Oklahomans have a love/hate relationship with ice. On one hand, we have devastating storms. On the other, we have the Oklahoma City Barons hockey team and ice rinks dotting the map, including a brand-new outdoor rink debuting Friday at the Festival Marketplace in Edmond.
Running from noon to 10 p.m. daily, the rink aims to draw holiday traffic to downtown Edmond shops, galleries and restaurants.
Downtown Edmond won’t be the only cluster of business owners luring foot traffic away from the shopping malls. Monthly art walks have become a successful showcase for an array of creatives, starting with First Fridays in the Paseo Arts District, followed by a pair each second Friday in the Norman’s Circuit of Art and the Plaza District’s Live on the Plaza.
right, Downtown Edmond
December is particularly critical for the shops, as Christmas is the perfect time for customers to look beyond retail giants for presents with a more personal touch.
“I don’t want to buy something for a friend that they could get from someone else,” said Josh Lunsford, Norman Arts Council associate director. “I want my present to have a special feel, something unique from a local artist. By doing that, you are better supporting your local community.”
also enjoys a thriving arts and retail district in its downtown, which
is flush with Victorian architecture still standing from the time when
the city was Oklahoma’s political center. Each winter, a Dickensian aura
prevails as the shop owners play into Guthrie’s history for a
“Territorial Christmas Celebration,” including living window scenes at
stores, candlelit trolley tours and a lighted parade.
am 60-something years old, and our town reminds me of the winters when I
was a kid,” said Don Riepe, Guthrie Chamber of Commerce chairman. “We
have the lights on the buildings that make it a beautiful,
picture-perfect town. Everything in the windows is geared for Christmas,
with live scenes with people dressed in Victorian clothes. It just
makes you step back in time.”
also serves as chair for Saturday’s lighted parade, which officially
kicks off the celebration. He said there were 38 entries in last year’s
has managed to chase Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park indoors, but that
doesn’t mean the troupe keeps its calendar cold. Instead, OSP will
tackle Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” for a series of library
from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Oklahoma City University, OSP will
introduce “Christmas Tea with the Queen” as a fundraiser for the
company’s educational programs. At $20 a ticket, the event helps fund
the annual summer camps and the Secondary School Shakespeare Festival.
is tea, so it’s an afternoon respite from Christmas shopping,” said
Kathryn McGill, OSP executive director. “There will also be
entertainment with Queen Elizabeth I, who will be there along with some
of her ladies in waiting. We are also doing a fashion show through the