Opening Weekend at Scissortail Park - MetroFamily Magazine
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Opening Weekend at Scissortail Park

Arguably the most exciting component of MAPS 3 — the new 70-acre Scissortail Park that sits as the front lawn to Oklahoma City’s downtown — will open to the public Sept. 27 and 28. With a name that is quintessential Oklahoma, the park will feature ornamental gardens and woodlands with a Grand Promenade, a lake with a boathouse, a children’s playground, an outdoor roller rink, an enclosed dog park and interactive water features and fountains. For most MAPS 3 voters, all of that certainly would be enough. After all, Oklahomans have been waiting for this for a long time; the park has been in talks for years, construction began last April and millions (about $193 million to be exact) have been spent to provide this new front door to Oklahoma City.

But that’s not where park organizers stopped. Opening weekend is jam-packed with free events for the entire family. And the best part? It’s just a taste of what’s to come with Scissortail Park. Kings of Leon, who have a huge Oklahoma fan base as the brothers in the band grew up partially in the Sooner State, will headline the opening night concert Sept. 27. Attendees do not need a ticket to attend the totally free concert, and gates to the park will open at 5 p.m. After the official Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting and Dedication at 6:30 p.m., Kings of Leon will take the stage. The night concludes with Moonglow Fireworks over Scissortail Lake.

“We wanted to start the weekend with something to show off the park and to show that the park is really important to us and the city,” said Jacilyn Kennedy, Scissortail Park associate director of events.

And it is important to the city, if the mayor is any gauge. Kennedy said it was because of a partnership with Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt that the park was able to garner such a crowd-pleaser to perform on opening night.

“Mayor David Holt has been such a wonderful supporter of the park,” Kennedy said. “He reached out to the Kings of Leon himself and was able to solidify that for us.”

Kennedy said park organizers are estimating about 100,000 people will roll through Scissortail Park during its opening weekend, with more than 30,000 people alone coming Friday night. Because so many people are expected, park staff are working closely to address any security issues that may arise.

“Safety is of the utmost importance,” Kennedy said. “We have a great partnership with the police and fire departments and EMSA. The entire city is on board with making this event as safe as possible.”

After partying until almost midnight on opening night, the park kicks off events the next morning with yoga at 8 a.m. and Zumba at 9 a.m. Boat rentals and food trucks will be available all day and into the evening, Robinson Lawn inside the park will feature lawn games and the children’s area will be transformed into Scissortail Park KidZone.

“We’ll have face painters, free crafts, oversized bubbles, kid-friendly music performances, puppet shows, Oklahoma Children’s Theater and OKC Improv all during the day at the park,” said Nicole Kusnierz, Scissortail Park programming manager. “It will also spark the imagination and creativity for the kids to see how they can use this space.”

Saturday afternoon and evening bring live local music with the Premier Starry Night Concert to begin after the sun goes down at 9 p.m. Stick around because activities don’t shut down until late Saturday night with Park after Dark, music and dancing from 10:30 p.m. until midnight. On Sunday the park will come to life at 11 a.m. with boat rentals, food trucks and live local music and other entertainment. At 6 p.m. the park will host the closing ceremony and conclude the evening with a concert from the OKC Philharmonic. The entire weekend is a preview for what
OKC residents can expect from Scissortail Park in the future.

“This weekend has a lot of fun activities to give an idea of what programming will be like throughout the year,” Kusnierz said. “For the fall, we will host yoga and story times, STEM programming, art-based activities and movie nights.”

With the public already shelling out millions to create the park, a foundation will take over to fund the rest of the park’s needs, relying on corporate sponsors and donors. The foundation is currently seeking volunteers to help with opening weekend. especially for the activities planned for Saturday & Sunday. To learn more about volunteering, visit www.scissortailpark.org/volunteers.

Opening Weekend Event schedule:

Friday, September 27th
5pm – Gates Open
6-6:30pm – Official Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting and Dedication at the Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn
6:30-11pm – Kings of Leon Concert with BRONCHO and Republican Hair at the Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn
11pm – Fireworks over Scissortail Lake

Saturday, September 28th
8-9am – Yoga at Robinson Lawn
9-10am – Zumba! at Robinson Lawn
9am-7pm – Boat Rentals at Scissortail Lake and Boathouse
11am-10pm – Food Trucks on Robinson Street
11am-7pm – Game Zone at East Lake Lawn with OKC Energy FC, OKC Dodgers and the OKC Thunder
10am-6pm – Family Day at Robinson Lawn and Stage with the following performers:
Thunder Drummers & Rumble
DJ Tangerine
Spaghetti Eddie
Sugar Free Allstars
411 Band
Stephen Salewon
Race Dance Company
Edgar Cruz
Ken Pomeroy and the Corduroys
Carter Sampson Band
11am-6pm – Acoustic Musicians at the Lake and Boathouse
11am-6pm Scissortail Park KidZone at the Playground and Play Pavilion, features face painting, make & take crafts, bilingual story time, Oklahoma Children’s Theatre & Mister Puppet Show
Noon-4pm – Community Art Installations with local artists
1:30am-4:30pm – Live Local Music at Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn
5-5:30pm Scissortail Park OKCPS Art Contest Awards at Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn
6-11pm – Premier Starry Night Concert at Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn, featuring Billy Jones Band & Markus James and the Wassonrai
11-11:15pm – Fireworks over Scissortail Lake

Sunday, September 29th
11am-7pm – Boat Rentals at Scissortail Lake and Boathouse
11am-8pm – Food Trucks on Robinson Street
11am-7pm – Game Zone! at East Lake Lawn
Noon-5:30pm – Neighborhood Showcase at Robinson Lawn
11am-6pm – Acoustic Musicians at the Lake and Boathouse
11am-6pm Scissortail Park KidZone at the Playground and Play Pavilion, featuring face painting, make & take crafts, bilingual story time, OKC Improv, Anansi the Spider Storytelling with Basically Bostick, RAICES Kids Dance Troupe & Oklahoma Children’s Theatre
Noon-4pm – Community Art Installations with local artists
5:30-6pm Closing Ceremony at Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn with a performance by The Pride of Oklahoma Marching Band
6-7:30pm – OKC Philharmonic Concert at Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn
7:30pm – Fireworks at Love’s Travel Stops Stage and Great Lawn