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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Four Small Oklahoma Colleges with Big Time Football

UCO Football

OU and OSU aren’t the only universities in Oklahoma where college football is popular. Programs at a number of smaller colleges are great places to find gridiron action. Here’s just a few:

  1. University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos - The Bronchos have been playing football since 1902 and are currently a NCAA Division II athletic program. UCO has won two national titles (1962, 1982) and has had several players play in the NFL.
  2. Southern Nazarene University Crimson Storm - The Crimson Storm is one of the newest programs in the state, playing its first game in 2000. The team has posted 11 winning seasons in its brief history. SNU is located in Bethany.
  3. Langston University Lions - Located in Langston, the Lions have a strong football history, including producing NFL Pro-Bowler and Super Bowl Champion Thomas “Hollywood” Henderson.
  4. Oklahoma Baptist University Bison - Playing in Shawnee, OBU has fielded a football team for more than 100 years and went 8-3 last season.
Bethany, college, Edmond, football
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Up North

If you want to take a road trip north of Oklahoma City you can find history, sports, outdoor fun and more. 

First, let’s start with the history because there is no better way to celebrate Oklahoma’s rich history than to visit the largest Historic Preservation District in the nation. Guthrie is Oklahoma’s territorial capital and home to historic museums, more than a dozen bed and breakfasts and a highly preserved historical downtown district.

After Guthrie, we suggest you keep your caravan moving north to Stillwater, one of Oklahoma’s most famous college towns. Home to the Oklahoma State University Cowboys, Stillwater is sure to show you a good time. Stillwater is home to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame, one of the best public golf courses in America, Karsten Creek, three different lakes and a downtown that looks like it belongs on a postcard.

OKC’s closest neighbor to the north is Edmond. Edmond is home to two colleges, lakes, parks and more. We suggest checking the schedule of the Armstrong Auditorium to experience this architectural gem. You can read more about Edmond in a past post here.

Guthrie, history, museums, Stillwater, water sports, arts and culture, college, day-trip, Edmond, golf
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Parades

Parade

Interested in making your Fourth of July celebration an all-day family affair? Consider attending one of the many parades taking place throughout the OKC metro for some family fun.

LibertyFest – Rated as one of the top 10 places to be in America on the Fourth by CNN and USA Today, the LibertyFest parade in Edmond is a fun-filled spectacle for kids and adults. The parade begins at 9 a.m. in downtown Edmond.

Kingfisher’s Annual 4th of July Parade and Celebration – This parade begins at 10 a.m. in downtown Kingfisher and is followed by a day long Fourth of July celebration in a nearby park.

Freedom Fest – The Yukon Freedom Fest parade begins at 8 a.m. with other fun activities throughout the day including a car show, sand volleyball tournament and more.

Bethany's Freedom Festival – The parade begins at 10 a.m. at 39th Expy & Peniel with many other activities for the family at Eldon Lyon Park.

Yukon, Edmond, family-friendly, festivals, holiday, Kingfisher, parade
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Road Trip North: Edmond

Jazz Lab

Edmond is Oklahoma City’s closest neighbor to the north and one of Oklahoma’s largest cities, but its location allows it to be a popular suburb for people who work all across the Oklahoma City area. And thousands of students at Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Central Oklahoma call Edmond home during their academic careers. Even if you don’t live in the area, don’t miss out on all that Edmond has to offer visitors.

If you’re still in the mood for music, enjoy some live soul music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. During the week, across the street, you can learn about Edmond’s history at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum.

Want to spend time outdoors? Edmond offers ways to do that, too, especially with several parks. Arcadia Lake offers trails for bicycling, motorcycles and hiking/running, boat rentals and horseback riding, among other things. Edmond has a range of other parks, as well, but two big ones with lots of trails are MitchPark and Hafer Park.  In warmer weather, you can check out two water parks: The Edmond Y Water Park and Pelican Bay Aquatic Center.

Also in far north Edmond is another architectural marvel, the Armstrong Auditorium. It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season.

Arcadia, Edmond, Oklahoma City
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Rocking the suburbs

House in Edmond

In Oklahoma City, living in the suburbs doesn’t mean that you are too far away from the action. The city’s large land area allows you plenty of options, while Oklahoma City’s low commute times make getting where you need to go a breeze. Oklahoma City has plenty of options for a suburban paradise in all directions from city center

Near Northwest OKC
Situated in the northwest quadrant of Oklahoma City near scenic Lake Hefner, the enduring popularity of these neighborhoods surprises no one. A variety of residences can be found, ranging from 30s-platted mansions to 50s-built ranch-style to 80s-developed subdivisions with larger footage. Close to shopping and recreation and sporting easy interstate access, this area is an enclave for those desiring suburban living without the commute. Subdivisions and cities include Nichols Hills, Lakeshore, Lansbrook, The Village, Warr Acres and more.

Northwest OKC/Edmond
Recent construction, a growing amount of retail offerings and larger homes are typically what you will find in this area. Some communities are gated and all offer outstanding neighborhood involvement. Good highway and turnpike access comes standard, as does excellent public schools. Subdivisions include Blue Stem, Warwick, Val Verde, Bocage, Summerfield, The Greens, Glen Eagles, Englewood Manor, Gaillardia, Oak Tree, Quail Creek, Silverhawk, Whitehall, Rose Creek, Oak Cliff Estates, Stone Creek Canyon, Highland Trails, Fairfax, Kingsbury Ridge, The Bluffs, Arbor Creek, La Sonata, The Grove South, Montague, Sonador, Heritage Oaks and many others.

South OKC/Moore/Norman
South Oklahoma City boasts more room, more new subdivisions, more new retail, more diversity, more value and more excitement than ever before. Similar to its counterparts in the northwest, newer construction and larger floorplans come standard, as do excellent public schools and interstate access. Subdivisions include Pepperwell Oaks, Rivendell, The Vineyard, Talavera, Brookhaven, Hallbrooke, Blue Creek, Classen Miller, Crossroads, Carrington Place, Summit Lakes, Eagles Cove, Lost Creek, The Willows, The Apples, Deerfield, Park Place, Eagle Cliff South and more.

Edmond, housing, Moore, Norman
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Edmond/Arcadia

POPs

Edmond is Oklahoma City’s neighbor to the north and one of Oklahoma’s largest cities, but its location (15.2 miles from downtown and 22.6 miles from Tinker Air Force Base) allows it to be a popular suburb for people who work all across the Oklahoma City area. And thousands of students at Oklahoma Christian University and the University of Central Oklahoma call Edmond home during their academic careers. Even if you don’t live in the area, don’t miss out on all that Edmond has to offer visitors.

If you’re still in the mood for music, enjoy some soul music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Each week, the Jazz Lab features live entertainment, and visitors can order food and drinks from Hideaway Pizza next door. During the week, across the street, you can learn about Edmond’s history at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum.

Want to spend time outdoors? Edmond offers ways to do that, too, especially with several parks. Arcadia Lake offers trails for bicycling, motorcycles and hiking/running, boat rentals and horseback riding, among other things. Edmond has a range of other parks, as well, but two big ones with lots of trails are Mitch Park and Hafer Park. In warmer weather, you can check out two water parks: The Edmond Y Water Park and Pelican Bay Aquatic Center.

Also in far north Edmond is another architectural marvel, the Armstrong Auditorium. It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season.

Further north and east of Edmond, the community of Arcadia will allow you to get your kicks on Route 66 here, starting with POPS, a restaurant and gas station celebrating the original interstate highway – U.S. Route 66 – and all its history as the “Main Street of America” or the “Mother Road.” You can’t miss POPS because of the 66-foot-tall soda bottle and straw that at night lights up in a dazzling show of different colors. POPS is part future, with a bold architectural design, and part past.

Just down the road from POPS is another can’t-miss landmark, the Arcadia Round Barn, which is literally a round red barn that was built in 1898 and restored in 1992. It was used as a barn for livestock and hay storage and for dances around the turn-of-the-century, and today the 45-foot-tall barn again hosts community events.

outdoor recreation, parks, restaurants, Route 66, water sports, Arcadia, college, day-trip, Edmond, live music, museums
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 28, 2015

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:

career tech, college, Edmond, education, Oklahoma City, Stillwater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happy Birthday to You…

Guess who turns the big 2-3-9 this week? These United States of America, of course. Since firefighters across the country might frown on putting 239 candles on the cake, why don’t you let someone else do all the work and hit one of the many celebratory events all over the metro instead? On this week’s blog we will take a look at some of the best firework displays, festivals and parades you will find in OKC.

So grill a hotdog, grab an ice-cold beverage (something made in ’Merica) and enjoy the Fourth. No matter what corner of the OKC metro you live in we promise you there is a celebration nearby. Also, don't forget that personal fireworks are illegal in OKC proper, including sparklers, snakes and bottle rockets. (Don't say we didn't warn you.) Here are a few public fireworks displays for you to enjoy:

Know of any other communities nearby having Fourth of July bashes we missed? Let us know in the comments.

Kingfisher, Moore, Stillwater, Yukon, Bethany, Edmond, family-friendly, festivals, free, holiday
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sticking with the Suburbs

Suburban Edmond Home

In Oklahoma City, living in the suburbs doesn’t mean that you are too far away from the action. The city’s large land area allows you with plenty of options, while Oklahoma City’s low commute times make getting where you need to go a breeze. Oklahoma City has plenty of options for a suburban paradise in all directions from city center

Near Northwest OKC
Situated in the northwest quadrant of Oklahoma City near scenic Lake Hefner, the enduring popularity of these neighborhoods surprises no one. A variety of residences can be found, ranging from 30s-platted mansions to 50s-built ranch-style to 70s-developed subdivisions with larger footage. Close to shopping and recreation and sporting easy interstate access, this area is an enclave for those desiring suburban living without the commute. Subdivisions and cities include Nichols Hills, Lakeshore, Lansbrook, The Village, Warr Acres and more.

Northwest OKC/Edmond
Recent construction, a growing amount of retail offerings and larger homes are typically what you will find in this area. Some communities are gated and all offer outstanding neighborhood involvement. Good highway and turnpike access comes standard, as does excellent public schools. Subdivisions include Blue Stem, Warwick, Val Verde, Bocage, Summerfield, The Greens, Glen Eagles, Englewood Manor, Gaillardia, Oak Tree, Quail Creek, Silverhawk, Whitehall, Rose Creek, Oak Cliff Estates, Stone Creek Canyon, Highland Trails, Fairfax, Kingsbury Ridge, The Bluffs, Arbor Creek, La Sonata, The Grove South, Montague, Sonador, Heritage Oaks and many others.

South OKC/Moore/Norman
South Oklahoma City boasts more room, more new subdivisions, more new retail, more diversity, more value and more excitement than ever before. Similar to its counterparts in the northwest, newer construction and larger floorplans come standard, as do excellent public schools and interstate access. Subdivisions include Pepperwell Oaks, Rivendell, The Vineyard, Talavera, Brookhaven, Hallbrooke, Blue Creek, Classen Miller, Crossroads, Carrington Place, Summit Lakes, Eagles Cove, Lost Creek, The Willows, The Apples, Deerfield, Park Place, Eagle Cliff South and more.

Edmond, housing, Moore, Norman
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Festival Fulsomeness

Crowd at Charlie Christian Jazz Festival

Speaking of summer and free live music, OKC offers an exorbitance of opportunities to coalesce with your fellow fun- and music-loving humans in the coming weeks and months as those summer temperatures get more temperate. Check out just a smattering of our free festival calendar below:Charlie Christian Jazz Festival

Bricktown Blues and BBQ Festival – Friday and Saturday, June 20-21, Bricktown
I mean, what’s not to like? Live music? Good. BBQ? Good. Beer? Good. Don’t “trifle” with anything less than the true festival trifecta at the Bricktown Blues and BBQ Festival.

LibertyFest Concert in the Park – Thursday, June 25, in front of UCO’s Mitchell Hall Theater in Edmond
Check out this year’s edition of this popular event as the 88-person-strong band conducted by UCO Wind Symphony Conductor Dr. Brian Lamb fires up “a mixture of light classics, marches and patriotic music… that will appeal to all.”

SandRidge Energy Starts & Stripes River Festival – Saturday, June 27, Boathouse District
In addition to dragon boat racing, corporate league 500m sprint rowing races, a 5k run/500m kayak duathlon and other exciting athletic events, the Stars & Stripes River Festival features live music and entertainment (including fireworks!) suitable for all ages.

West Fest – Saturday, September 19, Western Avenue District
The website says, “music + food trucks + beer.” Again, that’s quite the pulchritudinous potpourri for us festival lovers. Details are still being worked out, but you can follow their Twitter for updates.

Plaza District Festival – Saturday, September 26, Plaza District
What else is coming up? What are we missing? What are your favorite festivals of the summer? Let us know via social media or in the comments section.

Western Avenue, Boathouse District, Bricktown, Edmond, festivals, free, Plaza District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Edmond

Here at the Better Life we know Oklahoma City is a lot more than the OKC city limits. In fact, we like to think of it as Greater Oklahoma City. There are many great communities just outside of our city that help add entertainment and housing options to our region. Every once in a while we like to take a look at some of these communities. Today we will look up north beginning in Edmond.

Edmond is our neighbor to the north and is actually the state’s sixth largest city with a population of just over 81,000. Edmond is hard to beat for a suburb. We aren’t just blowing smoke as CNBC ranked it No. 1 on its “10 Perfect Suburbs” list.

Arcadia Lake is a great place to catch some outdoor fun. The fishing at Arcadia is great as you can catch bluegill, catfish and bass year around. Wait … year around? “Who wants to fish in the frigid temperatures of January?” you might be asking. Well, the lake has a heated, covered dock for just that type of occasion. Arcadia is one of the youngest lakes in Oklahoma, as it opened in 1987. You can also swim, boat, water ski and play disc golf. The lake also has some quality trails for hiking, biking and horse riding.

Are you into the performing arts? You can catch a variety of great shows in Edmond starting with an event at the Armstrong Auditorium.  It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season.

Edmond is also home to University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Every week the lab features live entertainment with food and drink of course. 

This is just a small taste of things to see and do in Edmond. What are some other can’t miss events or attractions in Edmond? Let us know in the comments.

live music, mountain biking, music, outdoor recreation, water sports, ballet, concerts, cycling, Edmond, fishing
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Let’s travel!

As a reader of The Better Life blog, you should be getting the most of Oklahoma City. But this week, we’re taking you on a tour of places and interesting things to see and do outside OKC.

There are short road trips and some that are a little farther away. These trips can match all kinds of hobbies – whether you’re into the outdoors, shopping, scenery or unique Oklahoma history.

Today, don’t miss some things to do around Edmond, so close to Oklahoma City to the north that when you reach one city limit, you’re already in the other one.

We’ll start in a community called Arcadia to the north and east of Edmond and work our way south. To use a popular cliché, you can truly get your kicks on Route 66 here, starting with POPS, 660 W Highway 66, a restaurant and gas station celebrating the original interstate highway – U.S. Route 66 – and all its history as the “Main Street of America” or the “Mother Road.” You can’t miss POPS because of the 66-foot-tall soda bottle and straw that at night lights up in a dazzling show of different colors. POPS is part future, with a bold architectural design, and part past.

Just down the road from POPS is another can’t-miss landmark, the Arcadia Round Barn, which is literally a round red barn that was built in 1898 and restored in 1992. It was used as a barn for livestock and hay storage and for dances around the turn-of-the-century, and today the 45-foot-tall barn again hosts community events.

Also in far north Edmond is another architectural marvel, the Armstrong Auditorium, 14400 S Bryant Road, #B (285-1010).  It is a luxury venue that hosts premier concerts and performing arts, ranging from the Russian National Ballet to classical, jazz or even bluegrass music, depending on the season. The Armstrong International Cultural Foundation 2014-15 season begins on Sept. 15 with Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, an Oklahoma native, and Ted Sperling performing “Broadway’s Classic Hits.”

If you’re still in the mood for music, enjoy some soul music at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab. Call  405.359.7989 to buy tickets. Each week, the Jazz Lab features live entertainment, and visitors can order food and drinks from Hideaway Pizza next door. During the week, across the street, you can learn about Edmond’s history at the Edmond Historical Society and Museum.

Want to spend time outdoors? Edmond offers ways to do that, too, especially with several parks.

You can go to Arcadia Lake, which offers trails for bicycling, motorcycles and hiking/running, boat rentals and horseback riding, among other things. Edmond has a range of other parks, as well, but two big ones with lots of trails are Mitch Park and Hafer Park.  Or you can check out two water parks: The Edmond Y Water Park and Pelican Bay Aquatic Center.

[Image courtesy of The Arcadia Round Barn]

Edmond, family-friendly, museums, music, outdoor recreation, parks, restaurants, water sports, Arcadia, arts and culture
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Boomer Sooner, Ride ‘Em

In the fall, one event makes everything take a back seat in our state. It is not the start of a new school year or the leaves falling off trees, it is the kickoff of another college football season. We’ve been accused of taking our college football too seriously here but take a short drive on a fall Saturday to Norman or Stillwater and you will quickly see what all the fuss is about. Some of the best college football in America is played right here in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma Sooners are one most of the most successful programs across any sport in college athletics. With seven national titles and five Heisman winners very few college programs can go toe-to-toe with the Sooners on a prestige level. The Sooners have won 43 conference titles, including eight since 2000. The Sooners play at the Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, just 22 miles south of downtown OKC.

Located an hour north of downtown is Stillwater, home of the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys play at Boone Pickens Stadium, which recently underwent more than $200 million in renovations. The Cowboys have been on a roll the last decade with trips to bowl games 10 out of the last 11 years. They also took home the conference title in 2011. They finished the 2011 season ranked third in the country.

The closest college-football action can be found at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. An NCAA Division II school, the Bronchos play at Wantland Stadium, which recently underwent $16 million in renovations that increased seating capacity to 10,000.

[Boone Pickens Stadium photo courtesy of Phil Shockley/OSU University Marketing]

Edmond, football, live sporting events, Norman, Stillwater
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)