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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

OKC: Built on Diversity

Starting with the Land Run of 1889, Oklahoma has always welcomed people who come from other places to call this area home. Today, you’ll find the same kind of welcome, and our state is richer because of the people who came here from elsewhere and brought their own cultures and traditions with them.

Oklahoma City’s international flair surfaces in different ways. So if you’re looking to explore, check out some of these places to experience Oklahoma’s wonderful diversity.

Get Your Cultural Fix
Grab Your Grocery List
Festival Frenzy

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



Get Your Cultural Fix

There are other ways to experience different cultures and history in Greater Oklahoma City. Here are just a few ideas:

So get out there and start exploring, and let us know what you find by leaving a comment.

[Photos courtesy of Royal Bavaria, St. Elijah Food Festival, St. George Greek Orthodox Church]

arts and culture, festivals, food, nightlife, religion, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Grab Your Grocery List

Let’s say one day you’re looking for the right turmeric to add to your favorite Indian curry dish or coconut milk to make Thai curry.  Or, on another night, when you’re in the mood to serve Mexican food at a party, you want to find churros for a dessert as a mariachi band plays.

In either case, whether your cooking tends toward Asian, Latin, Indian or Mediterranean flavors, you can probably find your ingredients at Oklahoma markets and grocery stores that specialize in international cuisine. And if you’re willing to go a little farther, outside the metropolitan area, there’s even a unique Italian grocery store in southeast Oklahoma with a lot of history.

Click here to learn more about some of Greater Oklahoma City’s specialty grocery stores, including some with international offerings.

[Photo courtesy of Super Cao Nguyen]

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



Festival Frenzy

Sure the markets and restaurants we mentioned earlier are great, but if you really want to you can immerse yourself in various cultures, be sure to check out the many international festivals that go on throughout the year.

Our friends over at the Oklahoma Department of Tourism have a great resource for festivals statewide, but here are some special ones to note.

Grab Your Stein
Every year in early fall, the City of Choctaw and the Choctaw Chamber host Oktoberfest, a weeklong extravaganza featuring German food, beer, wine and dancing at Choctaw Creek Park on Harper Road. In the mix as an organizer also is Old Germany Restaurant in Choctaw. This year, come between Aug. 29 and Sept. 6 to sample some schnitzel, bratwurst and strudel, and enjoy live music throughout the week.

Go Greek
St. George Greek Orthodox Church hosts a Greek Festival every year. The star of course is Greek food – traditional Greek-style dinners, gyros, kalamari, baked goods and other dishes, but you’re also going to see dancing and as well as traditional music and a marketplace. Follow plans for 2014 at the church’s website as they develop.

Ciao!
McAlester in southeast Oklahoma will host the annual Italian Festival from May 16 through 18 this year at the Southeast Expo Center and Fairgrounds. Organized by the McAlester Italian Festival Foundation, Inc., the festival includes shopping, food, entertainment, friendship and a celebration of the area’s Italian heritage.

Let’s Salsa!
In September, during Hispanic Heritage Month from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15, the Capitol Hill Main Street, or the Calle Dos Cinco Historic Main Street, organization hosts Fiestas de Las Americas, a multicultural celebration that includes a colorful parade, music and dance, arts and more.

Czech It Off Your Bucket List
And last, but certainly not least, are two festivals celebrating the state’s Czech heritage: the Oklahoma Czech Festival in Yukon and the Kolache Festival in Prague. For one more celebrating a variety of nationalities, travel outside the metro area to attend the International Festival in Lawton in southwest Oklahoma.

[Photos courtesy of Old Germany Restaurant, McAlester Italian Festival, Travel OK]

festivals, food
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Historically Speaking

As we mentioned earlier, much of Oklahoma was settled during the Land Run of 1889 by people who came here from other places, including immigrants seeking better lives.

Now that you’re calling Oklahoma home, why not take a tour of the Oklahoma History Center and find out about the state’s history for yourself?

Located just northeast of downtown near the Oklahoma State Capitol, the Oklahoma History Center is a good place to explore with Smithsonian-quality exhibits, interpretative programs and artifacts. Check out museum hours and admission prices.

The Oklahoma Museum of History just so happens to be a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society, the keeper of the state’s history. That website is filled to the brim with information that could fill out any school history report or satisfy your curiosity about all things history Oklahoma. From photographs and news accounts to summaries and oral histories to records and other research, it’s chock full of stuff to fill your brain.

And an extra little tidbit of info for you – The street where the History Center is located is named after another well-known and respected immigrant, Dr. Nazih Zuhdi, who was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and performed Oklahoma’s first heart transplant and was a pioneer surgeon in many other ways. Read more about him here and here.

history, museums, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: January 28 - February 3, 2014

Tuesday, Jan. 28
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers

Wednesday, Jan. 29
Bringing Books to Life ; 10 - 11 a.m.; Myriad Gardens, South Lobby, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free; Best for ages 2-5
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Recommended for ages 13+

Thursday, Jan. 30
Noon Tunes: Buffalo Rogers; noon - 1 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free
Brown Bag Lunch Speaker Series: Extending the Gardening Season; noon - 1 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Crystal Bridge, 2nd Conference Room, 113 S. Robinson; 445-7080; Free to the public
Proper Pruning Techniques; 1 - 2:30 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, meet in the Crystal Bridge lobby, 113 S. Robinson; 445-7080; $10 for members, $15 for non-members; Space is limited; Pre-registration recommended; Class will be held outside
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Toronto Marlies; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Friday, Jan. 31
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates

Saturday, Feb. 1
OSU-OKC Farmers Market; 9 a.m. - noon; OSU-OKC Horticulture Pavilion, 400 N. Portland; 947-4421; Admission is free
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates

Sunday, Feb. 2
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates

Monday, Feb. 3
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Eco Kids: Ooey-Gooey Science; 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 606-3862; Admission is free; Register by phone; Grades 1-6; First in a 3-part series
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Memphis Grizzlies; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

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



Tuesday, January 21, 2014

BRRRRR-ing It On

That pesky polar vortex keeps swooping down to Oklahoma and bringing along with it quite a chill. While the polar vortex is a little out of the ordinary for winter here, OKC is known for the benefit of experiencing all four seasons so the winter cold isn’t a surprise. That means we get to really live it up weather wise – so in the winter, you might get to enjoy a snow day, and come summer you’ll likely have the opportunity to spend a warm day poolside. And to be sure you’ll have the tools and knowledge to be ready for a chance of snow or other winter-like precipitation, you’ve got a source for essential winter weather information – the City of Oklahoma City!

The City provides a variety of winter weather info on its site, including regional snow routes, winter weather tips for your home and vehicle and more. You’ll even find videos covering a number of winter-weather preparation tips. Don’t get caught out in the cold unprepared. Use this resource to be ready if and when we see a little thunder snow (don’t you just love how your weather vocabulary has expanded since you moved here?).

community
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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No Need to Go Snow Shoeing

… Unless you want to, of course. We usually see a moderate amount of snow during winters here in Oklahoma City. In fact, we average more than 8 inches per year of snowfall in OKC. While snow on the ground is a great excuse for making snow ice cream, going sledding, building a snowman and all sorts of other fun activities, sometimes life keeps calling and you have to get out of the house despite the slushy stuff on the ground.

In those instances, we want you to travel safely. Here’s a link to regional snow routes for our area and one for snow routes in Oklahoma City.

And here are a few winter driving tips from the City as well:

  • If possible, avoid driving while streets are covered in ice and snow.
  • Have your vehicle winterized by a qualified mechanic.
  • Make sure your tires have adequate tread for the conditions.
  • Reduce speeds.
  • Allow more time to slow down and stop.
  • Allow more space between you and the car in front of you.
  • Be sure to use your headlights so your car is visible during inclement weather.
community
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Going Underground

When the cold winds are a’howling, we have a place downtown where you can not only escape the chill, but you can also acquaint yourself with one of the more unique aspects of downtown Oklahoma City. The pedestrian tunnels and skyways of The Underground, formerly known as the Conncourse (named for late civic leader Jack Conn), link 16 blocks and more than 30 buildings. Opened in 1974, the three-quarter-mile system is a welcome way to get around during times of extreme weather – or rack up some steps on your pedometer over lunch. Grab a map and check it out.

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



An Ode to the Oldies

Oklahoma City is relatively new in comparison to some other states and certainly other parts of the world, but that doesn’t mean we lack history. Here’s a quick look at some of places in Greater Oklahoma City that claim the title of “oldest” in their given category.

 

[Photo from BC Clark]

western heritage, arts and culture, education, Oklahoma, Oklahoma City history, restaurants, shopping, Stockyards
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Things to Do & See: January 21 - January 27, 2014

Tuesday, Jan. 21
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Portland Trailblazers; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

Wednesday, Jan. 22
Bringing Books to Life ; 10 - 11 a.m.; Myriad Gardens, South Lobby, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free; Best for ages 2-5
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Recommended for ages 13+

Thursday, Jan. 23
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates

Friday, Jan. 24
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Professional Bull Riders; 8 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Jan. 25
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Professional Bull Riders; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Jan. 26
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Professional Bull Riders; 2 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

Monday, Jan. 27
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Atlanta Hawks; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

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



Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Social Media Mania

Welcome to the Internet! It’s a dense, disorienting and disconcerting desert with all sorts of pitfalls, ploys and plots designed to puzzle and perplex (in addition to allowing you to actively, absolutely alliterate with ease when writing blog posts). If you’re not careful you could annoy friends and family with an endless supply of forwards, fall for a scam involving Bill Gates’ purported burning desire to send you money for winning “The Microsoft Lottery,” or even send your life savings to some dudes (probably quite nefarious ones, at that) in Nigeria. But not to worry! The Internet can help you get involved in positive things too, and it just so happens that Oklahoma City sports an active social media community that is here to keep you busy and out of trouble.

Social media sites are all about connecting you with people and organizations that share interests and goals, so what better way to learn about and connect with your community? For starters, try clicking on a #OKC or #OklahomaCity hashtag on Twitter or Instagram, pinning some photos from the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber on Pinterest, and searching “United Way of Central Oklahoma Volunteer Center” or some such on Facebook. LinkedIn offers a great deal of groups that allow you to connect with fellow Oklahoma Citians, and there are quite a few good blogs about Oklahoma City (ahem) out there that you can bookmark or stick in your reader (nudge nudge, wink wink, knowwhatImean, say no more).

Check out the rest of our posts this week to learn more about OKC’s social media scene.

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



#INSTATWEET #OKC

First of all, if you’ve been wondering, “What is Twitter?” Twitter has a video for that.

Now that you’re up to speed, you may be wondering, how does Instagram fit in to all this? In layman’s terms, Instagram is essentially a visual version of Twitter where you communicate through photos and videos you take with your smartphone rather than primarily text (though you can easily tweet photos and video with Twitter / Vine as well, just to make it even more confusing).

To find Oklahoma City-tagged content on both sites, you just need to search for “OKC” and/or “OklahomaCity” or click on one of those hashtags while using the services. On Instagram, also search the hashtag “igersokc” to find members of an active Oklahoma City virtual community, which gathers from time to time in the real world for photo walks known as “Instameets.”

To gain followers, try using those hashtags yourself, and any others that are germane to your content. It’s true that both services work well in a mobile environment, but if your phone isn’t a smart one (not judging), both offer a browser interface that works just as well (though you can’t post to Instagram via the Web interface, only browse). Now get out there and start tweeting and Instagramming, and don’t forget to tag up that great #OKC content you’ve got to share!

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



Follow Me to #OKC

OK so you’re all set up on Twitter! Congrats! We can’t wait to see what you had for breakfast or your undoubtedly profound, well-reasoned thoughts on politics and social policy. But who to follow? Check out some of our suggestions below:

Twitter:
@okcchamber – Greater OKC Chamber – OKC news, events, etc.
@okcthunder – Oklahoma City Thunder – NBA basketball!
@OKCBarons – Oklahoma City Barons – AAA Affiliate of the NHL Edmonton Oilers
@okcredhawks – Oklahoma City RedHawks – AAA Affiliate of the MLB Houston Astros
@EnergyFC – Oklahoma City Energy – OKC’s USL Pro soccer team, affiliate of MLS Sporting KC
@VisitOKC – Oklahoma City CVB
@AboutOKC – About.com’s OKC guide
@YelpOKC – What’s good (and bad) in OKC
@EataroundOKC – Eating around OKC
@OKCTalk – Local message board
@NewsOK – Daily news
@JournalRecord – Daily business news
@OKCBiz – OKC business monthly
@OKGazette – OKC alternative weekly news
@dailythunder – Thunder blog and coverage
@OklahomaRock – Local music news, shows, bands, more
@MickCornett – Mayor of Oklahoma City
@cityofokc – City of Oklahoma City
@okcballet – Oklahoma City Ballet
@okczoo – Oklahoma City Zoo
@OKCMarathon – OKC Memorial Marathon
@mustangbrewing – OKC brewer
@COOPAleWorks – OKC brewer
@ChocBeerCo – OK brewer (Krebs)
@redbudbrewing – OKC brewer
@Batteredboar – OKC brewer
@AnthemBrewing – OKC brewer
@HuebertBrewing – OKC brewer
@PWSpirits – Guthrie-based distiller
@BetterLifeOKC – This here blog you’re readin’ – what’s going on and how to get connected to your community!

Who are we missing? Let us know in the comments!

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



Donít Tweet / Text And Drive

Just don’t do it. At worst, you could kill yourself and/or someone else. You’re 23 times more likely to have a car crash if you’re messing around on your phone while trying to drive, and at best, you’ll end up driving in a way that is totally annoying to everyone else (nobody likes being stuck behind the guy that’s not paying attention and is just sitting there checking social media when the light has been green for forever). Having a phone that’s smart doesn’t give you a license to drive like a dumb… um, person. So keep that phone in your purse or pocket on the road and keep it safe out there, OKC!

More sobering stats on texting and driving

social media
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: January 14 - January 20, 2014

Tuesday, Jan. 14
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers

Wednesday, Jan. 15
Bringing Books to Life Guest Reader: Sen. David Holt; 10 - 11 a.m.; Myriad Gardens, South Lobby, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free; Best for ages 2-5
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Recommended for ages 13+

Thursday, Jan. 16
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates

Friday, Jan. 17
Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show; noon - 9 p.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704; Admission prices vary
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Premiere on Film Row; 6 - 9 p.m.; Film Row, 700 W. Sheridan; Admission is free
International Finals Rodeo; 7:30 - 10:30 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Ticket prices vary
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Golden State Warriors; 8:30 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Rochester Americans; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Jan. 18
OSU-OKC Farmers Market; 9 a.m. - noon; OSU-OKC, Horticulture Pavilion, 400 N. Portland; 947-4421
Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show; 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704; Admission prices vary
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
International Finals Rodeo; 1:30 - 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 - 10:30 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Ticket prices vary
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Milwaukee Admirals; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Jan. 19
Oklahoma City Home & Garden Show; 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.; State Fair Park, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6704; Admission prices vary
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
International Finals Rodeo; 11 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.; State Fair Park, Jim Norick Arena, 3001 General Pershing; 948-6700; Ticket prices vary
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Milwaukee Admirals; 4 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Sacramento Kings; 6 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

Monday, Jan. 20
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with OU, UCO, OCU Gospel Choirs; 3:30 - 4:30 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, South Lobby, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free

[Photo by Patrick W. Moore]

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



Budget-Friendly Buzz

Many people start the new year with resolutions. Seeing as it’s still January, we hope you’re still keeping to yours. If one of those you jotted down happened to be budget related, we’ve got news for you! Apartment Guide rated Oklahoma City among the top 10 most budget-friendly metros.

With a consistently lower-than-average cost of living and great quality of life amenities and housing options, here in Greater Oklahoma City you can really get more bang for your buck. So if you’re looking for a place where you can really have it all, welcome to the better life in Greater Oklahoma City.

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



Tuesday, January 7, 2014

OKSpirits

Oklahoma City is known for many things: Thunder basketball, the Flaming Lips and Bricktown just to name a few. If two local distilleries have their way one more thing will be added to that list: high-quality spirits. 

Not even a year old yet, Prairie Wolf Spirits is located just outside of Oklahoma City in Guthrie. The family-run business distills Prairie Wind Vodka.

On the other side of the metro in Moore, Twister Distillery is doing its part to enhance the state’s spirit reputation. The distillery produces Twister Vodka, Oklahoma Land Rum and Twister Sweet Tea Vodka with plans to add more to its collection in the coming years. Twister prides itself on using nothing but Oklahoma ingredients in its spirits.

Look for both in most liquor stores around the metro (and even some restaurants).

[Photo from Prairie Wolf Spirits]

local goods, nightlife, Oklahoma
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (0)



Microbreweries Abound

Plato supposedly once said, “He was a wise man who invented beer.” Of course we have no idea if Plato really said that but if he didn’t, he should have. We take a lot of things seriously in Oklahoma and beer could be at the top of the list (enjoyed responsibly of course). In that spirit (get it?), let us introduce you to some of our favorite local breweries.

Started in 2009, COOP Ale Works has become a local favorite. The brewery offers a wide array of ales and lagers including DNR, Native Amber and F5 IPA. COOP is well known for its big, bold flavored beers.

Mustang Brewing Company has only been around for four years but has already established itself throughout the region. It’s available in more than 1,000 locations throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. Mustang has also won nine medals in four years at the World Beer Championships. And … The Mustang Brewing Company also just opened a tasting room!

COOP and Mustang are just two of the great breweries you will find in OKC. While we don’t have time to go into detail about each brewery, here are some others producing high-quality suds in (and around) Greater OKC.

local goods, nightlife, Oklahoma
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Pubs Galore

So we’ve brought you up to speed on Oklahoma City’s newest distilleries and best brewers but where can you go to enjoy OKC’s tastiest local spirits and ales? Of course kicking back with a COOP DNR is always enjoyable in your own home but good drinks are more enjoyable with good friends. Here are some of our favorite pubs in OKC. As always this is far from an exhaustive list so feel free to throw out some of your favorites in the comment section.

If an “old-world” pub is your type of scene be sure to check out Tapwerks in the heart Bricktown. Living up to its name, Tapwerks has more than 212 beers on tap and boasts one of the biggest selections of local beers in Oklahoma City. Oh, and it has two floors. It is hard to beat two floors of lagers, ales and pub food.

Not in the mood for an old-world pub? RePUBlic Gastro Pub has a decidedly more modern flair.  Located in Classen Curve, rePUBlic emphasizes American craft beer which means there is never a shortage of your local favorites. The pub also has a plethora of flat screens making it a great place to catch a Thunder game. Not to mention, the food is pretty great too. The rePUBlic burger is a local favorite.

Opened in 2008, James E. McNellie’s Public House (locals just call it McNellie’s) features more than 350 beer selections and is the launching point for a lot of new local beers. Nestled in Midtown, McNellie’s has the feel of a pub you might find in Dublin rather than Oklahoma City. McNellie’s also boasts some great grub. You might be starting to see a pattern – we like good food to go with our good beer.

[Photo from RePUBlic Gastropub]

Bricktown, Classen Curve, food, Midtown, nightlife, restaurants
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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From Guthrie with loveÖ

This April our great city will celebrate its 125th birthday and what a 125 years it has been. In honor of the Quasquicentennial (it is a real thing, Google it) we are going to occasionally look back on the people, places and things that have made Oklahoma City the place it is today.

Today’s history lesson is all about the Lee Huckins Hotel. The hotel was built in 1900 at the southeast corner of Main & Broadway. A lot of things make this hotel special in OKC history. The 13-floor hotel is said to have featured the city’s first electric elevator. More importantly it served (for a short time) as the capitol of Oklahoma City.

For newcomers to our state, Oklahoma City was not always the capitol of Oklahoma; nearby Guthrie takes that distinction. On June 11, 1910, voters decided to move the capitol from Guthrie to burgeoning Oklahoma City. There are all kinds of crazy folklore that says then-Governor Charles Haskell actually broke into the courthouse under the cover of night to steal the state seal and bring it to Oklahoma City.

We hate to ruin a great story but in all actuality, the Secretary of State brought the state seal by order of Gov. Haskell to the Huckins Hotel, making the Hotel the State Capitol of Oklahoma. Unfortunately, the hotel was demolished in 1971 but its colorful history lives on. You can read a full account of the state capitol move here.

[Photo from Oklahoma Historical Society]

Guthrie, history, Oklahoma City history
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Things to Do & See: January 7 - January 13, 2014

Tuesday, Jan. 7
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Yoga with Alexis Persico; 5:45 - 6:45 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $5 for members, $10 for nonmembers

Wednesday, Jan. 8
Bringing Books to Life; 10 - 11 a.m.; Myriad Gardens, South Lobby, Crystal Bridge, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; Admission is free; Best for ages 2-5
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Wednesday Night at the Movies; 6 p.m.; Ronald J. Norick Downtown Library, 300 Park Ave.; 231-8650; Admission is free; Recommended for ages 13+

Thursday, Jan. 9
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Utica Comets; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Friday, Jan. 10
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Brew Work Shop by Coffee Slingers; 6:30 - 8 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Water Plaza Room, 301 W. Reno; 445-7080; $15 for members, $20 for non-members
LIVE on the Plaza; 7 - 11 p.m.; The Plaza District; NW 16th between Classen and Pennsylvania; (405) 308-5991; Free and open to the public
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Charlotte Checkers; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary

Saturday, Jan. 11
OSU-OKC Farmers Market; 9 a.m. - noon; OSU-OKC, Horticulture Pavilion, 400 N. Portland; 947-4421
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates
Oklahoma City Barons vs. Charlotte Checkers; 7 p.m.; Cox Convention Center, 1 Myriad Gardens; 602-8500; Ticket prices and availability vary
Oklahoma City Thunder vs. Milwaukee Bucks; 7 p.m.; Chesapeake Energy Arena, 100 W Reno; 602-8700; Ticket prices and availability vary

Sunday, Jan. 12
Devon Ice Rink open; 11 a.m. - 7 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates

Monday, Jan. 13
Devon Ice Rink open; 3 - 9 p.m.; Myriad Gardens, Seasonal Plaza, 113 S. Robinson; 708-6499; Admission is $10 per person (includes skates) or $7 for guests who bring their own skates

[Photo by Chris Nguyen]

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Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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