By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2008
The Lilac Festival Planning Committee: (Back Row L to R) Dell Davis, Tanya Andrews, Dave McFall, (Front Row L to R) Nan Pope, Dale Peterson and Carolyn Peterson.
Claremore is a one-of-a-kind place with an interesting history. To celebrate Claremore’s uniqueness, Claremore Main Street and other organizers have coordinated the first-ever Lilac Festival, Saturday, May 10.
With the huge success of “Birthday on the Boulevard” in 2007, Claremore Main Street Director Cindy Bissett and others saw a need to continue the celebration of the town’s heritage with a spring event. Bissett, along with Chamber President Dell Davis and Tanya Andrews of the Claremore Convention and Visitors Bureau, came up with the idea to do a lilac festival.
The event, which sponsors plan to hold annually, is scheduled from 2 p.m.to 10 p.m. May 10 in downtown Claremore. The festival celebrates the city’s heritage associated with native Lynn Riggs, who wrote “Green Grow the Lilacs,” the critically lauded play on which the musical “Oklahoma!” is based.
The event is also an opportunity to showcase centennial projects that have been in the works since November 2007. “We want to recognize the completion of projects that were made possible with a centennial grant,” says Bissett.
Events already planned for the family-oriented celebration include a Cruisin’ Claremore Car Show, stage entertainment, a talent show for all ages and a Three Rivers Art Show. At the end of the evening, the movie “Shrek” will be shown outdoors on the big screen.
The talent competition has three divisions and is open to anyone for a small entry fee. Any type of talent is welcome, from singing to dancing to magic shows. For an entry form and more information, call 341-5881 or 341-2818.
An art project and competition is already underway with Claremore Public School fourth graders, who are decorating wooden cutouts of boxcars. While two local artists will be decorating the engine and caboose, the students will complete approximately 13 to 15 boxcars.
“The classes may choose to decorate their boxcars as they wish, but a lilac must be included in the design. That’s why we’re calling it The Lilac Express,” says Davis. “We chose a train because so many come through Claremore.”
The public will vote on the best boxcar, with the winning class receiving a $100 gift card from the Optimist Club of Claremore, to be used however the class chooses. “They can even use it for a pizza party if they want,” Andrews adds.
Since the event coincides with Mother’s Day weekend, the committee is planning several holiday-related activities. A “Make and Take” booth will be available for children to make fun gifts for their mothers. A “Mommy and Me” booth will allow mom to have her portrait made with the kids for a small fee.
The event will also include a children’s walking parade for those who wish to decorate a bicycle or walk with streamer and balloons to celebrate the lilac theme.
According to Bissett, “We are planning a lot of neat activities, especially for families.” Additional activities are anticipated as the committees wrap up their planning.
The Lilac Festival sponsors include Claremore Electric, Claremore Park and Recreation, the City of Claremore and GRDA.
Sponsors encourage you to visit downtown Claremore with your family Saturday, May 10 for a day of celebration, entertainment and beautiful lilacs.
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.