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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The most wonderful time of the year

The holidays are quickly approaching and there’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than downtown Oklahoma City. Whether you love the twinkle of holiday lights, meeting Santa, the thrill of finding the perfect one-of-a-kind gift or getting your sweat on, Downtown in December offers an activity for everyone.

The official kickoff of the holiday season takes place during the Tree Lighting Festival from 5 to 7 p.m. this Friday when Mayor Mick Cornett lights the Christmas tree for the season. Local musicians will provide live entertainment and guests can feast on popcorn and cookies, courtesy of Nonna's Euro-American Ristorante. Little tikes will even be able to meet the jolly big guy himself and have works of art painted on their adorable faces. Festivities also include the Holiday River Parade as boats of all shapes and sizes adorned with holiday lights float along the Oklahoma River.

Enjoy the lights of the season throughout Oklahoma City. More than 4 million lights will adorn an eight-block area around the campus of Chesapeake Energy Corp. at NW 63rd Street and Western Avenue. The historic buildings of Automobile Alley offer an unforgettable experience as more than 180,000 colorful lights drape structures. A stroll down the Bricktown Canal offers a festive atmosphere for dining, shopping and enjoying time with family and friends. During the holiday season, water taxi rides are free each Thursday through Sunday.

downtown, festivals, food, free, holiday, live music, oklahoma river
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Retail therapy

Looking for a one-of-a-kind gift? Downtown in December offers a plethora of opportunities for retail therapy. The Deluxe Winter Market in Leadership square will feature more than 60 vendors with local and handmade goods, crafts, home decor, art, food and other specialty items.

More than 30 Oklahoma-owned shops and an urban Christmas tree will be showcased at the holiday pop-up shops in Midtown. Shops rotate weekly through a set of geodesic domes at NW 10th and Harvey, next to Bleu Garten. The holiday shopping village is open each weekend, beginning this Friday.

The Winter Shoppes at Myriad Botanical Gardens offer a complete family experience including on-site ice skating, a selection of boutique-style vendors and the breathtaking views of the gardens and Crystal Bridge. You can even enjoy a carousel ride while you’re here. The Myriad Botanical Gardens is hosting a variety of holiday-related events from scavenger hunts to wrapping parties.

Of course, Oklahoma City offers shopping options that are incredibly diverse. From high-end shops at 50 Penn Place, Penn Square Mall, Quail Springs Mall or Classen Curve to funky local shops on Western Avenue or in the Plaza District, OKC offers more than you might imagine. Check out a listing of local retailers here.

downtown, family-friendly, holiday, midtown, outdoor recreation, retail, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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In search of Santa

Santa is calling in reinforcements as he visits Oklahoma City this year. From the Grinch and Cindy Lou Who to the Gingerbread Man and even live reindeer Sven and Idina, Saturdays with Santa is sure to be a memorable experience for the youngsters.

  • Bass Pro Shop will have free photos with Santa, free crafts for kids, games and activities to celebrate the season.  Photos with Santa are available weekdays, 3-8 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.
  • Breakfast with Santa at Whole Foods features a tasty morning treat! Grab the kids, bring your camera and enjoy free pancakes with Santa. 9-11 a.m.

Keep an eye out for Santa as he tours downtown events and delivers goodies for both kids and kids-at-heart alike this holiday season. Follow @downtownokcinc on Twitter to learn when and where Santa will be.

family-friendly, free, holiday, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A need for speed

One of our favorite holiday traditions is cruising down one of the country’s largest manmade snow-tubing slopes at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. Seriously, where else can you snow tube when it's 50 degrees? No matter the weather, sledders of all ages can enjoy the slopes with a separate slide and smaller snow tubes available for the tikes.

If you require more of the type of speed furnished by your own two legs, prance through the streets and explore downtown Oklahoma City as part of the annual Santa Run. The event includes a 5k race, a 1-mile fun run and a free Santa Claus Kids' Dash. Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls will be on hand to get all runners pumped up for the event. Or for thrill seekers, check out Little Willie’s Triple Dog Dare which challenges participants to race 138 flights of stairs through the north and south towers of Leadership Square and the Oklahoma Tower. The 138-floor race is open to people of all ages and there’s even a Firefighters Division – racing in full gear of course!

family-friendly, fitness, holiday, outdoor recreation, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A work of art

There are plenty of indoor activities to get you in the holiday spirit as well. Check out the following family-friendly performances throughout the season.

ballet, holiday, music, theater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Stay in the know on all things OKC…

If you’re an area communications professional and you would like to know more about what’s happening throughout the city, attend the quarterly meeting of the OKC News Bureau. The group will meet at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Von Maur in Quail Springs Mall. To RSVP, contact Carrie Snodgrass, csnodgrass@okcchamber.com or 297-8971.

Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: November 25 - December 1, 2014

Tuesday, November 25
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Wednesday, November 26
Free Day at the Zoo; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 NE 50th St.; 424-3344; Admission is free.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, November 27
OKC Turkey Trot; First race starts at 8 a.m.; Stars and Stripes Park, 3701 S. Lake Hefner; 297-2756; Race day registration is $30.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Friday, November 28
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
SandRidge Tree Lighting Festival; 5 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark; 235-3500; the event is free. 
Holiday River Parade; 6 p.m.; Boathouse District, 725 S. Lincoln; 231-9012; Admission is free.
New York Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Los Angeles Lakers (D-League) vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Saturday, November 29
Devon Saturdays with Santa; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Drop-In Art: Winter Watercolors; 1 p.m.; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; Included in museum admission.
Jason Boland and the Stragglers/Cody Canada; 7 p.m.; Diamond Ballroom, 8001 S. Eastern; 866-977-6849; $19 at door.

Sunday, November 30
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Austin Toros vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 2 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, December 1
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Bakersfield Jam vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Blades of Glory

The chill is definitely in the air in Oklahoma City and that means fall is in full swing. However, don’t act like a bear and disappear until the thaw of spring. There is still boatloads of fun to be had in OKC when the temperature drops, including the yearly Devon Ice Rink at the Myriad Botanical Gardens. The opening of the Devon Ice Rink is the unofficial launch of the colder seasons for locals.

Open until Feb. 1, the Devon Ice Rink gives you a chance to channel your inner Bonnie Blair or Brian Boitano in Downtown OKC. On weekdays the rink opens at 3 p.m., and runs until 9 p.m. During the weekends, the rink opens at 11 a.m., and closes at 11 p.m. (if you want to get wild).

Really want to get your figure skate on? Each Friday night is Rock N Skate night. From 6 to 9 p.m., a DJ will provide the soundtrack and all you have to provide are the moves (and a small entry fee).

Garden members skate for just $7, while nonmembers pay $12, including skate rental. Own your own blades? First off, that is awesome, and you only have to pay $8. Food and drink will also be available both indoors and outdoors.

So work on your axel jumps and free dances and we will see you on the ice.

downtown, family-friendly, Myriad Botanical Gardens, outdoor recreation
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Thundering Up and Onwards

Really looking to stay warm for the next couple of months? There is no place better to heat up than the Chesapeake Energy Arena during a Thunder game with 18,203 of your closest friends. If you are new to Oklahoma City, you don’t have to hang around long to realize the Thunder have taken the city and whole Sooner State by storm.

The 2014-2015 season just tipped off and it marks the seventh season of Thunder basketball in Oklahoma City. And what a seven years it has been. The Thunder has made the playoffs five straight years, including a trip to the NBA finals and three trips to the conference finals. The franchise will also be attempting to win their fifth-straight Northwestern Division Championship (Northwestern makes sense right?).  

The Thunder are led by Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Durant (better known as KD) is the reigning MVP of the NBA (seriously check out his MVP speech) and has made the All-NBA first team 5 times in his seven-year career. KD is not nice and is the baddest.

Westbrook (who we like to call Russ) is a three-time All-Star and three-time All-NBA selection. Russ also makes headlines off the court for his unique fashion style.

In all honesty, we could ramble on all day about the Thunder, Rumble, Ibaka and one of the best home court advantages in all of the NBA so we’ll stop. Just do yourself a favor, check out the home schedule and grab some tickets. You won’t be disappointed.

basketball, family-friendly, live sporting events, thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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You’re My Boy Blue

A new addition to the metro’s landscape this year is the Oklahoma City Blue. After residing in Tulsa since 2005, the Thunder’s D-League affiliate will play this season in OKC at the Cox Convention Center.

Not familiar with the D-League? Here is a quick primer. The D-League is short for the NBA Development League, an 18-team league that serves as a development league for the NBA. The Blue are owned by their parent team, the Thunder, and serves as a place where young players can develop. So in short the Blue will offer a great chance to preview the NBA’s up-and-coming players. Not a bad way for hoops junkies to spend a night.

basketball, family-friendly, live sporting events, thunder
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Don’t Like the Weather? Wait a Day.

Much is made of the Oklahoma climate, and while we are prone to somewhat sudden changes in temperature the weather is actually pretty pleasant year-round. It is getting a little colder outside, but the average high temperature, in November is actually 62 degrees. In December, the average drops to a brisk 51 degrees, just enough chill to break out the hot chocolate and blankets.

Even though Oklahoma’s weather is often sensationalized, it never hurts to be weather aware. Luckily for Oklahomans, the National Weather Center is located in Norman, just south of Oklahoma City. The center is home to the most technologically advanced weather equipment in the world and does an amazing job of monitoring not only the weather in central Oklahoma but of the world. Are you the type that likes to plan ahead? The City of Oklahoma City offers winter weather resources, like snow routes and preparation tips.

weather
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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VeloCity

Want an easy way to share Oklahoma City’s amazingness with your friends, family and peers? Check out VeloCity, a digital magazine designed for just that purpose. It is stocked full of great success stories on what makes OKC so special. The magazine is fully-interactive with great videos and pictures to enhance your experience.

A new issue was just released, so head on over to VelocityOKC.com to read up on how Oklahoma City is becoming America’s new energy headquarters. Also check out the archive to browse past issues and be sure to share it with everyone so they can see why our city is making headlines across the country.

oklahoma city, velocity
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: November 18 - November 24, 2014

Tuesday, November 18
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Wednesday, November 19
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Event is free.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

Thursday, November 20
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Shop Hop; 6 p.m.; Automobile Alley, 1015 N. Broadway; 488-2555; this is event is free.

Friday, November 21
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 3 to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Premiere on Film Row; 6 p.m.; Film Row, Sheridan Avenue in Downtown; Free to attend.
Brooklyn Nets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, November 22
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Historic Thanksgiving Day Celebration; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Terrace Room; 445-7080; $10 for members and $12 for nonmembers.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Charlotte Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, November 23
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Devon Ice Rink; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.
Golden State Warriors vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Charlotte Checkers vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, November 24
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Devon Ice Rink; 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, 445-7080; $12 for nonmembers, $7 for members.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Your Mom Goes to College

As a regular reader of this blog, you’re keeping up to date on all the things to do and see in OKC. As you can tell, there’s plenty to keep you entertained. But what about the rest of your day? After all, all leisure all the time can’t be good for anybody (just look what it’s done to Garfield the cat). So if you have a hankerin’ for hustle in the form of college credits, you’re in luck – there are 125,000 students just like you here, and 18 public and private colleges and universities in Greater Oklahoma City from which you can choose.

Fancy a law degree? You’re covered, counselor. Medical school? The laughter we get from the question is the best medicine. Musical theater? We sing a six-second affirmative (with full orchestral backing and maybe even a twirl and jazz hands). Liberal arts? No fancy analysis necessary. Veterinarian? You vet your can. Want to do research? Get a Ph.D. and be smarter than that can of Dr. Pepper. We’re running out of ridiculous ways to respond to these questions, but rest assured, whatever you want to do in the world of higher education (even if it’s “become a rock star”), you can probably do justice to your diploma dream here in OKC.

To learn more about the opportunities in higher education in Oklahoma City, check out the Universities section of this website and our “OKC At a Glance” publication.

college, education, school
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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125k to Stay

With 125,000 college students in Greater Oklahoma City, we at the Chamber understand that keeping those educated, talented folks in the fold after graduation is important. That’s why we launched the Greater Grads program in 2006.

There are two main components to the Greater Grads program – a career fair featuring Oklahoma employers (held this year on March 15, 2015) and the InternOKC Internship Program, a five-week series of lunches where interns get to know their future peers and discover why Oklahoma City is the perfect place to live, work and play.

Both programs are great ways for students and employers alike to network, make valuable business connections, and help contribute to the entire community’s future success.

Greater Grads is an initiative of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s Education and Workforce Development division. Greater Grads works to build Oklahoma City’s talent base by connecting Oklahoma graduates – a vital component of the City’s future workforce – with employers in the Oklahoma City region. These connections will help Oklahoma City’s flourishing economy, creating even more opportunities in the years to come.

To learn more, check out www.greatergrads.com or contact Elisa Milbourn at 405-297-8951 or emilbourn@okcchamber.com.

education, internship
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Visit Norman

Speaking of colleges, the home of the University of Oklahoma is less than 30 minutes south and makes for a quick escape to a leafy collegiate locale. You can even take the train there from downtown OKC if you want. Whether it’s nightlife you’re after, family fun, learning about weather at the National Weather Center or even hanging out with real-life gamblers, Norman knows when to hold ‘em and fold ‘em, and, as a bonus, never counts its money at the table. The other thing that Norman knows when to hold is its Main Street Christmas Parade, hitting the streets this year on Dec. 13 at 10 a.m. Also, don’t miss:

  • Dino-mite Museums – Norman has some of the coolest museums in the state, and the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History is a family favorite. Taking you through 4 billion years of history, the museum features the world’s largest Apatosauraus and Pentaceratops, among other dinosaurs. Learn about the people that lived in Oklahoma before us and other world cultures, and get your photo taken with the big mammoth.
  • One of the nation’s finest university art museums, the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art features works by Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Hopper, Gauguin, Ansel Adams, O’Keefe, Houser, and others, in addition to works and objects by Taos artists and Native American works. Current exhibits include Picasso’s Woman in the Studio (1956), on loan from the St. Louis Art Museum, displayed alongside some of the Fred’s own Picassos from its permanent collection. The best part? Taking in all this culture is easy on the pocketbook: admission is always free!
  • The Norman Music Festival, also free, happens every April in and around downtown Norman on Main Street. 21 stages offered more than 60,000 people music and merriment over three days in 2014. Featuring headliners like The Walkmen, Portugal. The Man, of Montreal, The Octopus Project, British Sea Power and more, it is also a great time to see all your favorite local bands in one spot and purchase all manner of foods and goods from local and national vendors.
  • For the oenophiles out there, Norman boasts three wineries you can tour and taste: Canadian River Winery, Native Spirits Winery, and Redbud Ridge Vineyard & Winery. All offer wines made from their own Oklahoma-grown grapes. Like Paul wrote to Timothy, “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach's sake and thine often infirmities.” Wine: it’s good for you.

For more info about visiting Norman, simply visit the appropriately-named www.visitnorman.com.

arts and culture, college, family-friendly, live music, museums, music, nightlife, wine
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Visit Stillwater

Home of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater is just an hour or so up the road from OKC and features plenty of diverse activities to do in its own right. In fact, you can visit museums and art alongside an exotic animal safari. And sure, while you can drive by the house where Garth Brooks used to live, go to the yearly Calf Fry at the Tumbleweed and pay homage to the home of Red Dirt music, there’s plenty more you should see and do in Stillwater.

  • The National Wrestling Hall of Fame – this “shrine to the sport of wrestling” should definitely be on your Stillwater to-do list. Full of memorabilia and history, “mankind’s oldest and most basic form of recreational combat” is celebrated here. Learn about the sport’s pioneers, African-American and Latino wrestling history, America’s Olympic heroes, and more. 
  • Main Street ShoppingDowntown Stillwater features that classic Main Street feel, with lots of local flavor and things to see and eat. Bike nights, Food Truck nights, and the Car and Bike Show augment the experience. Check the calendar at the link above to see what’s going down Downtown, or just head out and get your shop on.
  • Lake Fun – Stillwater’s three area reservoirs of regalement stand ready for you to visit any time of year. Lakes Blackwell, McMurtry, and Boomer offer all the typical lake fun you can stand and then some, including bird watching, mountain biking, hunting, disc golf, camping, horseback riding and trails for fitness, among other features.
  • Golf at Karsten Creek – the Stillwater area in general offers plenty for the duffers out there, but you may want to pay a special visit to Karsten Creek. Considered one of the best public courses in the nation, this Tom Fazio-designed course is the home of Oklahoma State’s golf teams, and you can play there too! Take the opportunity to grab your clubs and experience a demanding course you’re sure not to forget.

For more info, just hop over to www.visitstillwater.org.

college, golf, museums, shopping, water sports, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: November 11 - November 17, 2014

Tuesday, November 11
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Oklahoma @ the Movies; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr; 521-2491; Regular museum admission.

Wednesday, November 12
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd St.; 602-6664; Ticket prices vary
Bringing Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Event is free.

Thursday, November 13
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
On Behalf of the Pioneers: The Oklahoma City Century Chest; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr.; 521-2491, Regular Museum admission.
Pandas the Journey Home IMAX; First showing at 10 a.m.; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St; 602-3760; $6.95 for kids and $8.95 for adults.

Friday, November 14
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Detroit Pistons vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Maine Red Claws vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Live on the Plaza; 7 p.m.; Plaza District; Free.

Saturday, November 15
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
OETA Fall Literacy Festival; 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Great Event Lawn; 445-7080; Event is free
Statehood Day Festival; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Gaylord-Pickens Museum, 1400 Classen Dr.; 235-2714; Admission is free.
Mike Epps; 8 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, November 16
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Holiday Gala in the Paseo; 1 to 4 p.m.; Paseo Arts District, 3022 Paseo; 525-2688.
Westchester Knicks vs. Oklahoma City Blue; 2 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Brian Regan; 7 p.m.; Rose State Performing Arts Center; 6420 SE 15th St.; 733-ROSE; Ticket prices vary.
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, November 17
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Interactive Thanksgiving Display; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Event is free
Oklahoma @ the Movies; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr; 521-2491; Regular museum admission.

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Veterans Day

If you’ve read our blog, you are well aware that Oklahoma City has deep ties to our armed services. The region has a long and proud tradition of supporting Tinker Air Force Base in a myriad of ways. Along with Tinker, Oklahoma is also home to the 45th Infantry Division, who served valiantly in World War II, and the state has ties to the attack at Pearl Harbor. As we celebrate Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, we thought we would look at the ties that bind OKC and our military together.  

As we mentioned, one of the driving forces between our region and the armed forces is Tinker Air Force Base. The base is one of the largest Air Force bases in the country, and provides critical support for our military personnel. The base is also a huge economic driver for our city, as it is the state’s largest single-site employer. You can read more about Tinker’s importance and history in our recent blog post.

military, Tinker
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Thunderbirds

One of the best ways to see Oklahoma’s military history come alive is to visit the 45th Infantry Museum. Located in the Adventure District, 2145 NE 36th St. to be exact, the museum is dedicated to telling the story of the 45th Infantry Division.

The 45th Infantry Division (nicknamed the Thunderbirds) was organized in 1923 under the National Defense Act of 1920. The guardsman saw no major action until 1941, when they were one of the first National Guard units activated for World War II. During the war, the 45th participated in four amphibious landings and fought their way across Sicily, Italy, France and Germany.

During the Sicily campaign, the unit served with General George S. Patton. The renowned general had high praise for the 45th, saying, “Your division is one of the best, if not best division in the history of American arms.”

The 45th was activated a second time in June of 1950 for the Korean War. The unit was one of only two National Guard divisions to see combat in the Korean War.

The 45th Infantry Division’s contribution to America is distinguished, as nine men were awarded Medals of Honor and the division sustained more than 25,000 battle casualties.

The museum is a must-visit for anyone with an interest in military history, and features a 15-acre park that holds more than 60 different types of combat vehicles. The museum is so dedicated to telling the story of the 45th that admission is free, although donations are appreciated.

adventure district, military, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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USS Oklahoma

Oklahomans have always taken pride in the service and valor of the battleship named for our state, the USS Oklahoma. The ship (nicknamed the Okie) was commissioned in 1916 and was the first U.S. warship to utilize oil over coal. During World War I, the ship was stationed off the coast of Ireland and helped protect American convoys in the area. After WWI, the ship helped protect President Woodrow Wilson’s convoy.

After the war, the USS Oklahoma was stationed in Pearl Harbor. During the fateful day of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack, the ship was stuck multiple times by torpedoes, capsized and sank. Many of the crew members bravely continued to fight as they climbed aboard the nearby USS Maryland. Tragically, 429 of the Oklahoma’s crew were killed in the attack. Three medals of honor, three Navy and Marine Corps Medals and one Navy Cross were awarded to sailors who fought on the Oklahoma during the attack.

That would not be the end of the USS Oklahoma’s story. In 1947, there was attempt to tow the ship to San Francisco Bay. During the move, a heavy storm struck and the Oklahoma sank. Its exact location is currently unknown.

In 2003, the U.S. Navy recovered the mast from the Oklahoma and it currently resides in War Memorial Park in Muskogee. The anchor of the ship is located at Campbell Park, just north of downtown OKC. 

military
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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USS Oklahoma City

Although you might not think it (due to lack of ocean coastline), the Navy also has a unit stationed in Oklahoma City and they play a critical role in our nation’s defense. Tinker Air Force base is home to the Navy’s Strategic Communications Wing One. This unit employs more than 1,300 active sailors and provides a plethora of support programs, including maintenance, security and training to the E-6 Mercury fleet. Why is the unit so vital? All communications to America’s submarine fleet go through the E-6 Mercury. In times of a major conflict the E-6 Mercury allows the President and Secretary of Defense to communicate directly with the nation’s nuclear triad of submarines, bombers and missile silos.

Speaking of submarines and the Navy, did you know there was a USS Oklahoma City? First launched in 1985 the USS Oklahoma City is one of 40 Los Angeles-class submarines currently active. Most recently the submarine spent 2007 deployed in the Persian Gulf in support of the War on Terror. The USS Oklahoma City has also been active in stopping illegal drug shipments in the Pacific, seizing more than $1.5 billion in contraband.

Fun fact: there has actually been two USS Oklahoma City ships. The first USS Oklahoma City was a light cruiser that was launched in 1944 and sailed  in both World War II and the Vietnam War. In 1971, the Oklahoma City shot the first successful combat surface-to-surface missile shot in US Navy history. The ship accumulated 13 battle stars and was commemorated at the National Museum of the Pacific War.

Tying all this together is the Oklahoma City Navy League. The nonprofit works tirelessly to provide funding to active duty Navy stationed at Tinker and on the USS Oklahoma City. They provide pen pals, recreation opportunities, emergency leave, company visits and award the Sailor of the Year. They also, along with the Chamber, hold one of the nation’s largest Navy Birthday Balls each year. 

military, Tinker
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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The Science of Brewing

Beer and science. At first glance, those are two words that don’t seem to go together. But leave it to the fine folks at OKBio to find a way to merge the two. When you think about it, brewing is really all about science: it’s just chemical reactions.

At this point you are probably wondering what this rambling is all about (no we haven’t enjoyed a beer or three while writing this). This is all about the 3rd annual Brewfest this Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. You can learn all about the science of brewing beer by sampling more than 15 local breweries for just $25. If that wasn’t enough to sell you then you also get a free mug, t-shirt and live entertainment from Oklahoma’s own Hosty Duo.

Not big on adult beverages? No sweat, you won’t be left out. You can enjoy the Designated Driver deal for just $15. All the fun, all the free swag, but with non-alcoholic drinks.

So see you Thursday as we sample local breweries (or not), listen to some great music and hang out with some interesting scientists and entrepreneurs.

beer, bioscience
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: November 4 - November 11, 2014

Tuesday, November 4
Oklahoma @ the Movies; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr; 521-2491; Regular museum admission.

Wednesday, November 5
Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd St.; 602-6664; Ticket prices vary
Bring Books to Life; 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens; 445-7080; Free.
Slipnot and Korn; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Thursday, November 6
Mistletoe Market; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 843-5668; $8 per person.
Martin Scorsese’s Masterpieces of Polish Cinema; Regular Museum Hours; Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Dr.; 236-3100; Ticket prices vary.
OKBIO Brewfest; 5 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ball Park; 278-3000; $25 for full admission, $15 for designated drivers.
IgniteOKC; 7 p.m.; IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan; 232-6060; Tickets are $15.

Friday, November 7
Mistletoe Market; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 843-5668; $8 per person.
Chemistry Day; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 NE 52nd St.; 602-3760; Regular museum admission.
First Friday Gallery Walk; 6 p.m.; Paseo Arts District; 525-2688; Event is free to attend.
Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Saturday, November 8
Mistletoe Market; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 843-5668; $8 per person.
Zoo Career Days; 10 a.m.; Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 NE 50th St.; 424-3344; $12 for members, $15 for nonmembers.
Toronto Marlies vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; 8 p.m.; Reduxion Theatre Company, 1613 N. Broadway; 651-3191; Ticket prices vary.

Sunday, November 9
Oklahoma @ the Movies; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr; 521-2491; Regular museum admission.
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; 2 p.m.; Reduxion Theatre Company, 1613 N. Broadway; 651-3191; Ticket prices vary.
Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 5:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.

Monday, November 10
AQHA World Championship Quarter Horse Show; All day; Jim Norick Arena, State Fair Park; $8 for general admission.
Oklahoma @ the Movies; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr; 521-2491; Regular museum admission.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Spooktacular Schmoozing

Do you like your Halloween happenings to have no tricks, only treats? Then head on over to the State Fair Park’s Travel and Transportation Building for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber’s SchmoozaPalooza Trade Show on Thursday, Oct. 30, from 4-7 p.m.

A $10 admission, which includes a drink ticket, will give you a preview of the latest products and services (which means free stuff!) from Chamber member exhibitors while enjoying live music, networking activities, food tastings from more than 20 restaurants and caterers and door prizes. So put on your Halloween best and bring your friends.

Text “GHOST” to 71441 to win prizes and to be added to the Schmooza VIP list, or purchase tickets and see a video from last year’s event at www.okcchamber.com/schmooza.

business, food, live music, networking
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Not-So-Spooky Celebrations

Let’s face it, not everyone wants the socks scared off of them this Halloween. For our squeamish friends, how about sipping apple cider while enjoying an old-fashioned hayride, making some new furry friends at one of the many petting zoos or picking out that perfect pumpkin at a pumpkin patch as a way of celebration? We're certain you can find plenty of fall-ish fun, but here are a few suggestions from our team of experts:

TG Farms – petting zoo, pumpkin picking, hayrides, hay maze, naturally grown fruits and vegetables available for purchase, pony rides.
Newcastle location – Interstate 44 south to exit 108. Continue 1 mile and TG Farms will be on the south side of the road. Hours: 9 a.m. – dark, Monday-Sunday.
Norman location – I-35 South to Exit 106, State Highway 9 west for 1.5 miles. Call 405-387-9222 for hours.
Admission: $8+tax, walking age and above, Monday through Friday during school hours; $10+tax after school hours and weekends

Parkhurst Pumpkin Patch – corn maze, pony rides, petting zoo, hay rides, fun fort, picnic areas, fun games, pumpkin picking.
Located at 720 Henney Road in Arcadia
Open Thursday, 1 p.m.- 6 p.m., Friday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., and Sunday from 1 - 6 p.m.
Admission price: $8 per person

Orr Family Farm – corn maze, pumpkin patch, hayrides
Located at 14400 S Western in Oklahoma City
Open Oct. 1-31, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. -6 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. -9 p.m., Sunday, 1-6 p.m.; Nov. 1, 8 & 15, 10a.m. -6 p.m.
Admission: Farm Pass $10 (Monday – Thursday), $12.50 (Friday – Saturday); Farm Pass Plus $15 (Monday – Thursday), $17.50 (Friday – Saturday); Hayride, Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze only, $10 per person

family-friendly, kids
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Scary Skirvin Stories

Oklahoma City’s Skirvin Hilton Hotel, beloved by all, is also the heart of one of Oklahoma City’s most controversial ghost stories. Frequenters of the Skirvin, from professional athletes to hotel staff, claim to have experienced inexplicable cries and unexplainable activity while being in the hotel. But is the ghost story fact or fiction? Read on for more about the ghostly legend and decide for yourself.

The Skirvin first opened in 1911 under the ownership of its namesake, William Balser Skirvin, and soon became the Oklahoma City hotspot of business and political life. Legend has it that a hotel maid named Effie became pregnant after an affair with the widowed Skirvin. To protect his reputation, Skirvin locked the maid on the 10th floor of the hotel and forced her to remain there, even after she successfully delivered her baby. Driven mad by the isolation and unable to escape her prison, Effie is said to have thrown herself from her room’s window, holding her infant child in her arms as they plummeted to their deaths.

This story, whether it is just a legend or otherwise, was largely forgotten until recent years. In 2010, after a loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, the Jared Jeffries and Eddy Curry of the New York Knicks told the Daily News that they partially blamed their loss on a rather restless night at the Skirvin. Weeks later, Chicago’s Taj Gibson claimed that his bathroom door mysteriously slammed shut in the middle of the night. Later in 2013, a player on the Phoenix Suns team said he awoke to find his bathroom door closed and the tub inexplicably filled with water. Even sports writers have been the victims of Effie’s pranks, with ESPN’s Bill Simmons hearing a crying baby near the window of his room.

As long as Effie haunts the opponents of the Thunder, it can’t be that bad, right? As the New York Times puts it, Effie is the Thunder’s apparitional sixth man. There’s only one problem with this theory: there is no record anywhere of a maid named Effie working for the Skirvin, and no recorded suicide of a woman from the Skirvin’s rooms. Even the accounts of her supposed death have shifted over the years, with different accounts of room numbers, hotel floors and even differing names of the maid being circulated. So is this ghostly tale true or not? Let us know in the comments.

history, oklahoma city history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: October 28 - November 3, 2014

Tuesday, October 28
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Brick-or-Treat; 4 to 7 p.m.; Bricktown, 2 S. Mickey Mantle Dr.; 218-1000; Event is free.

Wednesday, October 29
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees; Regular museum hours; Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd St.; 602-6664; Ticket prices vary

Thursday, October 30
Plants, Poisons and Potions Exhibit; Opens at 9 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge; 445-7080; Free with Crystal Bridge admission.
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
SchmoozaPalooza; 4 to 7 p.m.; State Fair Park, Travel & Transportation Building; $10 admission (includes a drink).

Friday, October 31
Pumpkinville; Opens at 10 a.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden; 445-7080; Free for members, $5 for children and $3 for adults.
Carne Diem; 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Street in front of VI Marketing and Branding, 125 Park Ave.; $10 per person.
Trick-or-Treat Our Streets; 4 to 7 p.m.; The Outlet Shoppes, 7624 W. Reno; 787-3700; This event is free.
H&8th; 7 p.m.; Hudson Ave., between N.W. 6th & 10th; Free.

Saturday, November 1
Pumpkin Harvest Craft Festival; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Dale Robertson Center, 1200 Lakeshore Dr.; 350-8937; Admission is free.
National Weather Festival; 10 a.m.; National Weather Center, 120 David L. Boren Blvd.
Denver Nuggets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 West Reno; (800) 745-3000; Ticket prices vary.
Iowa Wild vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Sunday, November 2
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street; 2 p.m.; Reduxion Theatre Company, 1613 N. Broadway; 651-3191; Ticket prices vary.
Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas!; 2 and 7 p.m.; Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker; 297-2584; Ticket prices vary.
Iowa Wild vs. Oklahoma City Barons; 4 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 232-4625; Tickets prices vary.

Monday, November 3
Oklahoma @ the Movies; Regular museum hours; Oklahoma History Center, 800 Nazih Zuhdi Dr; 521-2491; Regular museum admission.
Huun Huur Tu: Tuvan Throat Singers; 2:30 p.m.; Midwest City Library, 8143 E Reno; 732-4828; Event is free.

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

No Need to Be a Halloweenie

Don’t be scared, costumed compatriots—the Halloween parade is back! Saturday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. marks the return of downtown’s observance of All Hallow’s Eve festivities. But this year, the Oklahoma City Halloween Parade & Costume Party will stay on the straight and narrow right down Broadway, starting at N 13th  Street and ending at N 4th Street. 

Without any of those pesky turns to worry about, organizers have set the viewing stand at N 8th Street and Broadway Avenue, and have also added an after-parade-party with local favorites My So-Called Band playing only the best ‘90s hits (tickets to the “Zombie Ball” after-party are $10, but parade viewing is free). Another thing that is different about this year’s parade is that it’s modeled after the New York City event that supports the arts community, and will have parade MCs! Yep, it’s Hammer Time, parade people. Hey, speaking of the ‘90s and costumes, anybody got any of those parachute pants? Those things are too legit to quit…

More info: http://www.okchalloweenparade.com/

family-friendly, live music, nightlife, parade
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Halloween History

What a weird holiday, eh? Dress up, go door-to-door, demand candy under threat of some sort of vandalism, go to next house, repeat. Sounds a little like extortion to us. We here at TBL HQ decided we’d do some research on this wild and weird tradition.

What we found out is you’d better put down that devil costume! It turns out Halloween, or as you may have seen it spelled, “Hallowe’en,” has its roots in a religious observance known as “All Hallows’ Eve” or “Allhalloween.” What does this mean? Basically, “All Hallows Eve” means “The Evening Before All Hallows’ Day,” or, in other words, “The Evening Before All Saints’ Day.” All Saints’ Day is celebrated in many churches in the west on Nov. 1 in honor of all the unknown and known saints in heaven (Shakespeare and others have used the term “Hallowmas” to describe All Saints’ Day / All Hallows’ Day). Oct. 31 is the day before All Hallows’ Day, hence, Hallowe’en or Halloween.

But what about the trick-or-treating? In England and Ireland, (possibly going as far back as the Middle Ages), a tradition developed on the day before All Saints’ Day wherein children and the poor would go door-to-door asking for “soul cakes,” small cakes filled with appropriately-timed fall spices and nuts and topped with a cross, all while singing and saying prayers for the dead, an activity known as “souling.” In Scotland and Ireland, this practice morphed into “guising,” where kids in costumes or “disguises” went around asking for fruit, cakes and coins. “Guising” made its way to North America by the early 20th century (the first recorded mention was 1911 in a Canadian newspaper), and before you know it, we’re over here trick-or-treating until our feet give out. So, go easy on the house that didn’t have any candy for you. Maybe they’re just at church!

history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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