OKC Police Making Security Plans For New Year's Eve Opening Night Festivities
Organizers are putting the finishing touches on Tuesday nights New Year's Eve plans for downtown Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma City Arts Council said they are hoping this year’s Opening Night will bring out about 25,000 people and they're bringing out extra officers to keep an eye on everyone.
There will be plenty of officers in uniform, as well as officers in normal clothing working. Opening night organizers said they've been working closely with police and the FBI, and they're more than prepared.
Police Captain Clint Teel said right now, there are no threats connected to the Opening Night event, or Oklahoma City for New Year's Eve. But they are encouraging anyone who sees something suspicious to report it to an officer.
Officers will be paying extra attention to the traffic and the crowds.
"The thing that is probably my number one concern is just people walking in and around that area, and traffic control devices, following those and just being aware of traffic that’s coming in and out of the area,” Captain Teel said.
Officials said 300 plus people are expected to kick off the Opening Night Finale 5K run. The race will start at 3 p.m. and registration is still open for anyone who wants to run.
Organizers said they had their largest 5K crowd to date in 2018 and they are hoping to top that number Tuesday.
After the race, music, food trucks and other festivities will open at 7 p.m.
Opening Night’s Co-Chair, Leah Roper, said they have a fresh, new line up for this year’s entertainment.
“We have everybody from Mike Hosty who’s a one-man band and comedian, to Shawnda Gram who does some bluesy, jazzy soul. It’s really gorgeous, she’s fantastic and she’ll be at the art museum,” Roper said.
There will also be a Latin pop group in the children’s area along with arts and crafts.
For those that would like to attend, a wristband is required to get into the festivities.
Wristbands can still be bought in advance for $8 at any metro 7-Eleven or online at artscouncilokc.com.
Wristbands can also be bought at the event for $10.
Kids under five are free.
Organizers said there will be the traditional ball rising at midnight, along with about thirty minutes worth of fireworks that will go off in just eight minutes.