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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How to vote

voting booths

With the 2016 presidential campaign heating up, it’s time to start thinking about voting in the presidential election – or in any of the other upcoming elections between now and then, including a special election on Sept. 8. On that date, those who live in State House District 85 will vote for state representative between Chip Carter and Cyndi Munson.

Here’s a quick primer on voting in Oklahoma:

  • First, you have to register. You can do this by downloading a form online and mailing it in or by going to your county’s election board office, a tag agency, a post office, a public library or another designated public location. After Nov. 1, voters will be able to submit the form online, thanks to a new state law. For the Nov. 10 general election, registration deadline is Oct. 16. Find out additional registration deadlines on this election calendar.
  • Once you’ve registered, you’ll get a voter ID card that you’ll need to show when you go to your precinct to vote. If you’ve already registered and are in the Oklahoma State Election Board system, find your precinct using your name and birth date here. Or get additional help here.
  • And then you vote. Statewide, polls are open at individual precincts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on election days. Find your precinct. But you can vote early -- Request an absentee ballot in writing or through your individual county’s election board, or go in person to your county election board and participate in early voting, usually from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the Thursday and Friday before the election. Check the election calendar for specifics. In Oklahoma County, the address is 4201 N Lincoln Blvd.

The Oklahoma State Election Board’s website is a good resource.

Note that even if you have a mailing address from one of our suburbs, you still might be eligible to vote in Oklahoma City – if you pay utilities to the City of OKC. Also, here are the numbers to surrounding-area local election boards (with their county seats in parentheses) if you still have questions:

election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



The root of Oklahoma City’s forward momentum

Kayakers on the Oklahoma River

While we’re on the subject of elections, let’s talk about one of the most important elections in Oklahoma City’s recent history – the one that changed everything and led to the city’s current, ongoing transformation. If you have visited the Oklahoma River or seen the U.S. Olympic training programs for both canoe/kayak and rowing programs there or attended an OKC Dodgers game in Bricktown, you’ve enjoyed some of the results of that election more than 20 years ago.

Informally and most commonly known as MAPS, the first election for Metropolitan Area Projects happened on Dec. 14, 1993. Then, voters approved a five-year, one-cent sales tax to build or upgrade nine community facilities – projects that are now known as the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark (construction), Cox Convention Center (renovation), State Fair Park (improvements), the Bricktown Canal (construction), Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library (construction), Chesapeake Energy Arena (construction), the Oklahoma River (transformation into a popular recreation area with rowing, kayaking and more), Civic Center Music Hall (rebuilding) and new trolleys.

The initiative was so successful and popular that voters have since approved similar limited-term MAPS sales taxes three more times. MAPS for Kids funded school improvements and renovations and MAPS 3, which passed in 2009 is currently underway.

All projects have been built debt free, and each sales tax has had a term limit.

Since MAPS passed in 1993, Oklahoma City has seen more than $5 billion in new public and private investment throughout the city. But the energy, momentum and pride these projects have added to our city are unmeasurable.

library, maps, oklahoma river, school, bricktown, dodgers, election
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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How to find and contact your elected officials

Business Advocacy Center

If you don’t know who your elected officials are, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber offers a handy tool to find them online at its Business Advocacy Center.

Just type in your ZIP code or address in the box on the right-hand side of the page, hit enter, and you’ll see all of them connected to your geographic location, from President Obama on down to state senators and representatives. The corresponding list offers direct links to the office holders’ web pages.

On this page, you can also sign up to join our email list that will update you about the Chamber’s advocacy efforts, especially during Oklahoma’s legislative session, offering updates and more.

And if you want to find out about who has filed for office, who is running and more, go online to the Oklahoma State Election Board. Here’s a comprehensive list, in PDF form.

election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Learn how Oklahoma’s governments work

As a reader of this blog, you probably know this, but A Better Life OKC is another good resource for all things Oklahoma City, including about how our city and state governments work.

Check out more about how Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County and the state governments are structured on the site’s Government Page. The Chamber’s www.greateroklahomacity.com has a list of local municipalities surrounding the Oklahoma City area.

You can also go directly to these institutions’ home pages:

government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: September 1 - September 7, 2015

First Friday on the Paseo

Tuesday, September 1
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Art Adventures; 10:30 a.m.; Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art; 325-3272; Admission is free.
OKC Dodgers vs. Iowa Cubs; 4:35 p.m. (doubleheader); Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.
Wheeler Criterium; Events start at 5:30 p.m.; Downtown OKC Airpark, 1701 S. Western; Admission is free.
Natalie Syring; 7:30 p.m.; UCO Jazz Lab; for ticket prices call 974-5004.

Wednesday, September 2
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
OKC Dodgers vs. Iowa Cubs; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.
Christine Stedman; 8 p.m.; The Loony Bin; 239-4242; Ticket prices $2.

Thursday, September 3
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Art after 5; 5 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Admission is $5.
OKC Dodgers vs. Iowa Cubs; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.
Late Spring; 8 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art; 236-3100; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, September 4
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
First Friday Gallery Walk; 6 p.m.; The Paseo District; Free.
FAA Credit Union Summer Movie Series: Guardians of the Galaxy; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Finish Line Tower; Event is free.
OKC Dodgers vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine; 5:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, September 5
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Farmers Market; 9 a.m.; 311 S Klein; 232-6506; Event is free.
Arts Festival Oklahoma; 11 a.m.; Oklahoma City Community College; 682-7575; Parking $5; Admission is Free
OKC Dodgers vs. Memphis Redbirds; 7:05pm; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; (405)-218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.
Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine; 5:30 p.m. & 8 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, September 6
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Arts Festival Oklahoma; 11:00 a.m.; Oklahoma City Community College; 682-7575; Parking $5; Admission is rree.
OKC Dodgers vs. Memphis Redbirds; 2:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.
Hip Hop Night; 7:30 p.m., Great Lawn Stage, Myriad Gardens; 445-7080; Event is free.
OKC Dodgers vs. Memphis Redbirds; 2:05pm; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; (405)-218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.

Monday, September 7
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
OKC Dodgers vs. Memphis Redbirds; 11:05 a.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices will vary.
Safari Day Camp; Drop off from 8:20am-8:30am; OKC Zoo;424-3344; Prices: Half Day-$25, Full Day-$45.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Aviation soars in OKC

HIstorical U.S. Air Force in OKC photo

If you are an aviation aficionado, you probably already know what a major role that aviation and aerospace plays in our current economy and in Oklahoma’s history. Aviation pioneers Clyde Cessna, Will Rogers, Shannon Lucid, Wiley Post, and John “Lee” Atwood all contributed to the craft of aviation while living in Oklahoma, with Will Rogers and Wiley Post both calling Oklahoma “home” for the majority of their lives.

In fact, Wiley Post was the first person to fly solo around the world, the developer of the first pressurized suit and the discoverer of the jet stream – all before his death at the age of 36. The spirit of discovery and progress he embodied continues today, as aviation is one of the key drivers of our region’s economy. There are more than 300 public- and private-sector aviation and aerospace firms in the Greater Oklahoma City region alone, and Oklahoma is now one of the top 10 states in traditional aerospace occupation employment. Learn more about Oklahoma City’s booming aerospace industry here.

aviation, history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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You’ve got a friend in me

Tinker Air Strip

Since 1941 when the United States military first decided to locate an air depot in Oklahoma City, the OKC metro and Tinker Air Force Base have maintained the best of friendships. First established during the days of WWII, Tinker AFB has long been a critical component in our nation’s defense, but it has played an equally important role in Oklahoma City’s economy. Tinker is the state’s largest single-site employer, with more than 26,000 employees reporting for work there each day.

A little history on the base: Oklahoma City was awarded the base in 1941 using land that was owned by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. The base is named after Maj. Gen. Clarence L. Tinker, an Oklahoman and Native American who was the first general to lose his life during WWII. Its first mission included the repair and modification of B-17, B-24, and B-29 bombers and C-47 and C-54 cargo planes.

As Oklahoma City has grown and seen success, so has the Tinker Air Force Base. Tinker was named as an Air Force Sustainment Center (AFSC) in 2011 and recently was awarded the maintenance responsibilities for the Air Force’s next-generation aerial refueling aircraft, the KC-46A Pegasus. The announcement is expected to bring more than 1,300 new employees to the base.

Currently, Tinker’s estimated annual economic impact to the region is $3.41 billion, but it contributes much more than a dollar figure to the Oklahoma City community. After the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Tinker employees provided support to the relief efforts, and they provide similar relief and assistance in the event of natural disasters. Their community contributions are felt in every area of the Oklahoma City metro.  

oklahoma city history, Tinker
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Want to get away?

One of the great advantages of living in Oklahoma City is its central location, which gives its residents and businesses ease of access to almost any city in the nation. A key player in connecting Oklahoma City with the globe is Will Rogers World Airport.

WRWA currently serves 22 cities nonstop and offers flights through seven different airlines. The airport accommodates more than 3.8 million travelers each year and has an average of 73 daily departures.  Recently, WRWA added nonstop service from Oklahoma City to Seattle through Alaska Airlines.

aviation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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I got 99 problems but a museum ain’t one

Amelia Earhart Pilots License

We’ve already told you a little bit about OKC’s connection to aviation in both the past and present, but if you want to learn more, Oklahoma City’s 99s Museum of Women Pilots will give you a glimpse into an important part of aviation history. Named for the 99 women pilots who signed the original membership charter in 1929, the Ninety-Nines is an international organization of women pilots. Their museum, located near Will Rogers World Airport, celebrates the inspiring history of female aviators from the early days of airplanes to the women of space exploration.

The museum houses a large collection of artifacts that belonged to the one of the most recognizable female pilots: Amelia Earhart. Earhart was the first elected president of the organization, and the museum houses her original pilot’s license alongside other personal effects. Other exhibits include a feature on female military pilots from WWII to today.

aviation, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: August 25 - August 31, 2015

H&8th Night Market

August 25 - 31
Tuesday, August 25
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Mother Goose on the Loose; 10 a.m.; The Village Library, Meeting Room A; 755-0710; Event is free but please register.
Wheeler Criterium; Events start at 5:30 p.m.; Downtown OKC Airpark, 1701 S. Western; Admission is free.

Wednesday, August 26
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Tech Talks; 1 p.m.; Edmond Library, Meeting Room B; 341-9282; Event is free but please register.
LEGO Club; 4 p.m.; Choctaw Library, Meeting Room A; 390-8418; Event is free but please register.

Thursday, August 27
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Art after 5; 5 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Admission is $5.
Astronomy Nights in the Garden; 8:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Lawn; 445-7080; This event is free.

Friday, August 28
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Free.
Industry Flea; 5 to 11 p.m.; Midtown; Event is free.
OKC Comedy Presents MYQ Kaplan; 8 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Stage; 445-7080; Event is $12 for members and $15 for nonmembers.

Saturday, August 29
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Farmers Market; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Farmers Public Market; 232-6506; Event is free.
Industry Flea; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Midtown; Event is free.
Austin Aztex vs. Oklahoma City Energy; 7 p.m.; Taft Stadium; 235-KICK; Ticket prices vary.
Full Moon Bike Ride and Sunset Run; 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Suggested donations of $5 per person.

Sunday, August 30
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Chess Sundays in the Park; 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Meinders Garden and Terrace; 445-7080; Event is free.
Uptown Farmers Market; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Walker between 23rd and 34th; Event is free.
Sunday Twilight Concert Series; 7:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Monday, August 31
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Iowa Cubs vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mmm, beer.

The microbrewery scene is hot hot hot in OKC, which means tons tons tons of cold brews to enjoy. Here are just a few of our favorites from each of the OKC-area breweries:

405 Brewing – Straight outta Norman and perhaps the newest brewery around these days, the quality of beer belies their new-kid-on-the-block status. We particularly enjoyed the Little Heart Breaker, a fantastic smooth stout, and have heard good things about the FDR. We’re also on the lookout for the Grapefruit Sour!

Anthem – We like everything we’ve had the pleasure of putting to our lips from Anthem, but especially the Arjuna, a Belgian-style wit with lots of tasty complexity, and the rich, luxurious Uroboros stout. Also the Upper 90 (American Pale Ale) is a must if you’re at the OKC Energy match.

Battered Boar – Good gourdy! TBL staff proclaim the Pumpkin Ale worthy of drinking more often than just around Halloween. We’re also anxiously awaiting the chance to try the Coconut Cream Stout.

Black Mesa – You can’t go wrong with the Blonde, but we also really like the ESB – this is a must-try for its ability to mix smoothness and bitterness into one tasty, frosty glass. A great thirst-quencher for both hot and cold days.

COOP – Lots of great tastes to be had from COOP, but we like the Elevator Wheat and the Horny Toad, as well as the F5 IPA. Of course, the DNR is legendary and a must-drink (if you’re not driving). COOP also has a selection of “3.2” beers that are cold and ready to go at the grocery store, so you’ve got no more excuses for that Natty!

Elk Valley – One of the newer breweries to hit the scene (along with 405), Elk Valley made us want more with their Mashie (a Scottish Wee Heavy with lots of great toffee and malt flavors) and the Nemesis Imperial Stout (hey, we like stouts, OK?) .

Huebert – They make the legendary Rock-Hard Root Beer. That’s right. You can thank us later. Next on our To-Drink List: Rock Hard Orange Cream.

Mustang – The Washita Wheat (made with Oklahoma Red wheat) is our everyday go-to choice, but we also particularly enjoy the Rocket Fuel, a strong mélange of hoppy malty goodness, and the grassy, slightly citrusy Farmhouse Ale. We only wish the Session ’33 would return to the grocery store shelves (hint, hint!).

Roughtail – the 12th Round is fantastic, a hoppy yet smooth-drinking strong ale, and the Polar Night will send you to bed a happy stout lover. Speaking of stouts, the Coffee Tsar is a must-drink if you can find it for you dark beer fans.

Don’t see your favorite? Hey, give us a break you craft beer aficionado you—new ones are seemingly popping up every day, so let us know what we are missing!

beer, local goods, nightlife
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



We like liquor

Not so much of a beer person? Not to worry, OKC-focused merrymaker, we’ve got three area distillers on the roister roster to tell you about. Like the beers above, these products can be found at liquor stores, food truck parks and restaurants all over town, so enjoy!

Prairie Wolf Spirits – Coming to you live from Guthrie, Prairie Wolf produces its well-known namesake vodka as well as Loyal Gin (which contains green tea in its botanical mix) and DARK, a fantastic coffee liqueur that just may blow your Birks off.

Scissortail Distillery – Made in Moore, Scissortail produces a tasty, very smooth bourbon (we here at TBL HQ have recently been putting it through its paces just to, you know, be extra sure), as well as Black Kettle Gin, which infuses grapefruit and lime peel, and Oklahoma Landrum, made from organic molasses.

Twister Distillery – Also in Moore, Twister produces Success Vodka, advertised as “Gluten-free, Kosher and 100% organic,” so even the ultra hipster among us have no reason not to give it a try. Success Vodka has garnered a “Top 50 Domestic Vodka” award and a 5-star rating from VodkaBuzz.com.

local goods, nightlife
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Fruit of the vine: urban-style wine

Quit your whining, wine lover, we’ve got you covered too! While we’ve previously told you about just some of the wineries nearby, you might also check out a few of our urban locations where the wine flows like, er, wine…

Put A Cork In It Winery  - Bricktown is the location for this urban winery, right on the canal in the Miller Jackson building. Featuring a gift shop, free tastings, event rooms and a great covered patio ready for you to sip a glass of wine on and watch the world wander by, Put A Cork In It makes for a great stop the next time you’re in Bricktown.

Waters Edge Winery – Waters Edge is located in Automobile Alley and features more than 50 different wines and varietals, so they’ve for sure got something to please your palate. They also have a sweet 2nd-level patio that is perfect for parties and a great overall atmosphere for chillin’ out maxin’, relaxin’ all cool, regardless of whether or not you’ve been shootin’ some b-ball outside of the school.

Urban Wineworks – A star in the middle of the Plaza District, Urban Wineworks features fantastic food along with its wines. On Sundays, throw that ironically fashionable totes-awks bow tie ‘round your neck and get ready to shine, bearded one, because your semi-obligatory brunch instagrams get even better with mimosas made from locally-made sparkling wine, huzzah!

wine, local goods, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get a designated driver

We’ve told you about just some of the ways to imbibe your way around OKC this week, and we’re sure there’s much more to be told, so stay tuned for future posts on local brews ‘n booze. Another thing we’re sure about, however, is the need to be safe whilst enjoying all our wonderful locally-produced firewater. Be sure to find a designated driver or plan on ordering a taxi, a limo, a “rideshare” service (like Uber or Lyft) or even a “designated driver service” (that drives your car for you when you’ve had one too many) anytime you have a night out on the town that requires the use of a vehicle. It’s the best way to keep yourself and your fellow citizens safe. Also check out Embark’s schedule to see if you can hop on a bus.  Cheers!

nightlife
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Things to Do & See: August 18 - August 24, 2015

Tuesday, August 18
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Wheeler Criterium; Events start at 5:30 p.m.; Downtown OKC Airpark, 1701 S. Western; Admission is free.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, August 19
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
The Art of Storytelling; 6 p.m.; DC on Film Row; Event is free.
Reno Aces vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.
Sonic Summer Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy; 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Thursday, August 20
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Art after 5; 5 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Admission is $5.
Shop Hop; 6 p.m.; Automobile Alley; Free.
Reno Aces vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, August 21
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row, Sheridan Avenue in Downtown; Free to attend.
Fiesta Friday; 6:30 p.m.; Historic Capitol Hill, SW 25th and Hudson; 632-0133; Event is free.
Oklahoma Born and Brewed; 7 p.m.; Gaylord-Pickens Museum; 1400 Classen Drive; $65 per person.
Reno Aces vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, August 22
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Farmers Market; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Farmers Public Market; 232-6506; Event is free.
Plant Walk Series: Watering Tips of the Dog Days of Summer; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Event is free but suggested donation of $5.
Reno Aces vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, August 23
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Chess Sundays in the Park; 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Meinders Garden and Terrace; 445-7080; Event is free.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 6:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.
Sunday Twilight Concert Series; 7:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Monday, August 24
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Putting the Sooner in Sooner State

OU Football Game

It is that time of year again. The kids are hurrying back to school, and fall is right around the corner. In Oklahoma to many sports fans that means one thing: football. You don’t have to live here long to see the passion for football in the Sooner state and no program embodies that passion like the Oklahoma Sooners.

Simply put the Sooners are one of the most storied programs in college football history. OU won its first national football title in 1950 and has seven total, the most recent coming in 2000. In fact, since 1945 the Sooners have won more football games than any other college program. They have also claimed 44 conference titles.

In all honesty, we don’t have space here to list all of OU’s records and accomplishments. They’ve have the most 10+ win seasons, fewest losing seasons, been ranked No. 1 more than anyone else, etc., etc, … yada yada yada. We could do this all day. You get the point. OU has a pretty stinking good program. The OU Football Wikipedia page may rival many community phone books in the sheer number of words (if phone books were still a thing).

The Heisman Trophy is one of the most prestigious individual honors in all of sports. Each year it is awarded to the most outstanding college football player. OU players have taken the prize home five times (only Notre Dame, Ohio State and the University of Southern California have had more). Out of the five OU winners, four were born in the state of Oklahoma (just to give you a little more Oklahoma pride).

OU plays its home games at Gaylord Family- Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, which holds 82,112 fans. Even though it is the 15th largest college stadium, you probably need to make friends with a Sooner season ticket holder because tickets are in high demand every year. Learning the words to Boomer Sooner might help your cause.

football, live sporting events, norman
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Ride ‘Em Cowboys

OSU Football Game

The Cowboys of Oklahoma State are the state’s other BCS-level football team. While the Cowboys might not have the tradition of in-state rival Oklahoma, they do sport plenty to brag about and are currently in the midst of one of the winningest eras in program history.

The Cowboys have claimed 10 conference titles with the most recent coming in 2011. That year OSU finished 12-1 and No. 3 in the country, the best season in school history. OSU has been to 25 bowls, winning 16, giving them one of the highest bowl-winning percentages in the country.

Individually, Barry Sanders broke more than 30 records in the 1988 season for the Cowboys on his way to winning the Heisman Trophy. That season is regarded by some as the greatest individual season in college football history.

The current head coach of Oklahoma State is Mike Gundy. Gundy is an Oklahoma native who actually was a record-setting QB for the Cowboys in the late ’80s. He has won more games than any coach in the school’s history and has guided OSU to nine-straight bowl games (a school record).

The Cowboys play their games at Boone Pickens Stadium, which underwent a $286 million renovation five years ago. So practice waving your wheat, to mention a longstanding OSU tradition of waving hands like wheat after a touchdown, and head to Stillwater for a game this season.

football, live sporting events, stillwater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Small College, Big Football

UCO Football

[Photo Credit: University of Central Oklahoma Athletics]

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State universities aren’t the only places to find college football in the region. Programs at a handful of smaller colleges are also great places to find gridiron action. Here is a brief rundown:

football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Friday Night Lights

Sam Bradford

College football is not the only game in town for the football-obsessed. Each Friday night, thousands across the state support their local high schools as they play rivals from the region (because in high school everyone is a rival).

Oklahoma high schools have produced some of the best football players around. Don’t take our word for it, one study showed that Oklahoma ranks No. 10 (per capita) for producing college football players. Heck, more than 400 players who graduated from Oklahoma high school have gone on to play in the NFL including Heisman trophy winners and No. 1 draft picks.

What is our point? If you need your football fix, head to your local high school on Friday nights to show some school spirit and cheer on the good guys. You might even watch a future superstar in the making. Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.

football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: August 11 - August 17, 2015

Plaza District Festival

Tuesday, August 11
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Gaming Club; 4 p.m.; Belle Isle Library; 843-9601; Event is free.
Wheeler Criterium; Events start at 5:30 p.m.; Downtown OKC Airpark, 1701 S. Western; Admission is free.

Wednesday, August 12
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Walk-Ups: Reading Wednesdays; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Suggest donation of $2.
Shania Twain; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Sonic Summer Movies: ET; 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Thursday, August 13
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Art after 5; 5 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Admission is $5.
The Mix Concert Series; 7 p.m.; DC on Film Row; This event is free.

Friday, August 14
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
KATTFest 2015; Doors open at 2 p.m.; Zoo Amphitheatre; 602-0683; Ticket prices vary.
Live on the Plaza; 7 p.m.; Plaza District; 367-9403; free.

Saturday, August 15
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Farmers Market; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Farmers Public Market; 232-6506; Event is free.
Real Monarchs SLC vs. OKC Energy; 7 p.m.; Taft Stadium; 235-KICK; Ticket prices vary.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, August 16
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 6:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.
Sunday Twilight Concert Series; 7:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Monday, August 17
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Tacoma Rainiers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Building a better OKC

United Way fundraiser

If you’re a frequent reader, you know that we think OKC is pretty great! And to say that we’re a close-knit community might even be a little bit of an understatement. One of the organizations making a huge impact in the Greater Oklahoma City area is the United Way of Central Oklahoma. For more than 90 years, the vision of the organization has remained simple: to build a stronger, healthier, and more compassionate community. Yet the reach of the United Way in our community is undeniable.  In fact, the United Way of Central Oklahoma provides support for more than 127 programs at 61 partner agencies and six of the originally funded agencies remain partner agencies today: American Red Cross, Boy Scouts, The Salvation Army, Sunbeam Family Services, YMCA and YWCA.

The organization focuses on creating strong families, successful kids, and healthy citizens. United Way of Central Oklahoma is one of the few in the country to house a research department to help determine strategic initiatives to address our community’s needs, even establishing more than 200 “Cool Zone” locations across central Oklahoma where anyone can go to escape the heat. In fact, the lives of more than 100,000 central Oklahomans are touched each year through the United Way’s partner agencies. From enrichment activities to housing and emergency shelter services and dental care for uninsured Oklahomans, it’s hard to deny the impact the organization has on our community.

Attend the annual Campaign Kickoff  on September 11 for a fun way to learn more about the United Way of Central Oklahoma and get a free fabulous breakfast at the same time. The event will feature a pancake breakfast cooked by local “Celebrity Chefs” and other festivities include a pancake flipping contest and a family movie night under the stars later that evening.

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Creating a better tomorrow

Kids doing crafts

For more than 25 years, Positive Tomorrows has been working throughout central Oklahoma to remove barriers that get in the way of an underserved child's access to education and success. Today, the elementary school is meeting the educational and social service needs of homeless children and their families and even provides wellness screenings, dental checkups, hearing screenings and vision screenings.

The organization believes that education is the key to ending the cycle of homelessness and poverty and that providing access to an education and a stable home life are critical.

Oklahoma City is home to numerous other agencies who work to build not only a stronger community but a better world for everyone.  From home-grown agencies to those with international reach, Oklahoma City residents prove time and time again that they are always there to help and support each other.

community, nonprofit
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get involved

Volunteer with United Way

Beyond the United Way and Positive Tomorrows, our region is home to a ton of non-profits who are doing some amazing work in our community. No matter what your passion is, you can find a local organization that could put that passion to good work. Here are some other local charities to check out:

  • Feed the Children: Feed the Children exists to end childhood hunger. It’s the cause the organization has championed for more than 35 years from the world headquarters located right here in OKC.
  • Calm Waters: Provides counseling and support to children and their families who experience grief caused by death, divorce or other loss. The organization directly serves approximately 2,500 children, youth and adults in Central Oklahoma annually.
  • Dress for Success Oklahoma City: Provides women with clothing for job interviews from the Dress for Success boutique but also offers support and assistance to further their career.
  • Rebuilding Together OKC: Since 1992, Rebuilding Together OKC has repaired more than 3,000 homes, 30 non-profit facilities, and eight public school buildings with the help of 70,000 volunteers. These repairs represent a value to the community of more than $20 million.
  • Whiz Kids: The mission of City Care's Whiz Kids is to improve the well-being of inner city youth through academic tutoring and positive mentoring relationships as well as communicating spiritual and moral value.

 For a list of local community service groups, click here

community, nonprofit, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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OKC is a city with a heart

Volunteer at the Food Bank

[Photo Credit: Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma]

Can you feel the love in OKC? Well, we certainly can! Each year, more than 7,800 Oklahomans of all ages and backgrounds are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement through volunteering. Serving at more than 980 locations throughout the state, Oklahomans tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers. In fact, Oklahoma City has the fifth highest overall volunteer rate among the 51 largest cities in the U.S., as well as the second-highest number of volunteer hours per resident, among other high volunteer rankings. Why? Volunteering in America credits the same factors that make Oklahoma City a great place to live, like home ownership levels, short commutes, high education levels, low foreclosure rates and low unemployment.

Are you interested in volunteering, but not sure how to get started?  Hit up our website for information about how to get connected.

community, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: August 4 - August 10, 2015

Family at Dodgers game

Tuesday, August 4
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Wheeler Criterium; Events start at 5:30 p.m.; Downtown OKC Airpark, 1701 S. Western; Admission is free.
Los Angeles Galaxy II vs. OKC Energy; 7 p.m.; Taft Stadium; 235-KICK; Ticket prices vary.
New Orleans Zyphers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Wednesday, August 5
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Walk-Ups: Reading Wednesdays; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Suggest donation of $2.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.
Sonic Summer Movies: Finding Nemo; 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Thursday, August 6
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Art after 5; 5 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Admission is $5.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Friday, August 7
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Glow; 6 p.m.; Oklahoma River; 552-4040; Event is free.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, August 8
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Farmers Market; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Farmers Public Market; 232-6506; Event is free.
American Grappling Federation Oklahoma City Open 2105; 7:30 a.m.; Cox Convention Center; 602-8500; Tickets are $10.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, August 9
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Colorado Springs Sky Sox vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 6:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.
Sunday Twilight Concert Series; 7:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Monday, August 10
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Def Leppard; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Hop on the Sooner Schooner

University of Oklahoma

Did you know that The University of Oklahoma is one of the top public schools in the country, ranking No. 1 in enrollment of National Merit Scholars and is among the top 10 in the graduation of Rhodes Scholars? OU serves more than 30,000 students with campuses in Norman, Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

The university encourages students to strive for academic excellence, but also provides plenty of opportunities for local involvement and extracurricular leadership. OU offers more than 150 majors – including the popular degree fields of business, engineering, health professions, international studies, journalism and marketing. Recognized nationally as an excellent research university, OU provides both undergraduate and graduate students opportunities to work closely with innovative faculty mentors.

In addition to their academic interests, many students participate in the university’s active campus life through Greek fraternities and sororities, student government, campus activities or the varsity and intermural sports teams. The Big Event, a university-sponsored community service venture, demonstrates the Sooners’ annual effort to make a positive local impact.

While OU is a great place to earn a top-notch degree, its sports programs have a rich history and the football team consistently competes on the national stage (with seven national championships).

college, norman
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Orange you glad we mentioned OSU?

Oklahoma State University (OSU around these parts) is located in Stillwater about an hour north of OKC. OSU boasts more than 35,000 students system-wide with campuses in Stillwater, Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Okmulgee. OSU has been named among the top values in public education, according to Kiplinger and others, and it boasts a presence in all 77 of Oklahoma’s counties, thanks to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

When OSU was originally established in 1890, it was named Oklahoma A&M. True to its heritage, even today OSU boasts top-notch programs in the fields of agriculture, horticulture and engineering.

Having grown far beyond its historic roots as an A&M (agriculture and mechanical) school, OSU offers todays’ students nearly 200 major fields of study. The College of Veterinary Medicine, the School of Engineering and the School of Entrepreneurship are all renowned for excellence.

The university is home to the largest student union building in the world, complete with a movie theatre, restaurants, student lounges, art exhibitions and an 81-room hotel that gives hospitality students an opportunity for first-hand experience in the industry. No wonder OSU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration consistently ranks in the top 25 nationally.

OSU is also known for its annual Homecoming celebration. Each year, more than 40,000 alumni and 70,000 spectators fill Boone Pickens Stadium for a spectacle that supporters claim is the best homecoming celebration in the country. And Cowboy fans have plenty of reasons for school pride, OSU boasts 51 NCAA titles across its sports, the fourth-most team championships in the country.

college, stillwater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Education options closer to home

student studying

Students looking for a slightly smaller campus life have a number of options for furthering their education in the Greater Oklahoma City area. Nearly 17,000 students attend Edmond’s University of Central Oklahoma, making it the third largest college in the state. On the south side of the metro, students at Oklahoma City Community College can earn associate’s degrees and learn valuable technical skills.

The state capital is also home to a number of private universities that bring quality educations to the local academic field. Forbes has listed Oklahoma City University, a liberal arts United Methodist-affiliated school in the Uptown district, on its list of “Best Christian Colleges” and “100 Best College Buys,” according to OCU’s website. The university also recently moved its OCU School of Law downtown and opened in a renovated 105-year-old building that once operated as the first high school in Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Christian University, located in Edmond, is also a top-ranked regional university according to both U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review.

Other metro options include:

education, oklahoma city, career tech, college, Edmond
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Learn more about learning

students on computers

We know just how critical educational opportunities are any time someone relocates to a new community. Here at Better Life HQ we want to help answer any questions you have about education in OKC. Check out the education tab on our website to get more info on everything from public schools, private schools, charter schools, universities and childcare.

This week’s blog was just a small sample of info on the universities in our region. With more than 18 public and private schools with 125,000 college students, we believe Greater OKC offers an educational fit for every type of student. Be sure to visit the university section of our website for more information and links on the schools we talked about and more.

If you can’t find the info you are looking for on our website, give us a shout on Facebook, Twitter or the comments below, and we will help you gain more knowledge on the wealth of educational opportunities in our region.

education
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: July 28 - August 3, 2015

H&8th Night Market

Tuesday, July 28
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Prix de West; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
Wheeler Criterium; Events start at 5:30 p.m.; Downtown OKC Airpark, 1701 S. Western; Admission is free.

Wednesday, July 29
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Prix de West; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Walk-Ups: Reading Wednesdays; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Suggest donation of $2.
Okie Tales; 10:30 a.m.; Oklahoma History Center; 522-0765; $2 for children and includes museum admission.
Sonic Summer Movies: The Wizard of OZ; 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Thursday, July 30
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Prix de West; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
Art after 5; 5 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Admission is $5.

Friday, July 31
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Prix de West; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
Arizona United vs. OKC Energy; 7 p.m.; Taft Stadium; 235-KICK; Ticket prices vary.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Free.
Lower Bricktown Live on the Green; 8 p.m.; Lower Bricktown; Event is free.

Saturday, August 1
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Prix de West; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
Weekly Farmers Market; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Farmers Public Market; 232-6506; Event is free.
Outdoor Games; 3 p.m.; Martin Nature Park; 297-1429; This event is free.
New Orleans Zyphers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.
Graham Colton; 7:30 p.m.; Overholser Carriage House; Tickets are $35.

Sunday, August 2
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Prix de West; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
New Orleans Zyphers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 3:35 p.m.- double header; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.
Sunday Twilight Concert Series; 7:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free.

Monday, August 3
Faberge: Jeweler to the Tsars; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Arts; 236-3100; Regular museum admission.
Prix de West; Regular museum hours; National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum; 478-2250; Regular museum admission.
New Orleans Zyphers vs. Oklahoma City Dodgers; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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