Bowlsey, Josh Sallee, Porch Mice to bring in '16 on 16th in the Plaza District 

click to enlarge Bowlsey poses for a photo in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Bowlsey poses for a photo in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2015.

Can’t get your tux ready before Dec. 31? Plaza District doesn’t think that’s a problem — arrive in flannel.

With its ’16 on 16th celebration, the district is hoping to fill a past New Year’s Eve void for those who frequent the community. This year, organizers will strive to attract a crowd with live music by Porch Mice, Bowlsey and Josh Sallee.

Cayla Lewis, executive director of Plaza District Association, said while the district is not trying to compete with the celebration downtown or any other party in the city, it offers an event that will be fun and unique for those who already enjoy the area.

That night, some district businesses and restaurants will stay open later. Lewis said visitors can expect a warm atmosphere with no strict dress code or suffocating crowds. Guests are not expected to keep themselves confined to the event area for the whole night.

“People can eat [somewhere in the Plaza District] beforehand and come or people can go back-and-forth from our event to the restaurants and just kind of walk around,” she said. “It’s kind of a destination in and of itself, so why not take advantage of that?”

The Spy/KOSU will continue celebrating five years of its VDub Sessions at the event. Fire pits and heaters will be on-site to combat the cold. Organizers have also discussed putting up a resolutions board or some kind of interactive community wall allowing attendees to reflect on the past year.

click to enlarge Cayla Lewis, new executive director of the Plaza District, 9-15-15. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • Cayla Lewis, new executive director of the Plaza District, 9-15-15.

Walkable celebrations

“This is an excellent opportunity for us to take advantage of the fact that we’re a walkable neighborhood,” Lewis said. “With Live! on the Plaza, you can walk around, with [Plaza District] Festival, you can walk around, but with a celebration such as New Year’s Eve, it really showcases you can go multiple places and still only park once and be in the same area and be safe.”

Lewis took over as director of the district in June. She said she spent much of 2015 warming up to the new position and in 2016, she will be ready to take full hold of the reins and be creative.

In 2015, the district welcomed several new businesses and hosted some new events like the Day of the Dead Festival.

“We’re hoping some things like that continue to happen [in 2016],” Lewis said. “Some more cultural events. We have been a fairly art-focused district, so we hope to include some other aspects into that.”

The party starts at 8 p.m., and general admission into event space is $16, which also includes craft beer from Anthem Brewing Company. VIP admission is $60, which includes access to the VIP tent, admission to the after-party at Empire Slice House, cocktails by Prairie Wolf Vodka and some additional goodies.

Tickets may be purchased at

(Cover illustration by Anna Shilling)

(Cover illustration by Anna Shilling)

Print Headline: Sweet 16th, Plaza District hopes to bring walkability and a low-key atmosphere to its New Year’s Eve.

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