink, carriage rides, visits from "Segway Santa" and a warming tent set up outside the ice rink. A 44-foot Christmas tree - which organizers say is the tallest in Oklahoma - will feature more than 35,000 lights.
The free skating day is Dec. 9.
The fireworks display will take place on Dec. 8, immediately following the Holiday Parade of Lights. The parade will journey through downtown and proceed down Denver Avenue to the front of the Winterfest entrance.
Also on Dec. 8, the third annual Holiday Market will be in the BOK Center's Grand Lobby from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. The market will feature hundreds of vendors selling seasonal gift items such as candles, jewelry, gourmet foods, wine, clothing and artwork.
Free entertainment every week will take place on the ONEOK Outdoor Stage next to the ice rink. Performances will feature children from area churches, schools, nonprofit organizations and choral groups.
Through the Glow Tulsa initiative, Winterfest has teamed up with the Guthrie Green, Downtown Coordinating Council and downtown merchants to bring an array of holiday activities to downtown Tulsa.
Tom Wallace, chairman of the Downtown Coordinating Council, said the Deco District's Pop-up Shopping event also returns this year. About 12-15 shops will participate in the Thompson and Philcade buildings near Fifth Street and Boston Avenue. Overhead holiday lighting will be set up in the area.
The Guthrie Green, 111 E. Brady St., will hold Glow on the Green from 4 to 7 p.m. Nov. 25, featuring live music from the Red Dirt Rangers, holiday treats from Lucky's and the lighting of the park.
Other events include performances of holiday favorites "The Nutcracker" and "A Christmas Carol" at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" at the Tulsa Convention Center.
Discounted parking will be available for $2 at the garage on First and Main streets through the holidays.
A free trolley will run throughout downtown starting at 5 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
For a full Winterfest calendar with prices and daily hours of operation, visit tulsaworld.com/winterfest For a list of holiday activities in the downtown area, visit tulsaworld.com/downtowntulsa
Original Print Headline: Winterfest to usher in holidays with a bang
Nour Habib 918-581-8369
Skaters brave the watery ice of the outdoor ice rink on the opening day of Winterfest 2011, next to the BOK Center in downtown Tulsa. Winterfest will offer a free day of skating in honor of its fifth year. MICHAEL WYKE / Tulsa World file
Workers Tyler Powell (left) and Britt Doss test lights on the huge Christmas tree for Winterfest. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World file