The sights and sounds of Christmas are popping up all over Oklahoma, but there’s only one place in the state where you can glide through night sky surrounded by lights.
The sound of a zip line is not typically one that’s associated with Christmastime, but this year some families are making a new holiday tradition: zip lining at Post Oak Lodge in Tulsa’s slice of Osage County. It’s the only place in Oklahoma where you can ride a zip line at night.
“It made me feel brave,” 10-year-old Atticus Hernandez said. “[I was surrounded by] Christmas lights and the moon.”
Post Oak Zip Line Canopy Tours owner Coty Goodwin has be said he’s been wanting to add Christmas lights to the tour for a long time, so this year, he went for it.
“Personally, I've always been a huge fan of Christmas,” said Goodwin. “This year with COVID, it's a good way to get outside, you're not cramped in a building, you can still have a fun adventurous time and you get see a side of Post Oak that you don't see during the daytime.”
He wrapped one of the 50-foot towers in lights and created the Holiday Zip Line Adventure and Osage County Executive Director of Tourism Kelly Bland is challenging Oklahomans to give it a try.
“What better way to handle 2020. We're just gonna zip it off,” Bland said. “Yeah, we are over it.”
“A little bit of cheer right now, a little bit of hope is something all Oklahomans and really all Americans really need right now,” said Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell.
Lt. Governor Pinnell, who is also Oklahoma’s Secretary of Tourism and Branding, was first in line to show everyone how it’s done.
“The best views, by the way, in the state right here. Look at that moon, downtown Tulsa. I'm gonna take the Zipping Challenge right now,” Pinnell said, holding up a GoPro just before zipping to the bottom.
News On 6 reporter Tess Maune, who isn’t a fan of heights, is always up for a challenge and gave it a shot.
“I didn't want to go off that platform, but as soon as I let go I felt safe. And getting to see all the lights and Tulsa skyline... it was amazing,” Maune said.
But those who prefer keeping both feet on the ground this holiday season can pop into Pawhuska. The heart of downtown Pawhuska looks like a scene right out of a Christmas movie.
“You can get that small town, Americana feel across our 77 counties and that's really what Oklahomans, that's what tourist are looking for this Christmas season... where you can still social distance, feel safe and really get a down-home Christmas feel. We've got that in Oklahoma,” said Pinnell.
You can also find that at Woolaroc’s Wonderland of Lights where the wildlife preserve is shining with Christmas spirit.
“You can load the kids up in the car, you can pop some popcorn and take some hot chocolate along and drive out through the 4,000 acre historic ranch of Frank Phillips that's lit up for Christmas in fine form,” said Bland.
Woolaroc’s ‘Holiday Horseman,’ a live mountain man decked out in lights, is always a hit.
“All of us out here love to be able to do something during this time of year anyway, but with the season that we've had for 2020, to be able to give people a reason to come out here and enjoy it, have some family fun and smile and build a little bit of holiday tradition. It's special,” said Frank Phillips Foundation CEO Bob Fraser.
And those simple things are needed now more than ever, as families cling to Christmas and the holiday season for comfort and a sense of normalcy in a year unlike any other.
“Cities are stepping up, local chambers are stepping up to help their neighbors. I think that Oklahoma Standard shining through during the Christmas holiday season is something that I'm really looking forward to,” Pinnell said.