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Arvest Winterfest pushes opening date to Nov. 30 amid Tulsa's record COVID-19 surge
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Arvest Winterfest pushes opening date to Nov. 30 amid Tulsa's record COVID-19 surge

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Winterfest Ice Dec 06

Arvest Winterfest is returning to downtown Tulsa on Saturday, Nov. 30.

Citing its support of the city’s efforts to reduce the occurrence of public interactions amid a rapid spike of COVID-19, the BOK Center will delay the start of the 13th annual Arvest Winterfest.

In an announcement Friday, the BOK Center said it will shift the event’s opening to Nov. 30. Winterfest was originally scheduled to begin Saturday.

“We plan to keep working closely with (Tulsa County Department Director Bruce) Dart and the Tulsa Health Department and will continue to make adjustments as recommended by them to make sure we provide our guests with the safest experience possible,” BOK Center interim general manager Evan Falat said in a press release.

In past years, ice skating took place on an outdoor rink near the BOK Center. Despite a global pandemic, organizers for the event decided it would be held inside the arena with safety protocols in place.

The shift in schedule comes a day after Mayor G.T. Bynum urged Tulsans to assist weary health care workers and strained hospitals struggling to keep the community safe as the coronavirus spreads almost unabated throughout the region.

Whenever Winterfest begins, it will feature an ice capacity more than 8,000 square feet larger than the usual rink on Third Street, an ideal environment for social distancing, officials said.

BOK Center’s public capacity will be “drastically capped” at a socially responsible percentage in line with recommendations from the Tulsa Health Department and Centers for Disease Control, according to the release.

Timed ticketing will aid in keeping the ice from being overcrowded. Guests will need to go online to tulsawinterfest.com to reserve a date/time to skate. Each reservation allows the skater 75 minutes of ice time once the ticket is scanned.

Additionally, Winterfest will feature preventative measures as advised by the Tulsa Health Department and the CDC.

No cash or checks will be accepted this season and everyone ages 10 and older will be required to wear a face covering at all times while inside the venue, which mirrors Tulsa’s citywide mandate.

A calendar with prices and daily hours of operation is available at tulsawinterfest.com.


Video: ‘We are not contemplating a shutdown in Tulsa,’ Mayor G.T. Bynum says Nov. 19


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