Winterfest success downtown

Tulsa’s BOK Center wrapped up the third annual installment of the Christmas and Holiday festival that welcomed an estimated 121,300 visitors to the city’s central business district for ice skating beneath the skyline and photo opportunities beside Oklahoma’s tallest Christmas Tree.  Winterfest operated daily from November 26, 2010 through January 3, 2011 on Third Street and Frisco Avenue outside of the arena.

Arvest Winterfest presented with Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation took over an entire city block to fit the ever-growing special event blocking all traffic westbound on Third Street for months.  The focal point was a 60’ x 150’ ice rink built in the middle of 3rd Street beside the arena. The ice rink’s 9000 sq. ft. surface was open daily to the public and drew 43,096 skaters.  Weekly rink promotions on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays benefited local charities including the Salvation Army Holiday Toy Drive, the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless, and the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.

“Winterfest gave families another reason to visit Downtown Tulsa during the holiday season.  Downtown is the heart of a city and we hope the BOK Center is a catalyst for growth, innovation, and commerce in our area.  Winterfest, with its open-air ice rink and magical tree is just another way to help downtown glow, said John Bolton, General Manager.

New enhancements for this year’s celebration included four iconic amusement rides like a Ferris Wheel and Carousel, an indoor holiday market that attracted 3,300 shoppers, a 5K Turkey Trot and Fun Run, and a pet-themed day called “Pupsicles” at the outdoor ice rink.

A fan favorite, Winterfest’s towering 44’ Christmas Tree glowed nightly with over 50,000 lights.  The massive structure had 109,534 tips and a diameter at the base of nearly 25 feet. The magically-lit tree provided Tulsans with the perfect backdrop for hundreds of holiday photographs and caroling, and even a winter wedding.

A variety of outdoor entertainment on the ONEOK Stage offered guests free live music every weekend for the duration of the festival. In all, over 400 performers from local nonprofit groups, school choirs, marching bands, and churches took the stage.

Winterfest’s continued success can be attributed to the fact that it fills a space for much needed family activities.  Whether it was delicious holiday concessions like gingerbread lattes and warm funnel cake, or an old-fashioned carriage ride through the streets of the city, visitors of all ages were entertained.

Winterfest 2010 was presented by ARVEST Bank and the Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation and owes a special thanks to all community partners who helped make it an even bigger and better event than before.

Charity Night sponsors were Magellan Midstream Partners and Kum & Go.  Gold sponsors Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino and Groves Family Dental.  Live entertainment on the plaza was compliments of ONEOK.  Silver sponsors included the Downtown Doubletree Hotel, Orthopaedic Center of Oklahoma, Reasor’s, Fat Guy’s Burger Bar, Bank of Oklahoma and Frontier International Trucks.  The official media partners were KTUL-TV NewsChannel 8, Tulsa Business Journal, Hispano de Tulsa, Urban Tulsa Weekly, La Semana del Sur, and Cox Radio, Inc.