Winterfest Kicks Off In Downtown Tulsa

Friday, November 28th 2008, 5:42 pm
By: News On 6

By Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The kickoff of Winterfest in downtown Tulsa has been hampered by a delay with the outdoor ice rink, but the city says it's just a slow start to what will become a lasting tradition.

Winterfest got underway on Friday after warm and wet weather delayed the start of ice skating.

One of the jobs of the mayor is to always perform for the media photo op, ice skating even if the ice isn't quite ice. This was to be the big kick off for Winterfest, but the rink wasn't quite frozen.

"Probably looking at one more night of good cold weather to get some ice out there," said Jeff Nickler of the BOK Center.

From the air, the rink looked frozen just after daybreak Friday morning. But organizers say it was the overnight rain that melted it and kept it from quickly refreezing.

"Our ice rink is a work in progress, but Winterfest is still going on, we have live entertainment tonight, the Salvation Army Brass Ensemble is on stage tonight, horse and carriage rides until 9 p.m. tonight, we have chili and coffee, so even though our ice rink isn't up yet, we should be good to go for tomorrow," said Nickler.

Workers spent the last week dressing up the outside of the BOK Center for the first of what is to be an annual event. The mayor says it's another step in the rebirth of downtown.

"There are restaurants downtown you can go to one of the nearby restaurants, get something to eat, walk over here, take a carriage ride, we've got the bicycle cabs downtown as well it's a great fun experience," said Mayor Kathy Taylor.

The ice skating rink is the centerpiece of the Winterfest event. Even though it's a little wet now, it's expected to freeze solid overnight, ready for an opening at noon Saturday.