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'We want our river back' | Leaders announce big plans for Zink Lake opening

Zink Lake
Posted at 8:27 PM, May 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 13:35:44-04

TULSA, Okla. — On Labor Day, a dream of 58 years will become reality.

Zink Lake will open to the public with big festivities planned. Mayor GT Bynum told 2 News plans include a parade, a fun run, fireworks, and various watersport activities. Including the return of Tulsa's Great Raft Race along the river.

“We want to have our river back,” Mayor GT Bynum said, “We want to be able to use it. We want it to be the focal point of outdoor, water-based recreation in our city that our previous cities got.”

WATCH: 2 News tracked the plans for the river over the years:

Tulsans seeing water in Zink Lake for first time

Roger Thompson, who lives nearby, and frequently visits, agrees.

“I would love people to come down here, because it’s serene, it’s therapeutic. This is where you come and debrief from being at work all day. You come down here and get a peace of mind.”

It’s been a decades-long journey to get to Zink Lake’s opening.

  • 1965 - Plan developed for Zink Lake
  • 2020 - Voters approved Zink Lake
  • 2021 - Construction underway
  • 2024 - Zink Lake will open Labor Day weekend

“I think it is a testament to the persistence that Tulsans have and the willingness to work together, to find a way to get it done. It is so quintessential Tulsa,” Bynum said.
WATCH: Officials are making sure the river is getting tested ahead of the opening:

Zink Lake Water Quality Plan

Tulsa Regional Tourism is leading the charge for the big shindig. VP of Marketing Tim Chambers spoke with 2 News Oklahoma about the plans.

“This is phenomenal for our city but it’s also phenomenal for us as we look to grab other people’s money, because we want to bring them into Tulsa. It’s really important,” Chambers said.

Leaders posted schedules and plans for the festivities at this link.

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