SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER!

Our weekly “411 on the 405” email gives you all the OKC news you can use in an ultra-convenient digest format right in your inbox, no surfing required.

* indicates required
Email Format

View previous campaigns.

Sponsor

Sponsor

Tag Cloud

accolade
adult sports
Adventure District
aerospace
Arcadia
arts and culture
Asian District
attractions
Automobile Alley
aviation
ballet
bar
baseball
basketball
beer
Bethany
bioscience
bmx
Boathouse District
breweries
Bricktown
business
calendar
camping
camps
career tech
cars
Choctaw
Classen Curve
climate
college
community
concerts
cost of living
Crown Heights
cycling
Davis
day-trip
Deep Deuce
Deer Creek
Dodgers
downtown
Edmond
education
El Reno
election
employment
energy
entrepreneur
equine
family-friendly
farmers market
Farmers Market District
festivals
film
Film Row
fishing
fitness
food
football
free
gardening
golf
government
Guthrie
healthy living
Heritage Hills
Historic Capitol Hill
history
hockey
holiday
horse show
housing
Innovation District
internship
Jefferson Park
jobs
Jones
kid
kids
Kingfisher
Lake Aluma
Lake Hefner
library
live music
live sporting events
local farms
local goods
MAPS
Mesta Park
Midtown
Midwest City
military
Moore
mountain biking
movies
moving
museums
music
Mustang
Myriad Botanical Gardens
native american
networking
Nicoma Park
nightlife
nonprofit
Norman
OKC Energy
OKC National Memorial
Oklahoma
Oklahoma City
Oklahoma City history
Oklahoma River
outdoor recreation
parade
parks
Paseo District
Pauls Valley
pets
Piedmont
Plaza District
Prague
Project 180
public transportation
publication
racetrack
Rayo
religion
restaurants
retail
Route 66
running
school
shopping
soccer
social media
spring break
State Fair Park
Stillwater
Stockyards
streetcar
Sulphur
tech
theater
Thunder
Tinker
Tuttle
university
Uptown 23
velocity
Visit OKC
volunteer
water sports
weather
Western Avenue
western heritage
wine
youth sports
Yukon
zoo
 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Hands on history

Overholser Mansion

There is perhaps no experience quite as fulfilling as holding a 400-year-old object in your hand, or being in a place where a landmark event once happened. Such are the joys of history, many of which can be found right here in OKC.

For the aspiring historians out there we’ve compiled a list of some of the more historic spots across Oklahoma City that you might be especially interested in visiting. As always, this isn’t a comprehensive list, so if you think we missed a really good location, please let us know!

Centennial Land Run Monument
Henry Overholser Mansion
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
Oklahoma State Capitol Building
Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Red Earth Art Center
Science Museum Oklahoma
American Banjo Museum  
International Gymnastics Hall of Fame
Harn Homestead
Museum of Osteology
Mabee-Gerrer Museum of Art
Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame
Oklahoma Railway Museum
Oklahoma Hall of Fame

family-friendly, history, museums, Oklahoma City history, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Farmers Market District

Historic Farmers Market

Historic yet cutting edge, classic yet fresh, the Farmers Market District in OKC dates back as far as the 1920s. In the 90 years it’s been operational, the Farmers Market District has been a pillar in the Oklahoma City community acting as an economic, culinary, development, cultural and performance hub. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a farmers market, a yoga class, new breweries, bowling or even a concert—the Farmers Market District probably has what you’re looking for and even some stuff you didn’t know you needed.

farmers market, Farmers Market District, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Live music in OKC

There’s a certain voice to OKC. It wavers in a rekindled vibrancy, as an old man that’s come back to his church choir. Wherever you go here, there’s someone around the corner singing gospel about the best and the worst parts of life and experience.

Back in 1919 over on Second Street, the Aldridge Theater opened and hosted the best jazz musicians in the nation. Now, the building is gone and that music spills onto the streets. Every last Saturday of the month, the historic Deep Deuce District lives again in the Deep Deuce Sessions, a music walk where artists invade local venues and fill the air with gospel, jazz and acoustic sounds.

The Jones Assembly is OKC’s newest spot for music and food, opened in 2017. Pulling big name artists and offering classy food and drink options, this young establishment does its home district of Film Row proud. Down on 23rd Street, the historic Tower Theatre stands proud again with its neon marquee. Sporting a history back to 1937 as an original movie house, this renovated venue hosts up-and-coming regional artists from hip-hop to Americana.

Swing over to the Plaza District where it bleeds with color and creativity. If the Plaza Walls are this district’s bare heart, then Saints Bar and Lounge is its illustrious voice in Saints Sessions. Every Thursday evening, talented, local acoustic and jazz musicians play at this intimate setting where the people are friendly, the drinks are strong and the music is stellar.

At Bleu Garten in Midtown OKC, culture stays local with table games, great drinks, seasoned food trucks and live, local music every Thursday night. With its outdoor setting, Bleu arguably has one of the best atmospheres in town. On the lively Bricktown canal, Michael Murphy’s Dueling Piano Bar is a true star of the city, with pizza by the slice and drinks galore. Open Thursday through Saturday, blisteringly skilled musical performers get their kicks taking requests and razzing audience members.

Just outside the Paseo District lies The Blue Door, a venue that offers a different experience than all the bars and restaurants. The Blue Door doesn’t offer drinks or food (although drinks are BYOB): it offers a quiet, close-knit listening room for the veteran and novice musician alike. Named simply after the color of its doors, this venue makes folk, rock and blues its cornerstone.

This old man doesn’t speak the words the same way as once, nor does he bellow as loud as he could in younger years, but he still finds a hunger for harmony. Etching an echo in kindred hearts, the man and his chorus, the city and its people, keep making this music, onward and ever upward.

festivals, Film Row, food, live music, nightlife, Oklahoma City history, Paseo District, Plaza District, restaurants, Bricktown, Uptown 23, Deep Deuce
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Deep (Deuce) end

Deep Deuce sign

The Deep Deuce district is the heart of Oklahoma City in more ways than just its central location. Deep Deuce, one of the most historically significant areas of Oklahoma City, was the home of African-American culture in the 1920s and ‘30s and, during that time, it gave birth to a vibrant jazz music scene. The district was home to jazz legends Charlie Christian and Jimmy Rushing, to name a few. Fans of great works of American literature will recognize another famous resident – Ralph Ellison, author of Invisible Man, was born there in 1913.

The vibrancy of Deep Deuce is still alive and well today. The district has reinvented itself as a hub of urban living and includes local favorite restaurants, bars and coffee shops. It’s also home to downtown Oklahoma City’s grocery store, Native Roots Market. Even if you don’t call the district home, it’s the perfect place to meet friends for a weekend drink or to enjoy Deep Deuce Sessions, a monthly night celebrating OKC’s best musicians at venues throughout the district.

Oklahoma City history, restaurants, Deep Deuce, festivals, live music, nightlife
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Rise of the Oklahoma River

Riversport Rapids Ribbon Cutting

Long before Olympic athletes were training along its banks, the Oklahoma River had many ups and downs before the MAPS program sparked the river’s renaissance. If you are dying to know more (and we can’t blame you), you can walk through the history of the Oklahoma River with a featured story on GreaterOklahomaCity.com.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th Century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

Check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share the story of the Oklahoma River with your friends and family.

Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Why we run

OKC National Memorial

More than two decades ago our community was forever changed and an unbreakable bond was forged among all Oklahomans. On that April day, 168 Oklahomans died when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed, in what was then the worst terrorist act on American soil. Hundreds more were wounded and more than 12,000 volunteers and rescue workers participated in rescue efforts, recovery and support.

Out of that act, the grief and the many acts of kindness from around the world that followed the bombing came the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a beautiful and serene park that rests between two gates etched with the minute before – 9:01 a.m. – and the minute after the attack – 9:03 a.m. In between the golden-hued gates are representations of what happened at 9:02, the minute the bomb went off – 168 chairs with each victim’s name, a reflecting pool and the Survivor Tree, an American elm that miraculously survived the blast and is still growing strong.

While you’re visiting, don’t miss the chance to tour the Memorial Museum. If you haven’t ever experienced the museum, or it’s been a while since you have, we can promise it’s something you won’t soon forget. Renovated with new interactive exhibits just last year, including ‘Investigation and Justice, survivor experiences and “Gallery of Honor” provide visitors a true sense of the magnitude of that fateful day and the search for justice that followed.

There’s even an app containing video and audio tours for the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and Memorial Museum. Search OKCNM in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. Tickets for the museum are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military personnel and students ages 6-17; and free for children ages 5 and younger.

museums, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Arts history

Historic OKC Festival of the Arts

The Festival of the Arts in Oklahoma City is one of the largest, most successful and best organized festivals in the country. However, it didn’t always used to be that way and, like every Van Gogh, the story of how the Festival of the Arts came to be is a true masterpiece.

It all began in the mid-1960s with the establishment of the National Endowment for the Arts, an endowment designed to provide funding for the arts across the country. Soon after, a group of representatives from art organizations in Oklahoma City jumped on the opportunity and established The Arts Council in 1967, with Marion DeVore serving as the first president.

The idea for the Festival of the Arts was ignited through a suggestion from Symphony General Manager Frank Ratka, who wanted to begin an arts festival to attract publicity and interest in the Arts Council. The date of the Festival was set in March, only three weeks away from the day of the meeting that approved it. Every board member participated in making the event a success, from asking local artists to participate to gathering fund lenders and even making sandwiches.

arts and culture, festivals, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Catch a star

Wayne Coyne Flaming Lips Alley

Music is a big part of our region’s history, identity and culture. Stretching all the way back to Woody Guthrie singing about the depression, Oklahoma has a strong tradition of producing influential musicians across a variety of musical styles.

Specifically, here in OKC the talent is just as diverse. From Grammy-winning rockers to country superstars and early jazz pioneers, check out a list of some of the famous musicians who have or still call Oklahoma City home: Oklahoma City Blue Devils, Color Me Badd, Mason Williams, Hinder, Garth Brooks and Neal Schon. Also check out these bios for a little reminder of why Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, Vince Gill Avenue and Flaming Lips Alley are named as such.

music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Main Street of America

Route 66

Route 66 (also known as the Will Rogers Highway) once paved the way from Chicago to L.A. and back, and was one of the original parts of the U.S. Highway System. This “Main Street of America” wove together towns and cities and was a symbol of a uniquely American brand of freedom and opportunity. For this reason, Route 66 is commonly known as “The Mother Road.” These days, however, even finding the route can sometimes be a mother. Not so in the Sooner State! Did you know Oklahoma holds the longest section of Route 66? BOOM!

And in the metro, though it shifted somewhat over the years, the Route is fairly easy to follow, entering from the west at Northwest 39th street, turning south on May to Northwest 23rd, then over to Lincoln Boulevard and going north until hitting present-day I-44. The Capitol, the Milk Bottle building, the Tower Theater, the Will Rogers Theater, Ann’s Chicken Fry, the Western Trail Trading Post and the Gold Dome are all along Route 66, and there are plenty of other things to see and do on the way. Just outside of town to the northwest in Arcadia, the Round Barn and Pops delight the Route 66 traveler. Further to the west, Elk City is home of the National Route 66 Museum.

Outside of the Oklahoma City metro, our friends over at OK Tourism have a great article on top sights in Oklahoma along “America’s most beloved highway.” Take the opportunity to join folks like Sir Paul McCartney (who drove the route in 2008, stopping in OKC for dinner), and experience this great and accessible cultural icon for yourself!

Oklahoma City history, Route 66, attractions, day-trip
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Aviation giant

Our love of aerospace and aviation isn’t really a new phenomenon – it’s as big a part of our Oklahoma DNA as football or the land run.  While Oklahoma has had many famous pilots they all trace back to Oklahoma native Wiley Post. Post became an international superstar when he made the first solo flight around the world in 1933. Post also developed the first pressure suit,  allowing him to fly his famous plane, the Winnie Mae, into the stratosphere.

What some people don’t know about Post is the he didn’t begin his aviation career as a pilot. He actually started out as a parachutist in a flying circus! An oilfield injury that caused him to lose his left eye, but gave him a rad eye patch, brought an $1,800 settlement that he used to buy his first plane.

To honor the aviation giant, Oklahoma City named an airport in NW Oklahoma City in recognition.

aerospace, aviation, history, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Ch. 1

Ralph Ellison

The first chapter in many renowned authors’ biographies takes place in Oklahoma City. Get to know your new hometown by reading the works of some of its more wordy residents.

  • Ralph Ellison, author of the 1953 National Book Award winner “Invisible Man” and Presidential Medal of Freedom honoree (1969), grew up in Oklahoma City. You can see a sculpture of him at the Oklahoma City library that bears his name or see a portrait of him at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Read more by checking out some of the books by and about him from the Metropolitan Library System.
  • Award-winning mystery writer Carolyn Hart grew up in Oklahoma City and has written 58 books, and most recently published “Ghost on the Case” in October 2017. Her standalone novel “Letter From Home,” which is set in Oklahoma, won the Agatha for Best Mystery Novel of 2003 and was a New York Times notable book that year.
  • Oklahoma City native and resident Lou Berney has written three critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels. One novel, “The Long and Faraway Gone,” is a mystery based in Oklahoma City and has won multiple awards including the 2016 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original.
  • Oklahoma City native Gena Showalter, a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, writes young adult romance novels often featuring paranormal creatures.
  • Chef Rick Bayless grew up in Oklahoma City (his family’s business was the barbecue restaurant called Hickory House) and now operates Frontera Grill in Chicago. He has written several cookbooks featuring the Mexican cuisine for which he is known. His brother, Skip Bayless, is a sportswriter and columnist and a television commentator for Fox Sports.
Oklahoma City history, library
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



A Riverís Rise

OKC Whitewater Rapids

In many ways, the story of the Oklahoma River and the modern-day renaissance of Oklahoma City go hand-in-hand. The river and Oklahoma City had many ups and downs during their first century before the original MAPS program jumpstarted an unprecedented rebirth for both.

To help tell that story, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber launched a storytelling feature on www.greateroklahomacity.com/river depicting the rise of Oklahoma City’s river.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th Century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

So check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share it with you friends and family.

MAPS, Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Stockyards City

Stockyards City

If you’ve read the blog before, you know we are guilty of bragging about the momentum and future of Oklahoma City from time to time. That might be true, but it doesn’t mean we don’t also like to embrace our past and heritage. Stockyards City is a place where that heritage comes alive.

The district was home to one of Oklahoma City’s first major industries, with a rush of meat processors and packing plants, and was known affectionately here as Packingtown. When the original plant closed in 1961, a cattle auction was added to secure the district’s future. The Oklahoma National Stockyards, the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market, is open to visitors so you can experience the action firsthand every Monday and Tuesday.

If you have cowboy needs (even of the urban cowboy variety), Stockyards City is the place to be as some of the businesses date back to the early 1900s. Boot and hat repair, western wear and even the Rodeo Opry make up the district.

Of course, talking about the district wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the world-famous Cattlemen’s Steakhouse. The steakhouse opened in 1910 and has been serving hungry ranchers and cattlemen ever since. Heck, if it is good enough for John Wayne and a sitting president, you might want to give it a try.

Oklahoma City history, restaurants, retail, shopping, Stockyards
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

A riverís rise

Riversport Rapids

In many ways, the story of the Oklahoma River and the modern-day renaissance of Oklahoma City go hand-in-hand. The river and Oklahoma City had many ups and downs during their first century before the original MAPS program jumpstarted an unprecedented rebirth for both.  

To help tell that story, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber recently launched a new storytelling feature on www.greateroklahomacity.com/river depicting the rise of Oklahoma City’s river.

“A River’s Rise” walks the reader through the history of the Oklahoma River from the Land Run of 1889 to today. Each of the six chapters cover an important aspect of the river’s renovation, from its roots as an important water source for early settlers and a venue for entertainment offerings like Delmar Gardens at the turn of the 20th Century, to the more recent addition of the RIVERSPORT Rapids Whitewater Center and hosting the 2016 Olympic trials for whitewater kayaking.

Each chapter of the story offers the chance to engage with more contextual content, with links to news archives about Oklahoma City’s hosting of the Olympic Festival of 1989 and videos capturing the original vision for the boathouses that now dot the banks of the Oklahoma River, all to tell Oklahoma City’s story more fully.

So check out “A River’s Rise” and be sure to share it with you friends and family.

MAPS, Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

110 years and countingÖ

State Fair Ferris Wheel

Ever wonder how the great State Fair of Oklahoma came to become so great? Or why we have a fair to begin with? Jump in our DeLorean and do a little time traveling with us.

When a young Oklahoma City had the opportunity to host the Farmers National Congress in 1907, city leaders were determined to do everything they could to make the convention a success. There was only one stipulation from the convention organizers: They wanted a fall fair so their delegates could see the achievements of agriculture in the new state.

Oklahoma citizens pushed for an annual fair as early as 1892, recognizing the impact that the fair could have on the new territory. Convinced of the potential, a coalition of business leaders gathered in the offices of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on Jan. 18, 1907, to organize a state fair association. After months of planning, the first State Fair of Oklahoma celebrated its opening day on Oct. 5, 1907.

Here are a few more facts you may not know about the Oklahoma State Fair:

  • The first State Fair of Oklahoma opened on Oct. 5, 1907, a few weeks before Oklahoma was officially granted statehood.
  • The first fair attracted a crowd of more than 10,000 people.
  • The State Fair Park moved to its current location in 1954.
  • The park expanded its facilities in 1961 to included horse barns, a move that allowed Oklahoma City to earn its place as the “Horse Show Capital of the World”—a title that the city still holds today!
  • The current park is 435 acres and hosts more than 180 events each year. The total attendance of these events is more than 2.28 million people annually.
  • Oklahoma State Fair Park is located at the junction of two major highways, providing easy access from anywhere in the state (and nation!).
  • The people of Oklahoma City support the fair in a big way. Citizens have improved major improvements to State Fair Park in both the MAPS I and MAPS 3 initiatives.
Oklahoma City history, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Historic neighborhood highlights

Heritage Hills

Did you know Mesta Park got its name from one-time resident Perle Mesta, the so-called “hostess with the mostest” and well-known foreign ambassador, socialite and daughter of William P. Skirvin? How about that Jefferson Park wasn’t actually annexed by Oklahoma City until 1908? Similarly, did you know that the Overholser Mansion, along with the rest of Heritage Hills, was once considered “out in the country” when it was built in 1903, and was so-named because it was built over a series of holes*? And did you know that the Paseo Arts District was actually originally developed to be the first “shopping center” north of downtown in 1929? With some fantastic (and sometimes legendary) history and intrigue behind them, some of the most sought-after areas of OKC to live in are also (unsurprisingly) among the oldest! Nothing quite compares to the tree-lined charm and close community connections inherent to living in Oklahoma City’s historic neighborhoods. A wealth of great housing stock to choose from is typical of these areas, as are sidewalks, parks, supportive neighborhood associations, a sometimes wacky Nextdoor experience, and squirrels. In OKC, living in a historic neighborhood is a great way to be close to the action downtown but still enjoy a lot of amenities that you might think of as more typical of suburbia, like great lawns, community picnics and parks, neighborhood schools and more. Learn more on our website.

*OK, that part is a lie.

Heritage Hills, housing, Jefferson Park, Mesta Park, Oklahoma City history, Paseo District
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

The neon lights of Broadway

Automobile Alley at Night

When we say “neon” and “Broadway,” you might have another city in mind. But no longer! Just north of the central business district in downtown Oklahoma City is Automobile Alley, a district centered on Broadway and aptly named for its history as the hub of auto dealers starting in the 1910s. That history is brightly on display today with the neon signs that shine over the district.

While some dealerships still call this area home, it is now known for its restaurants and retail options. Along this stretch of street, you’ll find everything from breakfast and coffee to whiskey and wine. And if shopping is your objective, some of the most unique stores in the metro are located along Automobile Alley and the nearby Ninth Street. For the full list of all to do and see, visit www.automobilealley.org, and be sure to follow Automobile Alley on Twitter at @AutoAlleyOKC.

Automobile Alley, downtown, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Lights, camera, nightlife

Film Row

Roll out the red carpet, because this district knows how to give you a star-studded time. Starting in 1907, what is now known as Film Row was home to film exchange distribution offices, a place where movie theater owners could return old films and exchange them for new releases. By the 1960s, every major film studio was represented in the area (along with theater supply stores), but changing technologies caused the industry to disintegrate, leaving Oklahoma City with the last remaining film exchange district in the U.S.

Thankfully, Film Row has experienced a rebirth that deeply respects its cinematic history. Boasting a unique mix of creative companies, restaurants and retail means that this district has plenty of opportunities to enjoy. Today, you can catch a classic film or live music at Paramount, an old Paramount Pictures screening room, buy succulent plants while sipping on coffee at the Plant Shoppe/Okay Yeah Co., or grab a drink and view the art galleries at 21c Museum Hotel Oklahoma City. Follow the district on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay updated on all there is to do in the district.

arts and culture, film, Film Row, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, retail
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Lasso up some fun

Stockyards City entrance

There’s no better place to experience a piece of Oklahoma City’s past than Stockyards City. This district is a living testament to one of Oklahoma City’s first major industries, packing plants, and the cattle trade that accompanied it. When the original plant closed in 1961, a cattle auction was added to secure the district’s future. Today, that auction operates as the Oklahoma National Stockyards, and it is the world’s largest stocker and feeder cattle market. (You can see it in action on Mondays and Tuesdays starting at 8 a.m.)

The original business district is still intact, housing stores that can meet all your western wear and gear needs. Once you work up an appetite, a trip to Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is in order. This OKC staple has been feeding hungry cowboys and ranchers since 1910 and has welcomed John Wayne, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and Charles Barkley, to name a few.

Oklahoma City history, restaurants, Stockyards, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Music Men (and Women)

Flaming Lips Alley

You may know from reading The Better Life in the past that OKC has a pretty cool and unique history when it comes to jazz. And you might know that OKC is the home of the fabulous freaks, the Flaming Lips (who even have an alley in Bricktown named after them). But you may not know that OKC’s also “ground zero” of sorts for folks like Color Me Badd (formed in OKC, the four met while attending Northwest Classen High School), Garth Brooks (country megastar from Yukon), Mason Williams (graduated from Northwest Classen as well), Neal Schon (Journey founding member and lead guitarist, born on Tinker Air Force Base), and Hinder (formed in OKC in 2004), to name a few. And, in addition to Flaming Lips Alley, OKC also boasts streets named Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, and Vince Gill Avenue to honor those hometown heroes. We’re certainly proud of our musical heritage!

live music, music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Coming together

OKC National Memorial

More than two decades ago our community was forever changed and an unbreakable bond was forged among all Oklahomans. On that April day, 168 Oklahomans died when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed, in what was then the worst terrorist act on American soil.  Hundreds more were wounded and more than 12,000 volunteers and rescue workers participated in rescue efforts, recovery and support.

Out of that act, the grief and the many acts of kindness from around the world that followed the bombing came the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a beautiful and serene park that rests between two gates etched with the minute before – 9:01 a.m. – and the minute after the attack – 9:03 a.m. In between the golden-hued gates are representations of what happened at 9:02, the minute the bomb went off – 168 chairs with each victims’ name, a reflecting pool and the Survivor Tree, an American elm that miraculously survived the blast and is still growing strong.

While you’re visiting, don’t miss the chance to tour the Memorial Museum. If you haven’t ever experienced the museum, or it’s been a while since you have, we can promise it’s something you won’t soon forget. Renovated with new interactive exhibits just last year, including  ‘Investigation and Justice, survivor experiences and “Gallery of Honor” provide visitors a true sense of the magnitude of that fateful day and the search for justice that followed. 

There’s even an app containing video and audio tours for the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and Memorial Museum. Search OKCNM in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. Tickets for the museum are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military personnel and students ages 6-17; and free for children ages 5 and younger.

museums, OKC National Memorial, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)



Tuesday, March 28, 2017

MAPS

Chesapeake Energy Arena

MAPS stands for Metropolitan Area Projects and actually began 24 years ago in December of 1993 with MAPS I, thought to be the first large scale, public-facility enhancement project of its kind in the nation. The original MAPS project was funded by a temporary one-cent sales tax that lasted for 66 months, raising $309 million for MAPS I projects.

The original MAPS projects included iconic OKC facilities such as the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, Bricktown Canal, Cox Convention Center, Chesapeake Energy Arena and the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library.

These landmark, iconic OKC facilities are so part of our daily lives today, that sometimes it is good to take a trip down memory lane and remember how it all began.

Oklahoma City history, baseball, Bricktown, library, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



MAPS for kids

MAPS for Kids Elementary School

In November of 2001, the Maps for Kids program was established when Oklahoma City voters approved a new tax to fund public schools. The seven year temporary sales tax, combined with a $180 million bond issue, raised $700 million to fund transportation, technology and construction projects for the benefit of Oklahoma City’s public school students.

With many of the larger construction projects complete, work continues at some schools throughout Oklahoma City. When the program comes to a close, over 70 new and renovated schools totaling $470 million in construction will be completed.

MAPS for Kids also provided funding for 23 suburban school districts that serve Oklahoma City resident students. When the program ends, nearly $153 million in city sales tax will have been expended for over 400 projects in these 23 suburban school districts.

Like other MAPS projects, MAPS for Kids has played a fundamental part in improving the daily lives of Oklahoma City residents. By investing in Oklahoma City student’s schools and programs, MAPS for Kids has also invested in the future of Oklahoma City.

education, MAPS, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Americaís Pastime

Historical OKC Baseball Stadium

Did you know pro baseball has been played in Oklahoma City since at least 1903, and maybe even earlier? That’s right, just a few years after settlers ran for land to call home, players ran for home plate at Colcord Park, a baseball field near the current Farmer’s Market area in what was called Delmar Gardens. The Oklahoma City Metropolitans made the park their home until 1908, when the Oklahoma City Indians, managed by the too-apropos-for-an-old-school-baseball-guy-to-be-made-up-sounding Doc Andrews, joined the class C Texas League the following year and took up residence at the park.

After years of bouncing around lesser leagues, in 1962 Oklahoma City joined the ranks of AAA with the advent of the 89ers, who played in All Sports Stadium at the Fairgrounds and were the farm club of the awesomely-named Houston Colt .45’s. 1990 saw the advent of the much-heralded Robo Niner era. The ‘Niners and their mascot stayed there until the opening of the Bricktown Ballpark in 1998, when the team was renamed the RedHawks. (Local legend has it Robo-Niner escaped destruction by hiding in the basement of the Space Tower, but his plan was foiled when it flooded in 2010 and he finally succumbed to metastasizing rust.) The RedHawks, after becoming the Astros top farm team in 2011, switched affiliations to the LA Dodgers over the winter, and Boom! It’s Dodger time in OKC. If you’d like to delve further, a good read on the history of baseball in Oklahoma City would be the book Baseball in Oklahoma City by Bob Burke.

baseball, history, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Exchange on Film Row

Musicians in Film Row

Film Row is located on Sheridan just west of downtown and is another Oklahoma City district bustling with history. Placed on the National Register of Historic Place, the district was home to OKC’s film industry at the dawn of the film age. Hollywood studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Fox Films had operations in the 42-block area between Classen Boulevard and Walker Avenue along Sheridan Avenue where theater owners came to view and lease films.

Today the district is home to local retailers and businesses and it seems you can’t go a day without hearing of a new development in the up and coming district. Soon there will even be a live music venue and historic hotel.

The Exchange on Film Row is the district’s monthly festival and it is held the third Friday of each month from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. (beginning in May). Premiere on Film Row aims to be family friendly and features live music, some of the best food trucks in OKC and even film screenings.  

Film Row, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, festivals
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Holiday Heritage

OKC Thunder Fans

You’ve heard us talk about the history and heritage of OKC. Why not explore some of our rich heritage and maybe start a new tradition with your own family this holiday season? There’s no better place to get in the holiday spirit than in OKC.

Explore Oklahoma’s Native American culture at the Red Earth Treefest. Your family is sure to be amazed at 18 Christmas trees adorned with handmade ornaments from Oklahoma tribes including the Cheyenne and Arapaho, Chickasaw, Citizen Potawatomi, Comanche and Osage nations each showcasing the distinctive and diverse cultures of the Native nations and tribes that call our great state home. Or celebrate an old-fashioned Christmas tradition in style with a visit to Fort Reno’s Christmas Guns event. Traced back to German immigrants, legend has it that the loud noise produced by the firearms will dispel evil spirits before the upcoming holiday.

If you’re having a hard time finding your Christmas cheer, kick your inner elf into overdrive with festive lights around Oklahoma City and sounds of the season at the Lyric Theater and Civic Center Music Hall. For sports enthusiasts, Oklahoma City has plenty to offer this holiday season. The Oklahoma City Thunder plays at the Chesapeake Energy Arena on Christmas day and New Year’s Eve. The OKC Blue also takes the court tonight as well as twice next week at the Cox Convention Center.

arts and culture, holiday, Oklahoma City history, theater, Thunder, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The river that OKC built

OKC Boathouse District at night

What would you do if you had a dry riverbed that needed to be mowed periodically? If your answer is not “transform it into a world-class venue for rowing, canoeing and kayaking,” then you aren’t thinking like the leaders of Oklahoma River’s recent renaissance.

The seven-mile stretch of the North Canadian River, known today as the Oklahoma River, was part of the original MAPS projects and was completed in 2004, a mere 11 years ago. Prior to MAPS, the area had been a dry riverbed whose water was redirected to avoid flooding downtown Oklahoma City. Thanks to residents’ approval of a one-cent sales tax in 1993 and again in 2009, the Oklahoma River is now a premiere center for riversports that attracts visitors from around the world.  

If you take a stroll through this area, prepare to see world-class boathouses with stunning architecture from Oklahoma City companies and universities. The recent addition of RIVERSPORT Rapids and the developing 70-acre downtown park which will stretch from the heart of downtown OKC to the Oklahoma River will only add to the excitement of this unique area. If you haven’t, pack up the family and make the short trek to explore this growing area. We can promise you will be glad you did.

family-friendly, MAPS, Oklahoma City history, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, water sports
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Twitter Time Machine

Entrepreneurship has been part of Oklahoma City’s DNA from the get-go. To get a closer look at the land run, we got some plutonium, a flux capacitor and a little backwards-engineering / technical cross-pollination and found some tweets from that day, along with some more of OKC’s defining historical events.

Land Run - April 22, 1889


 

“Wild Mary Sudik” Well Gushes in South OKC - March 26, 1930

 

 

 

The Skirvin
September 26, 1911

February 26, 2007

July 16, 1935 – World’s First Parking Meter Installed in Downtown OKC

April 8, 1941 – What is to become Tinker AFB sited in OKC

Feb 3, 1964 – FAA’s sonic boom tests begin over Oklahoma City

 

December 14, 1993 – MAPS Passes

Save

Save

Save

Save

history, Oklahoma City history, social media
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Industry changers

From Grammy-winning rockers to country superstars and early jazz pioneers, Oklahoma Citians have left their mark on nearly every genre of music and have changed the industry in remarkable ways. OKC is or has been home to a long list of musicians including Color Me Badd, Leona Mitchell, Hinder, Garth Brooks, Neal Schon, Nathan Followill and Kristen Chenoweth.  But since the city’s infancy, OKC residents have been changing the face of music. Take a stroll through Bricktown and you might discover Wanda Jackson Way, Charlie Christian Boulevard, Vince Gill Avenue and Flaming Lips Alley. The impact of these musical icons can be felt in not only Oklahoma City, but the entire world.

music, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



A piece of OKC history

For 80 years, OKC’s  Zoo Amphitheater has been a local favorite for musicians and music lovers, but the venue has a storied history. It was constructed from native red sandstone in the mid-1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, an organization formed under President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Projects Administration, to carry out public works projects during the Great Depression.

Between 1933 and 1936, approximately 400 men lived in tents and wooden barracks in the area while they laid the groundwork for Lincoln Park, the Oklahoma City Zoo and the Zoo Amphitheatre. “The Circus of 21 Death-Defying Acts” was the first performance to be held at the amphitheater. During its early years, the Zoo Amphitheatre hosted circus extravaganzas, pageants, theatrical performances, concerts and public meetings.

The 1960s saw the site fall into disrepair due to non-use. But in the 1970s, the site was resurrected and the Amphitheater has been hosting some of the greatest acts in the entertainment business ever since. Some of the performers who have graced the stage here include the Grateful Dead, Sting, Dire Straits, Santana, Judas Priest, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell, Heart, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Oklahoma’s own The Flaming Lips.

Over the years, more than 1 million fans have visited the Zoo Amphitheatre, many with blankets and lawn chairs in tow to place on the venue’s native rock terracing. Check out the lineup of upcoming shows here.

Save

Save

Adventure District, live music, music, Oklahoma City history, zoo
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)