A flood of fishing fans headed to downtown Tulsa Friday night for all the Bassmaster Classic festivities, including the weigh-in at the BOK Center, the Outdoor Expo at the Convention Center, and in between, the Bass Bash Festival.
Organizers say it's a great way to connect what's going on at the other venues and give fans, some of whom are in Tulsa for the first time, a unique chance to see everything that downtown has to offer.
Long after the last line was cast, festivities surrounding the Bassmaster Classic were still taking place in downtown Tulsa.
To complement the Expo at the Convention Center and the weigh-ins at the BOK, the city organized a Bass Bash Festival in the middle of 3rd Street.
"There's a lot of different things for people here with all different type of interests," said organizing committee Chair Jeff Stava.
He said, during the planning process, the committee looked at last year's classic in Louisiana.
"Their venues were really separated, and with the BOK Center being right next to the Convention Center, we thought why not fill in with an outdoor, fun, kind of a sportsman place to be," Stava said.
Along with free entertainment and food and drinks inside the heated tent, the city is also offering free shuttles for people like Huie Winters, who drove in from Texas.
"I was really shocked when I got here and seen what it was," Winters said.
Shannon McClelland is from Arkansas. His brother, Mike, is one of the professional anglers.
He said he's been to a number of Bassmaster Classics and really enjoys Tulsa's twist on the event.
"Lots of great shopping, lots of great eateries in this area, especially in this downtown area," McClelland said.
People eating, shopping, and staying in hotels is expected to have a $26 million impact on the local economy. But for the city of Tulsa, it's just as important to bring those people back, long after the Classic.
"Once you get people to come to your community, you need to showcase, not just the hospitality, but also the assets we have," Stava said.
Bass Bash opens each day at 11 a.m. with live music beginning at 6:30 p.m. All ages are invited, and there is no cost to hang out.