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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A River Recountal

Sure, you know the Oklahoma River as the place where Olympic athletes and amateurs, the active and the amenable, and the aged and the adolescent (and even younger) alike engage in paddlesports, adventure sports, cycling, running, spectating, cruising, and even some fishing. But it was not always so! Nosiree Bob.

Back in the day, the river used to run wild and had to be tamed. That’s right – today’s pristine venue was yesterday’s bad news. Flooding along the unpredictable North Canadian (the river’s original moniker) was a regular problem in the early days of OKC, and major floods turned downtown into a real downer in 1923 and 1932. So the Army Corps of Engineers stepped in, straightened and widened the river channel (between 1953-1958).

Success! No more floods. Unfortunately, that also meant not much water in the river for much of the time (which is kind of a bummer for a river). Incredibly, the river even had to be mowed at times. Things got so bad, you could almost watch TV in it without getting wet.

Enter MAPS (Metropolitan Area Projects), passed in 1993 by the citizens of OKC who were ready to take charge of their city’s future. Among its nine projects was a little somethin’ for the riverfront. In 1999, engineers and builders started partying on the river, constructing three low-water dams with boat locks, along with landscaping and recreational areas. Boom! Constant water gave the river new life. The waterway was renamed the Oklahoma River for a seven-mile stretch through OKC in 2004. Dell opened its OKC complex on the riverfront in 2005, and the Chesapeake Boathouse opened in 2006.

It was so great, the New York Times even profiled the river in 2008. Today there are two boathouses, the fantastic futuristic Chesapeake Finish Line Tower, the SandRidge Youth Pavilion, and the world’s first permanent river stadium lighting system. What’s coming up? The MAPS 3 whitewater rafting course, stadium seating, two more boathouses, and more. As Mayor Cornett recently said, “We used to mow it; now we row it.”

More: http://www.riversportokc.org/
http://okrivercruises.com/

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



You Gotta Regatta

Looking for a great place to experience a family-friendly carnival atmosphere? Paddlesports, live music, and fireworks are what you’ll see. Food from some of OKC’s best restaurants and most famous food trucks is what you’ll eat. Beer and wine are what you’ll drink. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it. Well you’re in luck, sleepyhead. October 2-6 are the dates that will make such reverie a reality. It’s the Oklahoma Regatta Festival!

In addition to the Head Racing, Dragon Boating, and 5k fun run, new this year is the 2013 OKC Canoe Marathon Invitational. Add that to OKC’s signature NightSprints night racing event along with all the other activity and you’ve got one unforgettable festival!

Curious about the NightSprints? Check out Harvard’s Men’s 8 winning last year’s event from the coxswain’s point of view.

For a complete schedule of events, hop on over to http://oklahomariverevents.org/oklahoma-regatta-festival. See you at the regatta!

free, outdoor recreation, running, water sports, family-friendly, festivals, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: September 24 - September 30, 2013

Tuesday, Sept. 24
Zumba in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members
Oklahoma Horticultural Society Watering and Weather Seminar; 7 - 8 p.m.; OSU-OKC Agriculture Resource Center, 400 N. Portland; Free and open to the public

Wednesday, Sept. 25
Free Day in the Crystal Bridge; 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens Crystal Bridge, 100 Myriad Gardens; 297-3995; Free admission on the 25th of each month in honor of the Gardens’ 25-year anniversary
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 - 8 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Movies are rated PG-13

Thursday, Sept. 26
Central Oklahoma Beekeepers Association Meeting; 7 p.m.; Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Center, 930 N. Portland; Visitors welcome
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Friday, Sept. 27
Day Out with Thomas: Go Go Thomas Tour; all day, train ride times vary; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; Ticket prices and availability vary
MidTown Market at Saints; 1 - 6 p.m.; St. Anthony’s Hospital Main, Northeast corner of Ninth St. and Walker Ave.; Admission is free and open to the public
OKC ZooBrew V; 6:30 - 9 p.m.; OKC Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; $30 for ZooFriends members, $35 for non-members, $10 for designated drivers; Limited number of tickets available; All guests must be 21 or older with valid ID
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Sept. 28
Day Out with Thomas: Go Go Thomas Tour; all day, train ride times vary; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; Ticket prices and availability vary
Young Readers Book Club; 11 a.m. - noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Suitable for all ages; Free
Plaza District Festival; noon - 10 p.m.; Plaza District, on Northwest 16 between Classen and Pennsylvania; Free and open to the public
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Sept. 29
Day Out with Thomas: Go Go Thomas Tour; all day, train ride times vary; Oklahoma Railway Museum, 3400 NE Grand; 424-8222; Ticket prices and availability vary

Monday, Sept. 30
Belle Isle Library’s 50th Birthday; 2 - 4 p.m.; Belle Isle Library, 5501 N. Villa; 843-9601; Free and open to the public

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

We dig Downtown

There is always a plethora of awesomeness happening in Greater OKC – and in particular in downtown OKC. New restaurants, new shops, new ways to spend your time. It can be difficult to keep track of it all. Thankfully we’ve got some friends over at Downtown OKC who are experts in that area. You can check out their website for great info on any and everything Downtown OKC. And if you really want to stay in the know, we suggest you sign up for their weekly “What’s Up Downtown” newsletter.

downtown, restaurants, shopping
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Hop to it

Grab your wallet and put on your favorite shopping shoes because we’ve got a mission for you. This Thursday, Sept. 19, Automobile Alley will host the first ever Auto Alley Shop Hop. From 6 to 9 p.m., you can hop in and out of your favorite stores (and all those you hadn’t made it to just yet) and get your shop on. All along North Broadway Avenue and in surrounding areas in Downtown, you’ll find open house events at local shops, extended hours, live music, street artists and performers, activities for kids, great food for Automobile Alley restaurants, and, best of all, discounts, freebies and giveaways! Check out a list of deals and giveaways here. Prep for the night by printing off this map of retailers and their deals.

This event will be held the third Thursday of each month so don’t fret if you have to miss this one.

music, shopping, Automobile Alley, downtown, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Calling all future politicians

Have you always aspired to one day find yourself sitting in the Oval Office? Maybe your democratic dreams are of helping your city or state through your service. Either way, we have a must-attend event for all those who dream of taking a political path – Practical Politics coming up on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the OKC Zoo. Every other year, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber tracks down some of our region’s political experts and gathers them in a room to help folks like you learn the ropes of running a successful campaign.

This year’s keynote speaker is former Oklahoma governor George Nigh who served our great state from 1979 through 1987. Other topics and their speakers include:

  • How to Effectively Raise Campaign Funds - Rep. Scott Inman, Democratic House Minority Leader
  • Running a Successful Campaign: Wining Local, Statewide & Congressional Elections - Pat McFerron, CMA Strategies
  • How to Comply with State Election and Ethics Laws - Lee Slater, Executive Director, Oklahoma Ethics Commission
  • How to Be a Good Candidate and Elected Official - Nick Massey, Edmond City Councilman, and Laura Massenat, Oklahoma City Public Schools Board Member

The cost to attend this event is $35 for members of the Chamber and $45 for non-members. If you’re a college student with valid student ID, the event is free! What a steal!

election, government
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: September 17 - September 23, 2013

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Zumba in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members

Wednesday, Sept. 18
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Art in the Garden: Nature Book; 9 a.m. - noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $25 for members, $30 for non-members; Supplies provided; Space limited

Thursday, Sept. 19
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary
Full Moon Bicycle Ride; 9 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, meet at Band Shell, on Sheridan between Walker and Robinson Avenues; Bring your bike to rent a Spokie; lights and helmets are required; $5 donation to the Gardens per rider is suggested

Friday, Sept. 20
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Sept. 21
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
OKC Reads; 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Suitable for all ages; Free
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Sept. 22
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary

calendar
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]

western heritage, festivals, music, State Fair Park
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 Canít 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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Things to Do & See: September 10 - September 16, 2013

Tuesday, Sept. 10
Educators Evening; 4 - 7 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free
Zumba in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members

Wednesday, Sept. 11
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 - 8 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free and recommended for ages 13 and up

Thursday, Sept. 12
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Oklahoma Rose Society Meeting; 7:30 p.m.; Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36; 943-0827; Open to the public
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Friday, Sept. 13
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Sept. 14
Free Landfill Day for OKC Residents; 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.; Various locations: East Oak Landfill - 3201 Mosley Rd. (NE 36, east of Sooner Road, south side of street; Oklahoma City Landfill - 7001 S Bryant; Oklahoma Landfill - 7600 SW 15; Northeast Landfill - 2601 N Midwest Blvd in Spencer
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Reading Rainforest; 10 a.m. - noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free for members, nonmembers pay Crystal Bridge admission
Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park: “King Lear”; 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Stage, 301 W. Reno; 403-1750; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Sept. 15
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Outdoor Painting Session; 2 - 4 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Sheridan Lawn, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $15 for members and nonmember; All ages welcome
Sunday Twilight Concert Series Presented by Devon; 7:30 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Great Lawn; 301 W Reno; 297-3995; Admission is free

Monday, Sept. 16
Oklahoma State Fair; Gates open at 8 a.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Admission prices vary
Barre3 in the Myriad Gardens; 7 - 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free; Participants should bring water, a yoga mat, light hand held weights (optional)

calendar
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

180 Degrees of Awesome

Way back when, we told you about a little thing called Project 180. Back then, it was mostly plans on paper, but if you take to the streets of Downtown OKC today, you can see the results for yourself.

What is Project 180? This four-year, $176 million redesign of the downtown core has made our city’s center more pedestrian friendly while also adding beautiful landscaping, public art, bike lanes, sleek street lighting and more. All in all, it’s the transformation of 180 acres of downtown and we suggest you read more about it in the latest issue of VeloCity

community, downtown, Project 180
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Extra! Extra! Read All About Oklahoma!

While we here at The Better Life tend to spend our time telling you about anything and everything Oklahoma City, we're also pretty big fans of the state of Oklahoma as a whole. And we've got a great source for you to discover more about this great state we call home – Oklahoma Today magazine. For more than 50 years, Oklahoma Today magazine has served as the official magazine of Oklahoma. Published every other month, Oklahoma Today is filled with high quality content on Oklahoma's people, places, travel, culture, food and outdoors. A yearly subscription to this prized publication is just $24.95, but you can also find copies at a variety of locations around town.

library, arts and culture, community, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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A Great Place to Call Home

We love life here in OKC and we’re sure you do, too. And you know what makes it even better? The housing options. No matter your style, your budget, your desired location, OKC has something for everyone. Looking to buy? OKC has one of the nation’s steadiest housing markets so you can feel great about the investment you’re making. Is apartment life right for you? Good news! Apartment Guide recently ranked Oklahoma City as one of the top 10 cities where you can get the most bang-for-your-buck apartments. So get on out there and find the place that’s right for you.

community, housing
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: September 3 - September 8, 2013

Tuesday, Sept. 3
Zumba in the Gardens; 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for non-members

Wednesday, Sept. 4
Mid-Week Market; 4 - 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Sheridan Lawn, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 - 8 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free and recommended for ages 13 and up
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. American North Champion; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary
Night Time Stories; 8:30 p.m.; Myriad Botanical Gardens, The Children’s Garden, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free

Thursday, Sept. 5
Oklahoma City RedHawks vs. American North Champion; 7:05 p.m.; Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark, 2 S Mickey Mantle Drive; 218-1000; Ticket prices vary

Friday, Sept. 6
Fall is for Planting; 9:30 a.m. - noon; Will Rogers Garden Exhibition Center, 3400 NW 36; 943-0827; Admission is free; Registration required
First Friday Gallery Walk; 6 - 10 p.m.; Paseo Arts District, Northwest 28 to Northwest 30 and Dewey; Free and open to the public
Wise Guys Concert; 8 - 10 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Great Lawn and Band Shell, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; A donation of $5 per person is suggested with proceeds benefitting the Gardens

Saturday, Sept. 7
Stay late and play at the OKC Zoo; Zoo open until 8 p.m.; OKC Zoo, 2000 Remington Place; 424-3344; Admission varies based on age
Reading Rainforest; 10 a.m. - noon; Myriad Botanical Gardens, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Free for members, nonmembers pay Crystal Bridge admission
First Friday (Saturday) Gallery Walk; noon - 6 p.m.; Paseo Arts District, Northwest 28 to Northwest 30 and Dewey; Free and open to the public
Astronomy Night on the Lawn; 8 - 10 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Great Lawn, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080;Admission is free

Sunday, Sept. 8
2nd Sunday Concert Series; 2 - 3 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Open to all ages
Sunday Twilight Concert Series Presented by Devon; 7:30 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Great Lawn; 301 W Reno; 297-3995; Admission is free

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