The ball that will rise and usher in the new year in downtown Oklahoma City is on the move.
Thousands of people are expected to pack the downtown area for Oklahoma City's Opening Night. Just before midnight, the mirrored ball will be lifted – not dropped – by a crane during a countdown to 2012. On Thursday, crews loaded the ball onto a trailer and moved it to Allied Steel Construction Company for some final preparations.
This year the finale to the Opening Night celebrations will be held at the Myriad Gardens because of construction downtown.
"We've had to move things around. The finale this year will be at the Myriad Gardens area. Where it has been before is under construction now," said Volunteer Event Co-Chair Ray Allen. "The fireworks and the big finale band will all be there on the west side of the Myriad Gardens for the first time ever. And that will be our new location for the future."
In 2009, 75,000 people gathered for Opening Night, the highest attendance since the event began in 1987. Organizers are expecting another large crowd this year because of the forecasted mild weather.