Tulsa doesn’t need to set any resolutions. It’s already got a jump start on a busy, diverse and interesting 2015.
The city has ongoing and annual events to enjoy, from the Center of the Universe music festival to the Tulsa Tough cycling race, Food Truck Wednesdays at the Guthrie Green and Second Saturdays at the Philbrook Museum.
Here are a few unique things that Tulsans can look forward to in the next year:
- Garth Brooks finally plays the BOK Center, 17 years after his last Tulsa concert. After getting the cold shoulder for so long, Tulsa finally gets a warm embrace by one of the state’s favorite sons, with seven shows scheduled for this month (Jan. 9, 10 (two shows), 11, 15, 16 and 17).
- The Tulsa Drillers become a Los Angeles Dodgers affiliate. Being part of a franchise with this long tradition and national recognition is cool, and it brought Tommy Lasorda to town. The regular season starts April 9 with a game against San Antonio at ONEOK Field.
- Jobs are growing, with hiring announcements by some local businesses, including the Macy’s distribution center in Owasso and NORDAM. Also, Midstates Petroleum Inc. is moving its headquarters from Houston to Tulsa and bringing about 25 jobs with it.
- Wizard World Comic Con will be coming back Oct. 23-25, and actor Bruce Campbell is going to be there. If you don’t know the star of “Evil Dead” and “Army of Darkness,” I’m embarrassed for you.
- New University of Tulsa football coach Philip Montgomery gets a shot at turning around the Hurricane.
- A Warren Theatre is open at 1700 W. Aspen Creek Drive in Broken Arrow, bringing affordable, high-end cinema to the area. Date night just got a little fancier, featuring a glass of wine with your movie. Keep that in mind for the release of “Star Wars — Episode VII: The Force Awakens” next Dec. 18.
- Downtown housing explodes. About 470 apartments in eight projects within the Inner Dispersal Loop are being completed. It’s the best sign of a healthy urban core. Needed next is a better public transportation system and a downtown grocery store.
- Author Neil Gaiman comes to the Performing Arts Center on March 10 to receive the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers at OSU-Tulsa’s Ambassador Award. This is my geek-out moment, loving his books “American Gods” and “The Graveyard Book.” Book lovers will also enjoy other visiting writers, such as cult-favorite Mark Z. Danielewski of “House of Leaves” and Emily Giffin of chick-lit fame.
- Costco’s first store in Oklahoma will open this summer on the northwest corner of 103rd Street and Memorial Drive, employing about 200 people.
- Franki Valli and the Four Seasons is playing at the Hard Rock Casino on Valentine’s Day. This is more up my mom’s alley, but area casinos are adding to a robust music scene.
- Warren Clinic, a division of the Saint Francis Health System, is opening three new locations in the early part of the year. Two will have urgent care clinics.
- The Big 12 Baseball Tournament will be hosted in May at ONEOK Field.
- “From New York to New Mexico: Masterworks of American Modernism” from the Vilcek Foundation Collection will be exhibited at the Philbrook Museum from Feb. 8 to May 3. This collection has more than 50 works of American modernism ranging from the early 1910s to the post-World War II era and includes Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Oscar Bluemne and Stuart Davis.
- The return of the Tulsa Roughnecks raises soccer’s profile, and team will play in the USL PRO league at ONEOK Field. Although a full schedule hasn’t been released from the league, the 2014 USL Pro season begins in late March. The Roughnecks name is the same one used by the franchise that competed in the North American Soccer League 1978-84 and won the NASL championship in 1983.
- The Signature Symphony is bringing back conductor Murry Sidlin for “The Defiant Requiem: Verdi at Terezin.” It’s a multimedia event about Jewish prisoners in a concentration camp performing the requiem as a symbol of hope. Tulsa World arts critic James Watts Jr., who is a tough cookie to impress, says this should be worth watching.
- Urban Outfitters — known for its stylish, urban brands — will open in a two-story, 9,000-square-foot store at 3340 S. Peoria Ave. in February.
- At Oklahoma State University Medical Center, the maternal child-health floor will be completely renovated, its first update since the 1980s.
- The Tulsa Performing Arts Center hosts “Phantom of the Opera” in April. It’s a revised production, so it will not look like the past performances.