By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2012
Lilac Festival committee members are making plans for their best festival yet. (Seated, L to R): Dave McFall, Dale Peterson with Pepper, who is sad because he is not eligible for the wiener dog derby, Nancy Fitts, Dell Davis with her wiener racer Jesse, Valerie Gunter with her wiener racer River, (Standing, L to R): Debi Ward, Carolyn Peterson, Cindy Bissett, Sue Cowan and Tanya Andrews.
Claremore is the place to be for family-friendly fun and free entertainment on May 4 and 5 as the annual Lilac Festival returns to downtown Main Street.
Gospel on Main will kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday with free entertainment. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs to enjoy groups like the Cedar Point Praise Band and Christian gospel music performed by students from the Foyil Music School. A variety of musicians will perform throughout the day on Saturday, including the Rooftop Romeos, a classic 70s and 80s rock group; the Heartland Express, a bluegrass band; and a country band.
Claremore’s version of the Kentucky Derby, the Derby Dog Dachshund Races, will begin at high noon. Dog owners are encouraged to pre-register. By pre-registering, you save $5 and your dog will be slotted with the appropriate age division. The pre-registration fee is $10. The fee on Saturday is $15.
“By pre-registering, your dog is guaranteed to compete in the appropriate age category,” says Davis. “If not, your older dog might be competing with much younger dogs that are probably going to be faster.” Dogs must also be actual dachshunds. “If your veterinarian qualifies your dog as a dachshund, then you are eligible,” she says. “Dogs must also have current shots and be on a leash.”
Prizes will be awarded to preliminary race winners, who will then compete in the final heat for cash awards and for bragging rights as the “Big Wiener.” RCB Bank and PETCO are sponsors of the dog derby.
Other activities slated for the festival include The Train Station, a free make-and-take children’s craft area; inflatable bouncers for children; the Tulsa Garden Railroad Club’s large exhibit of model railroads; and the Rogers County Master Gardeners Association annual plant sale. This popular sale features plants and herbs grown by local master gardeners. Members of the association will be on hand to answer gardening questions.
The Lilac Express, a BNSF Railway sponsored 4th grade art project, will roll into the festival again this year. The public is encouraged to vote for their favorite boxcar, with the winner garnering a $100 gift card for their class.
Union Pacific Railroad will also be sponsoring “Banner Tracks,” flag art created by youngsters in the private and home school arenas. Main Street will be decorated with the flags, and the public will vote for their favorite. The winner receives a $100 gift card.
The tradition of selling lilac bushes to promote community beautification will continue. Two sizes of lilacs will be available. One-gallon plants will sell for $10 and two-gallon plants for $20. “Due to last year’s drought, we urge people to pre-order; there will be limited quantities,” says Davis.
Event attendees will also enjoy an assortment of other arts, crafts, food and community booths. An old-fashioned Tiny Cake Walk will be held at 11 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. A new addition to the festival this year is The Ultimate Mobile Video Gaming Experience, a new concept in video games. “There will not be any violent games,” adds Davis.
The festival is also bringing back the Show-off Car Show. “People can bring their cars for display,” she says. “There is no entry fee but for anyone who pre-registers, they are eligible for a cash drawing.” The Lilac Festival is hosted by Claremore Main Street and the Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce with thanks to the City of Claremore, GRDA, BNSF Railway Company and the Union Pacific Railroad Company for their generous sponsorships.
For more information, to pre-purchase a lilac bush, or to enter the derby dog race, contact Claremore Main Street, Inc. at (918) 341-5881 or eat0@eau0eav0eaw0.
The festival is free and open to the public.
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.