By Emory Bryan, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- A new downtown festival kicks off the day after Thanksgiving on the west side of the BOK Center. It's going be called Winterfest and it starts at 3rd and Frisco.
Tulsa has everything from Neighborfest to Dfest to Mayfest and Oktoberfest, so it's only logical that next the city would get a Winterfest.
It's a first Christmas for the BOK Center, and the first of what could be an annual downtown festival.
"This is going to be packed after Thanksgiving," said Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor.
Mayor Taylor announced Winterfest on Monday at the BOK Center. It's a combination of free entertainment and paid things to do on the plaza outside the arena.
"Everybody might not be able to afford a $75 ticket to an event inside the BOK Center, but you certainly can afford to bring the family down here, spend a couple of hours, take a carriage ride, grab a cup of hot chocolate and skate for a few hours," said Jeff Nickler with the BOK Center.
The biggest attraction is what will be on top of a sand box, a 100 foot long outdoor ice skating rink.
Frisco Street is where Winterfest is going to be held, but this wasn't the first pick for the location. They wanted to have it over on Third Street, but they had a problem. The ice rink requires this huge machine, it's a chiller that keeps the rink cold. Running it requires lot of power and that's at 600 amp power box and moving that over to third street would have cost $120,000.
For the occasion, the BOK Center is landscaping with lights.
"We have 37 trees total we have to wrap. All blue," said Lawn America Christmas Décor's James Graham.
While the smaller trees will be trimmed with lights, workers are busy unpacking limbs from boxes and building a 35 foot artificial tree. It burns 25,000 bulbs with 11,000 watts of light.
The ice rink is supposed to be finished on Tuesday and frozen by noon on Friday when Winterfest kicks off at the arena.