Formerly a ghost town except during the annual Festival of the Arts, the new and vastly improved Myriad Gardens recently received a $30 million makeover as part of the $180 million Project 180 plan for downtown. Included in the renovation of the 17-acre park is a repaneled Crystal Bridge (with LED-lighted glass panels to illuminate the night sky), kids play area, dog park, restaurant (opening soon), ice skating rink, modern bandshell, state-of-the-art spray park, multi-purpose pavilion, and expanded water stage seating.
To celebrate OKC’s latest revitalization project, the park officially opened Saturday in grand style by hosting the “Festival on the Green.” This family-friendly event featured live performances at both the bandshell and the water stage by the Oklahoma City Ballet, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, the Rodeo Opry, and country music artist, Pat Green, among many others. A farmers market enabled grown-ups to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, and Oklahoma-made products, while the kiddos painted gourds they selected from a nearby pumpkin patch and played in the various water features spread throughout the grounds. Magicians, musicians, food vendors, and orchid enthusiasts were also on hand to entertain, inform, and sell their goods, and the renovated botanical gardens inside the Crystal Bridge proudly welcomed the public free of charge.
For the first time in a long time, the Myriad Gardens was THE place to be in town, and with all of this opportunity for activity, I have a feeling that the park’s days as a ghost town are happily and finally a thing of the past.