Get a running start into your new year with pre-Opening Night 5k event 

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As a prelude to New Year’s Eve festivities across downtown Oklahoma City, Arts Council of Oklahoma City again hosts its Dec. 31 Opening Night Finale 5k.

This year’s runners will pass through downtown Oklahoma City as they wind their way past landmarks such as the SkyDance Bridge, all while dressed in festive party glitter, costumes and capes, said Christina Foss, the arts council’s communications director.

Bicentennial Park marks the event’s starting and ending lines.

Foss said the run serves two purposes.

“It’s a fundraiser for the arts council, and it’s a good way to kick off your healthy resolutions, to start the New Year off right,” she said.
It starts at 4 p.m. and ends with enough time to prep for a night out to welcome in the new year.

“You get done in plenty of time, even if you’re just walking, to be able to go home and get dressed and ready for the evening,” she said.

Each runner receives a medal, and winners in male, female and age categories also receive a piece of original artwork, and a grand prize will be awarded for “most festive costume.”

“[The medals and artworks are created by] artists that we use and have relationships with during the year,” Foss said. “Collin Rosebrook; he makes the awards for the top three in each age division. He makes these really cool medallions; they’re kind of like a pottery piece. Dean Emeril created sculptures that are for the top overall finishers.”

Family-friendly festivities also will be held right after the race. Opening Night begins at 7 p.m. as five downtown venues feature music and theater performances and a youth activities area will be in Civic Center Music Hall.

“We’ll have the face painting and the interactive art and activities for the kids, as well as performances inside,” Foss said.

Opening Night’s countdown celebration starts around 11:30 p.m. at Bicentennial Park, 500 Couch Drive, with R&B act Shortt Dogg as the featured music performer.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun and live music, and we’ll raise the ball and have a huge fireworks show and countdown to midnight,” Foss said.

Race proceeds benefit Arts Council of Oklahoma City’s many events and education programs.

Early bird registration is $30, which increases to $35 after Dec. 14. T-shirts will be provided to early entrants.

Race packets can be picked up noon-7 p.m. Dec. 30 at Red Coyote Running and Fitness, 5720 N. Classen Blvd., or at the starting line at Bicentennial Park on the afternoon of the race.

Runners who participate in the 5k will be provided with a wristband to use at Opening Night, a $10 value.

Learn more about Opening Night Finale 5k and Opening Night at artscouncilokc.com.

Print Headline; Party pace, Get a running start into your new year with this pre-Opening Night celebratory 5k event.

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