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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Great State Fair of Oklahoma

Midway at the Oklahoma State Fair

Football, cooler weather and the State Fair of Oklahoma means it is fall. If you are new to Oklahoma City then you might be surprised to find out that for many the kickoff of the State Fair of Oklahoma is our official signal that autumn has arrived!  

From Sept. 13-23, State Fair Park in Oklahoma City will be bustling with the Oklahoma State Fair and all that it entails. An annual extravaganza stretching back more than 100 years, the Oklahoma State Fair offers a little something for everyone, from deep-fried culinary delights (sign us up!) to ice-dancing Disney princesses. Read on for our can’t-miss fair favorites.

  • Disney on Ice- A State Fair mainstay, Disney on Ice is back with Dare to Dream!, a fun adventure with all your Disney favorites.
  • Xtreme Bulls- What do you get when you mix action-packed bull riding and high-energy country music concerts? You get Xtreme Bulls.
  • Chickasaw Country Entertainment Stage- Nothing can beat free live music. This year’s lineup includes Neal McCoy, Beatlemania, Dylan Scott, Dru Hill, Foghat and more.
family-friendly, live music, live sporting events, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



110 years and counting…

Ever wonder how the great State Fair of Oklahoma came to be so great? 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 approved major improvements to State Fair Park in both the MAPS and MAPS 3 initiatives.
history, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Fry it and put it on a stick please

OK State Fair Food

The State Fair of Oklahoma is a wonderful way to celebrate this time of the year. The rides are fun, the exhibits are cool and it’s an even better treat to close out the summer, but can we be honest? We all know it’s about the food. The state fair has become more and more consumed with food and just how crazy and fried can it be. Well, if that makes you salivate then you are in for another treat this year.

While fried foods are usually what get headlines, there are some foods that are making headlines without taking a dip into the fryer:

  • Cotton Candy Pie
  • Beef Poke Bowl
  • Drizzled Muffins
  • Cherry Limeade Pie
  • Mac-N-Cheese Topped with Ground Beef and Fries
  • Cheese Curd Taco
  • Gourmet Donut Burger (maybe the most famous)
  • Waffle Wrapped Snow Ice
  • Flaming Hot Cheetos Fish Taco

It wouldn’t be a state fair without new and crazy fried food. Here are the new platters for this year:

  • Deep-Fried Hot Pepper Rings
  • Deep-Fried Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip
  • Cookie Fries
  • Funnel Cake Burger
  • BBQ Chicken and Bacon Calzone
  • Fish & Chips
  • Beer Cheese Bacon Fries

My mouth is watering right now. Here at BetterLife HQ we’re a big fan of spicy food, and that Deep-Fried Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip and those Flaming Hot Cheetos Fish Tacos are right up our alley.

food, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Mapping our way to the future

Chesapeake Energy Arena

The OKC Streetcar is set to begin normal operations in December. The new, state of the art convention center is due to open doors in 2020. We stand in an era of unprecedented growth, but new residents may not know how the decisions of Oklahoma City voters led us to this path.

Our remarkable productivity today was born after Oklahoma City experienced an energy downturn in the late ‘70s and ‘80s. Hungry for a way to boost economic development and reinvestment, Oklahoma City Mayor Ronald Norick proposed the Metropolitan Area Projects, a capital improvement program to be funded by a temporary one-cent sales tax. MAPS was comprised of the following projects:

  • Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark - Finished in 1998, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark was the first major project of MAPS and served as the first testament to Oklahoma City’s renaissance and its close ties to the past.
  • Improvements to the State Fairgrounds – The State Fairgrounds received a new livestock show facility, horse barns, and several other necessary renovations by this project’s completion in 1998.
  • Creation of the Bricktown Canal – Completed in 1999 and improved in 2003 and 2004, the Bricktown Canal served as the first bridge to take back Bricktown from years of vacancy and crime. Now, the canal and the district are one of OKC’s main attractions.
  • Creation of the Myriad (now Cox) Convention Center – Home to countless shows, exhibitions, graduations, and other events, the Cox Convention Center has been a hub for state and nationwide activity since its opening in 1999.
  • Creation of the Spirit Trolley System – Predecessor to Oklahoma City’s growing public transit sector, the Spirit Trolley service began in 1999 and served the city for 11 years.
  • Improvements to the Civic Center Music Hall – Home to the OKC Phil, the Lyric Theatre and others, the Civic Center was renovated in 2001. Stage advancements, a five-story atrium, and acoustic improvements were among other renovations.
  • Creation of the Ford Center (now the Chesapeake Energy Arena) – Constructed in 2002 and considered the beating heart of Oklahoma City, the Chesapeake Energy Center is the home of the OKC Thunder and serves as one of the largest musical venues in the southern United States.
  • Creation of the Oklahoma River Recreational Area – MAPS turned a seven-mile span of the North Canadian River into a series of river lakes for public use. Construction of the dam system, trails, landscaping, and other amenities finished in 2004.
  • Creation of the Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library – The four-story library includes classrooms and a conference center, and is a part of the Metropolitan Library System. It was named for Mayor Norick upon its completion in 2004, marking the end of MAPS.

The first Metropolitan Area Projects differentiated from other improvements programs by funding projects debt free. As a result, MAPS and its successor programs, MAPS For Kids and MAPS 3, are model success stories that have spurred faster – and more fiscally responsible – investments than most cities throughout the U.S.

MAPS was a simple idea with a big impact, and it speaks as a testament to the ideals of Oklahoma City residents. When faced with crisis, we reinvent; when faced with a cause, we give; when faced with a quandary, we climb our way out. The Yes to MAPS campaign slogan in 1994 was “Believe in Our Future!”, and it seems like Oklahoma City residents believe more now than they ever have.

You can find out more about the history of MAPS, including interviews from prominent figures in OKC, at the City of Oklahoma City MAPS site here.

Oklahoma River, State Fair Park, baseball, Bricktown, library, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



MAPS 3 Update

Streetcar

The huge success of previous MAPS projects led to a vote in late 2009 that approved of a one-cent sales tax to pay for debt-free projects that improve our quality of life. MAPS 3 consists of eight different projects; several of the projects have been completed, and the last project is scheduled to be complete in 2021.

  • The MAPS 3 Convention Center to replace the current aging convention center is located directly south of the Chesapeake Energy Arena. This new center will help the city stay competitive in the lucrative convention industry for years to come. A 200,000-square-foot exhibit hall, 45,000-square-foot meeting space and 30,000-square-foot ballroom are all included in the $288 million budget for the convention center. Construction is underway on this cornerstone of the ongoing Core-to-Shore renaissance in downtown OKC, and it is expected to open by June 2020.
  • Construction is also underway to the immediate west of the new convention center for a 70-acre urban oasis christened Scissortail Park. Design plans for the park call for everything from a café and sports facilities to a lake and nature trails. Scissortail features two sections, a 40-acre north section scheduled for completion in 2019 and a 30-acre south section projected to be complete in 2021.
  • In a transformative moment for public transit in OKC, a budget of $131 million is being put towards linking major employers, businesses, attractions and residences in the downtown area. Construction for the modern streetcar transit system can be seen at a number of route sections along with safety testing at others in preparation for the streetcar service to begin this December. The streetcar project will connect Midtown, Automobile Alley, Bricktown and the Business District.
  • The State Fairgrounds hosts more than 200 trade shows and other events throughout the year, including several equine events that helped Oklahoma City earn the title of Horse Show Capital of the World. MAPS 3 added to the appeal of Oklahoma State Fairgrounds with the Bennett Event Center. Its design makes for a state-of-the-art flexible facility capable of comfortably accommodating a wide variety of shows and events. The 279,000-square-foot event center was completed in 2017 and its operations are in full swing.
  • Senior Health & Wellness Centers will connect OKC’s seniors with important services and also with each other. Two of the four planned centers are completed, with the third to be completed in 2019 and fourth in 2021. The centers will be spread around the city and have experienced operating partners in senior services.
  • The Oklahoma River has become an Olympic rowing destination, so MAPS 3 expanded on current operations by building the RIVERSPORT Rapids whitewater rafting and kayaking center along the river with additional improvements to existing rowing facilities. The whitewater park is suitable for beginners enjoying a summer weekend or elite kayaking competitions.
  • Former Mayor Mick Cornett emphasized a healthier community during his tenure and the MAPS 3 trails and sidewalk improvements promote a more active lifestyle by taking advantage of OKC’s natural beauty. Three trails were developed using MAPS funds: West River Trail was completed in 2015, Will Rogers Trail was completed earlier this year and Lake Draper Trail is set to be complete this fall. The trails wind through wetlands, wooded areas, natural landscapes, neighborhoods and more urban settings. MAPS 3 sidewalks are planned for the areas with a high demand for pedestrian amenities.

Stay up to date on all MAPS 3 news by signing up for the MAPS 3 newsletter or following the efforts on Facebook and Twitter.

outdoor recreation, parks, public transportation, State Fair Park, streetcar, community, downtown, MAPS, Oklahoma River
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New World Comic Con

New World Comic Con Photo credit: Keara Phillips-Berlin

[Photo Credit: Keara Phillips-Berlin]

New World Comic Con is a newcomer to the local con scene, having been started in 2015 by OKC’s very own New World Comics & Games. It also happens to be the only nerdy convention that’s permanently (and currently) housed in Oklahoma City (though we’re hoping that’ll change when the MAPS3 Convention Center is complete!) Although less like a full-blown con and more akin to a marketplace with an artist’s alley, it doesn’t make New World Comic Con any less fun for attendees. Besides, it’s hard to argue with a $6 admission fee either way. Several of OK’s most incredible local comic artists/creators and vendors like Natasha Alterici, Jerry Bennett, and New World Comics & Games (obviously) will set up booths that attendees can peruse at their leisure. But of course, it’s not all about comics and Marvel movies: Western cartoons, anime, video games, tabletop games (and shows based on them), fantasy/sci-fi movies and shows—there’s a little something for everyone of all fandoms at NWCC. Attendees have been known to find treasures ranging from rare comics to vintage toys, video games, (fan) art, collectibles, autographed goods, fandom goods (prints, keychains, bookmarks, ita bags, enamel pins, etc.) and more! As if that weren’t enough, guests like Justin Nimmo (the Silver Ranger, Zhane, from Power Rangers in Space) and Count Gregore (local horror hosting legend) have also been known to regularly appear at New World Comic Con.

For congoers who prefer a less congested, less time consuming, family friendly (and budget friendly!) congoing experience—or even people who’ve never been to a con and just want to get their feet wet in the culture of it to see whether or not they like it—New World Comic Con is ideal. This year it’ll be July 28 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Centennial Building at the Oklahoma State Fair Park (same spot as last year).

festivals, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2018 OKC Auto Show

Car enthusiasts have been holding an Auto Show in Oklahoma City for more than 100 years. That's right, the first OKC Auto Show was held way back in 1917. This year’s OKC Auto Show will be held March 9-11 at the Bennett Event Center in State Fair Park.

The highlight of this year’s event will be the exhibit of a 1953 General Motors Futurliner. The Futurliner was a large dual-front wheeled display vehicle that crisscrossed the country in the early 1950s, part of a General Motors promotion called the Parade of Progress. Only 12 Futurliners were ever made. This year’s show will also have an exhibit of four rare 100-year old cars. You can find a full lists of events here.

The show’s organizers are so eager to spread their love of automobiles with you they’ve got several ways for you to save on tickets. Buying online will get you a little discount and you can also get buy one, get one free tickets at your neighborhood 7-Eleven stores. 

State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Free in OKC

45th Infantry Division Museum

Here at Better Life HQ, we love to brag about Oklahoma City’s low cost of living. When your dollar stretches just a little bit further it is much easier to stop to smell the roses (or buy Thunder tickets). However, that doesn’t mean we are opposed to saving a few bucks when we can. The good news is that in OKC there is plenty to do for the low, low price of free. Below are some of our favorite things to do for free in OKC:

  • Horse Shows at State Fair Park Arena
    Oklahoma City is home to more national and international equine championship events than any other city in the world and most don’t charge admission. You have the chance to experience two very different shows in October, with the Grand National Morgan Horse Show and the US Team Roping Championships.
  • The 45th Infantry Division Museum
    Dedicated to the military history of Oklahoma and the 45th Infantry Division, this museum is a must for any history buff. It includes the country’s third-largest collection of historic U.S. military firearms and the world’s largest collection of items once owned by Adolf Hitler. Donations are accepted and appreciated.
  • Oklahoma City Outdoor Symbolic Memorial
    The memorial honors the victims, survivors, rescuers and all who were changed forever by the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Need more free in OKC ideas? Check out more from our partners at the OKC CVB.

cost of living, free, horse show, museums, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

You will heart this shopping experience

An Affair of the Heart

Are you looking for the right piece of furniture or artwork to accent your living room? Do you like to shop small and support local business? If any of these descriptions fit you, head on over to An Affair of the Heart, October 20 - 22 at the State Fair Park!

This unique shopping experience will feature booths filled with a wide variety of arts, crafts, antiques, collectibles, furniture, decorative items, accessories, jewelry, clothing, gourmet foods and more. There will be something for everyone in this marketplace. Affair of the Heart is recognized as one of the largest arts and crafts shows in the United States.

Entrance into this ultimate shopping experience will be $8 for adults but is free for kids ages 12 and under. Tickets are currently on sale, so buy yours today!

shopping, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 19, 2017

What to see OKC

Our friends over at the Convention and Visitors Bureau create a lot of great content. And, contrary to popular belief, their website isn’t just for visitors!

VisitOKC.com features all the latest happenings in OKC, from the latest events to the best local restaurants even some locals don’t know about. They even have monthly “What to see in OKC” videos filled with the biggest shows, events and other attractions taking place in the City that month in under 2 minutes. In fact, the one for September can be found here, highlighting the Oklahoma State Fair, Disney on Ice, upcoming concerts and more.

So, if you’re interested in being “in the know” and have some serious FOMO (Fear of missing out… We millennials have some odd phrases), just check back in to the VisitOKC website each month or follow them on Instagram @VisitOKC to stay updated with the latest.  

concerts, restaurants, State Fair Park, Visit OKC, attractions
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Great State Fair of Oklahoma

Midway at the Fair

Football, cooler weather and the State Fair of Oklahoma means it is fall. If you are new to Oklahoma City then you might be surprised to find out that for many the kickoff of the State Fair of Oklahoma is our official signal that autumn has arrived!  

From Sept. 14-24, State Fair Park in Oklahoma City will be bustling with the Oklahoma State Fair and all that it entails. An annual extravaganza stretching back more than 100 years, the Oklahoma State Fair offers a little something for everyone, from deep-fried culinary delights (sign us up!) to ice-dancing Disney princesses. Read on for our can’t-miss fair favorites.

AGtropolis- The Oklahoma State Fair has its roots in agriculture, and this hands-on learning experience presents Oklahoma’s agricultural history with interactive exhibits and demonstrations throughout the Oklahoma Expo Hall. This event is perfect for kids or adults formerly obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie series.

The JFK Exhibition- New this year is the JFK Exhibition: Experience His Life and Legacy. This is the largest traveling JFK exhibition and displays hundreds of authentic items from his presidency, including one of his presidential limousines.

Disney on Ice- A State Fair mainstay, Disney on Ice is back with Follow Your Heart a fun adventure with all your Disney and Pixar favorites.

Free concerts on the Adventure Road Stage- Gather smack-dab in the middle of the fairgrounds each evening to enjoy jazz, alt rock, country, oldies and R&B. Personally we are ready to break out our moves for Tony! Toni! Tone!

Honestly, we can’t even begin to describe all the cool stuff taking place at this year’s fair. Luckily, the Oklahoma State Fair has its own app. Download it today to help organize your Fair Day.

family-friendly, kids, live music, State Fair Park, concerts
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



110 years and counting…

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)



The fairest food

Fair Food

We aren’t going to lie, one of our favorite posts annually is talking about our favorites foods at the fair. The fair comes only once a year, so why not indulge in some deep-fried, chocolate-covered fair food to make your experience complete? Ranging from classic to crazy, here are five picks for the best food that the fair has to offer.

  • Indian Tacos at Dan’s Indian Taco Stand. This stand is a state fair staple for delicious Indian tacos.
  • Bacon Bloody Mary at The Roadhouse Concessions. A new item for 2013, try this take on a classic Bloody Mary if the midway leaves you feeling thirsty. Must be 21 to purchase.
  • Root Beer. Ice cold, in a jug. What more do you need?
  • Bacon-Wrapped Caramel Apple from Rodney and Lisa LTD, LLC. Is it a dessert? Is it a main course? Will you regret it the next day? We don’t know, but we still think you should give it a try anyway.
  • Elvis S’more. Full disclosure we actually haven’t tried Elvis S’more before but we love the name. Plus s’mores are delicious so it can’t be bad. We would love s’more food like this (sorry we can never pass on a terrible pun).

If none of these treats tickle your fancy, check out the interactive food finder on the Oklahoma State Fair website to pinpoint exactly what your taste buds are craving.

food, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Fun for everyone!

State Fair Rides

Hold on to your hat, break out your walking shoes, and get ready for one of our favorite can’t-miss events of the year – the Oklahoma State Fair kicks off this Thursday. The 11-day event will continue through Sept. 25 at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds and offers something for everyone, from bacon-covered, deep-fried treats to karate kids and street outlaws.

Action? Did someone say action? Well, expect nothing less from the Oklahoma State Fair. Enjoy the thrills of extreme bull riding or one of the tremendous shows featuring the world's largest traveling collection of raptors, the high-flying stunts of the Zoppe’ Italian Family Circus and even a fire-eating magician. Your little princess (or prince for that matter) is sure to enjoy the stories of Buzz Lightyear, Tow Mater, Elsa and Anna as Disney on Ice presents “Worlds of Enchantment.

For those who prefer something on the tamer side, check out the petting zoo and pony trail ride, the kids creation station, Swifty Swine Pig Races, Farmyard Follies or simply take a stroll down Clydesdale Alley. To get a feel for what it was like in the olden days, check out the chuck wagon cookin’ or goat’s milk soap making demonstrations. The antique tractor exhibit and auto show are sure to be an auto lovers paradise.

Don’t miss the Adventure Road Entertainment Stage or the Bandshell Stage to enjoy free concerts each evening from jazz, blues, hip hop, rock, country and Christian bands. You might even catch classical dancers, choirs, or magicians while you’re at it.

Get all of the details on hours, admission and special discount days here. A complete schedule of events is available here.

concerts, family-friendly, festivals, food, live music, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



A foodie’s paradise

While we at Better Life Central certainly enjoy the rides and exhibits of the State Fair, we must admit that we look forward to seeing the new delicacies each year. You’ll be happy to know that this year’s food selections won’t disappoint. More than 20 new and unique foods have been added to the State Fair lineup this year. If you are into delicious, one-of-a-kind grub then the State Fair is certainly where you need to be. Oklahoma sweet tea glazed fried chicken piqued our interest and just the thought of pineapple upside down cake cinnamon roll sent our taste buds into overdrive. And, as always, the classics such as corn dogs and turkey legs can be found throughout Fair Park.

You can zero in on your favorite sweet or savory treat using the Fair’s interactive food finder. Choose from categories such as “bacon,” “on-a-stick,” “deep-fried,” or “great taste of a Fair.” Then select your favorite treat and instantly get a map to your favorite foodie destination.

food, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Get involved!

State Fair Expo Building

Did you ever wonder what it takes to put on a world-class fair such as that in OKC? The Oklahoma State Fair is rich in history and heritage and is ranked among the top State Fairs in North America. But the fun family event wouldn’t be possible without dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure its success. If you are interested in having loads of fun with a great group consider volunteering. In addition to the State Fair, volunteers get together for other fun and educational opportunities throughout the year including socials and dinners. While the State Fair brings thousands of thrill seekers and game lovers to the fairgrounds each year, hundreds of other events are hosted at the site as well. With the coming addition of the MAPS 3 Bennett Event Center, the number of ways you can have a good time at Oklahoma State Fair Park is expected to grow exponentially.

MAPS, State Fair Park, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Something for everyone

Lake Hefner Trails

If you prefer drier modes of transportation, there’s plenty of other MAPS 3 projects coming that will keep you moving and exploring our great city. From trails that will connect lakes Hefner, Overholser and Draper and the Oklahoma River, to a modern street car system that will link Bricktown, Automobile Alley, Midtown and the Central Business District, the momentum in OKC is unstoppable.

And the truly fun thing, is we are just getting started. In the coming years, we’ll add a fabulous 70-acre park in the heart of downtown OKC connecting the Central Business District to the Oklahoma River. Other additions will include a state-of-the-art convention center and hotel to be built south of Chesapeake Energy Arena as well as a new Expo Center at State Fair Park.

It's easy to stay up-to-date on what's happening with MAPS 3. Sign up for the MAPS 3 newsletter to stay informed about upcoming community meetings, groundbreakings and other progress.

State Fair Park, streetcar, cycling, MAPS, Oklahoma River, parks, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Looking back, forging ahead

OKC Energy Fans  [Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

[Photo Credit: OKC Energy]

2015 was an exciting year in Oklahoma City. We committed to the Oklahoma Standard, celebrated the inaugural season of the OKC Dodgers, welcomed two new elephants at the OKC Zoo, got fired up for OKCFest, went rolling on the river as we hosted national and international contestants during the Oklahoma Regatta Festival, cheered as the Energy made their first playoff run, shopped till we dropped at all the new retailers across the city and were inspired by the creation of Innovation District.

But if you thought 2015 was thrilling in OKC, buckle your seat belts and hold on tight because we are just getting started. With the completion of some MAPS 3 projects including improvements at State Fair Park and the world-class RIVERSPORT Rapids, 2016 promises to be an exhilarating year.

And our resolution for 2016: keeping you – our loyal reader – in the know about all of the cool, hip happenings in OKC. Don’t hesitate to hit us up on Facebook or Twitter with questions or ideas. All our posts are also tagged by topic so you can easily find past blogs for information, everything from attractions to downtown and much more.

OKC Energy, Oklahoma River, retail, State Fair Park, zoo, Dodgers, festivals, Innovation District, MAPS
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Have a galloping good time

OKC Horse Show

Oklahoma City has earned its title of “Horse Show Capital of the World” by hosting more national and international equine championship events than any other city in the world. And fall is the perfect time to watch these riders and their horses giddy-up, all while celebrating Oklahoma City’s Western heritage. Some of the equine industry’s biggest shows will be in Oklahoma City in the next few months, so head out to the Oklahoma State Fair Park so you won’t miss out on any of the excitement.

Grand National Morgan Horse Show 
Oct. 10-17
www.morgangrandnational.com

Cinch USTRC National Finals of Team Roping 
Oct. 24 – Nov. 1
www.ustrc.com

2015 American Quarter Horse World Championship Show 
Nov. 6-21
www.aqha.com

National Reining Horse Association Reining Futurity 
Nov. 27 – Dec. 5 
www.nrha.com

horse show, State Fair Park, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Get your blood pumping…

Great State Fair of Oklahoma

Hold on to your hat cowboys and cowgirls, and get ready for one of our favorite can’t-miss events of the year – the Oklahoma State Fair. This year’s event will be held Sept. 17-27 at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds and offers something for everyone, from bacon-covered, deep-fried treats to karate kids and ferocious dinosaurs.

Action? Did someone say action? Well, expect nothing less from the Oklahoma State Fair. Enjoy the thrills of extreme bull riding or one of the tremendous shows featuring the world's largest traveling collection of raptors, dinosaurs and even a fire-eating magician. Your little princess (or prince for that matter) is sure to enjoy the stories or Elsa and Anna as Disney on Ice presents “Frozen.”

For those who prefer something a little on the tamer side, check out the Swifty Swine Pig Races, Farmyard Follies or the ACM@UCO’s Party on the Plaza. Or, to get a feel for what it was like in the olden days, check out the chuck wagon cookin’ demonstration.

Don’t miss the Adventure Road Entertainment Stage or the Bandshell Stage to enjoy free concerts each evening from jazz, blues, hip hop, rock, country and Christian bands. You might even catch classical dancers, choirs, or magicians while you’re at it.

And we would be amiss not to mention that Oklahoma City was chosen as one of 12 cities in the nation to host Navy Week, which happens to coincide with this year’s Oklahoma State Fair. Plan to see special shows from the Navy Band Southwest and Leap Frogs Parachute Team and exhibits such as the USS Constitution and USS Oklahoma City.

concerts, family-friendly, festivals, food, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Food, food and did we mention, food?!

Cheese Curds

More than 15 new and unique foods have been added to the State Fair food lineup this year. If you are into delicious, one-of-a-kind grub then the State Fair is certainly where you need to be.

Honestly, we can’t decide which of these delightful treats we want to try first. Bacon-wrapped corn on the cob might be our vegetable of choice, but the deep-fried beer battered mushrooms are also calling our name. And then there’s the bacon-wrapped donut burger, deep-fried chocolate-covered bacon, cheese corn dog or deep-fried banana pudding. There are so many delicious choices … and we can seriously hear our scale screaming now.

family-friendly, food, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Get involved…

State Fair at Night

Did you ever wonder what it takes to put on a world-class fair such as that in OKC? The Oklahoma State Fair is rich in history and heritage and is ranked among the top State Fairs in North America. But the fun family event wouldn’t be possible without dedicated volunteers working behind the scenes to ensure its success. If you are interested in having loads of fun, with a great group (and possibly scoring free gate admission AND free season parking) consider volunteering

State Fair Park, volunteer
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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More great things are coming…

New Expo Hall at Fair Park

The fun at State Fair Park isn’t limited to 10 days each year. Construction is currently underway on the new 277,000-square-foot Expo Center that will house a variety of events throughout the year.  The Expo Center, which is expected to be complete next year, will allow for bigger and better events and will also bring new national and international shows to Oklahoma. In fact, once the Expo Center is completed, it will be the largest event space in Oklahoma City.

The Expo Center is one of eight projects funded by MAPS 3, a one-cent, limited-term sales tax to pay for debt-free projects that improve our quality of life. You can find additional information about MAPS 3 projects here.

MAPS, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Mapping the Future

So we’ve talked about the Oklahoma River and the great trail system in OKC. Those things didn’t just happen randomly. Thanks to the citizens of OKC passing the MAPS initiatives, we all get to enjoy world-class quality of life amenities like the Oklahoma River, Bricktown Canal, Chesapeake Energy Arena and much more. If you are new to Oklahoma City and not familiar with MAPS check out this quick refresher on the ground-breaking initiatives.

With all the construction and development announcements, even we have trouble keeping track of everything going on so we thought we would give you a little MAPS 3 construction update. For future reference bookmark the city’s website for the latest updates on the projects.

  • Sidewalks: Construction is well underway and you can already walk on MAPS 3 sidewalks in many parts of the city. All sidewalk construction should be completed this year.
  • Oklahoma River: The racecourse improvements have been installed and the Whitewater course is under construction. All phases of the river improvements should be done in 2020.
  • Downtown Public Park: The Master Plan has been approved and the land is being acquired. The park will be complete in 2020.
  • Oklahoma State Fairgrounds: Construction of the new expo center has started.
  • Convention Center: Additional site analysis is underway with an opening in 2019 or 2020.
  • Modern Street Car: Route framework has been approved. The plan is to have the streetcar operational in 2019.
  • Trails: Construction on the West River Trail is nearing completion and the I-44 Trail is in final design. The final phase of the trails will be completed in 2017.
  • Senior Health and Wellness Centers: Architects and operating partners have been identified for the first center. All four wellness centers are slated to be complete by 2021.
State Fair Park, downtown, MAPS, Oklahoma River, outdoor recreation, parks
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Step Right Up for Fair Fun!

[Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma State Fair]

From Sept. 11-21, State Fair Park in Oklahoma City will be bustling with the Oklahoma State Fair and all that it entails. An annual extravaganza stretching back 107 years, the Oklahoma State Fair offers a little something for everyone, from deep-fried culinary delights (sign us up!) to ice-dancing Disney princesses. Read on for our can’t-miss fair favorites.

  • The City of AGtropolis – The Oklahoma State Fair has its roots in agriculture, and this hands-on learning experience presents Oklahoma’s agricultural history with interactive exhibits and demonstrations throughout the Oklahoma Expo Hall. This event is perfect for kids or adults formerly obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie series.
  • Centennial Frontier Experience – In case you aren’t quite done celebrating the 125th anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Run, the Centennial Frontier Experience at 14 Flags Plaza will take you way back to Oklahoma’s Wild West days. Don’t miss two of the rootinest, tootinest western performers, Loop Rawlins and Lynn Payne, in the Wild West Showcase.
  • Disney on Ice – Called “the ultimate celebration of celebrations,” Disney on Ice presents Let’s Celebrate! with its usual vibrancy and flair. Check out ticket prices and show times here.
  • Free concerts on the Chickasaw Entertainment Stage – Gather smack-dab in the middle of the fairgrounds each evening to enjoy jazz, alt rock, country, oldies and even hick-hop (yes, that’s a thing).
  • Fair food –You may already have your go-to favorite, but the roster of fair food has 20 new additions this year. Heads up – almost half of those foods include bacon as an ingredient. Start prepping your digestion now.   
concerts, family-friendly, food, live music, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Oklahoma State Fair, a History

[Photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society]

When it comes to partnership, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the State Fair of Oklahoma go together like mac ‘n’ cheese, especially if that mac ‘n’ cheese is covered in batter and deep fried.

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 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. Since that time, the Chamber has continued to support the fair as a natural extension of its long history of economic and community development.

history, Oklahoma City history, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

A Great State of a Fair

Beloved by all ages, the Oklahoma State Fair is back this week with something for everyone. Crafting, cars, Clydesdales and carnival rides all abound at this eleven-day event that runs from Sept. 12-22, 2013.

Be sure to check out the list of free concerts (with the price of admission) taking place during the week, and sample some of Oklahoma’s best wines at the Wine and Beer Garden. If you are feeling overwhelmed by the magnitude of things to do, the state fair website offers a comprehensive schedule and a customizable agenda to help make your experience more fun.

[photo courtesy of the Oklahoma State Fair]

festivals, music, State Fair Park, western heritage
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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State Fair Fun Facts

The Oklahoma State Fairgrounds has a history that spans the length of Oklahoma’s statehood. Here are a few facts you may not know about the Oklahoma State Fair.

  • The first state fair association was organized in January 1907 in the offices of the Oklahoma City Chamber.
  • 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!).
  • State Fair Park was included on the voter-approved MAPS 3 ballot, which will result in a $58 million investment to replace aging public event buildings.

[photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society]

festivals, MAPS, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Fair Treats You Can’t Miss

The fair comes only once a year, so why not indulge in some deep-fried, chocolate-covered fair food to make your experience complete? Ranging from classic to crazy, here are five picks for the best food that the fair has to offer.

  • Indian Tacos at Dan’s Indian Taco Stand. This stand is a state fair staple for delicious Indian tacos.
  • Bacon Bloody Mary at The Roadhouse Concessions. A new item for 2013, try this take on a classic Bloody Mary if the midway leaves you feeling thirsty. Must be 21 to purchase.
  • Root Beer. Ice cold, in a jug. What more do you need?
  • Cinna Burger from the Sweet Shop. A cinnamon roll split in half is the bun for this sweet-and-savory burger. This creation isn’t for the faint of heart!
  • Bacon-Wrapped Caramel Apple from Rodney and Lisa LTD, LLC. Is it a dessert? Is it a main course? Will you regret it the next day? We don’t know, but we still think you should give it a try anyway.

If none of these treats tickle your fancy, check out the interactive food finder on the Oklahoma State Fair website to pinpoint exactly what your taste buds are craving.

[photo courtesy of the Oklahoma State Fair]

festivals, food, State Fair Park
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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