By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Other | Issue: February 2011
The Destination Claremore committee (L to R): Savannah Haddock of RCB Bank, Ali Aguilar of Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, Lisa Dennis, intern at Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jessica Putz of Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, and Tanya Andrews, executive director of Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The first Destination Claremore was so well-received, the Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) decided it was to become an annual tradition. The exciting nine-day event will take place April 29-May 7. This year’s headliner is Shirley Jones.
Destination Claremore aims to highlight the numerous attractions and rich heritage of Claremore and surrounding areas. “One of our goals is to bring back a native of Claremore, or someone with ties to our area – an Oklahoma legend,” explains Tanya Andrews, executive director of CVB. “Last year, headliner Patti Page stayed a week and performed for the very first time in her hometown. Our guest of honor this year is Shirley Jones. Many know her from ‘The Partridge Family,’ but when she was 19, she played the role of Laurey in the original film version of ‘Oklahoma!’, which was based on the play ‘Green Grow the Lilacs’ by Claremore native Lynn Riggs. Ms. Jones later went on to star in the stage version of ‘Oklahoma!’ in Europe.”
During her stay, Shirley Jones will be inducted into the Claremore Wall of Fame, and on May 3 she will perform a concert at the Robson Performing Arts Center. On May 4, Shirley will participate in “Conversations,” an assembly with local school children, and that evening will be at Will Rogers Downs for a meet and greet.
“Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs is excited to continue our partnership with the Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau as presenting sponsor for Destination Claremore. This year, we will host a meet and greet with Shirley Jones in the Turf Club on May 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.,” said Marketing Manager Ali Aguilar. The event will include refreshments, entertainment, and the opportunity to meet Shirley in person, take photos with her, and get autographs signed.
Destination Claremore headliner Shirley Jones.
The PAC concert and the meet and greet are ticketed events, along with “Taste of Claremore.” All other events of Destination Claremore are free.
“Taste of Claremore” will take place May 6 at the Will Rogers Memorial Museum. “This event showcases local restaurants, caterers and wineries. Last year, 17 businesses participated, and we are expanding this year. Each will provide a ‘taste’ of their menu,” explains Tanya.
Art on the Hill, an invitation art festival featuring artists from Rogers County, will be held April 29-30 at Rogers State University.
Shepherd’s Cross Wooly Weekend will also be April 29-30. Attendees can walk through the barn and observe the shepherds shearing, then watch as the wool is washed, spun and woven into a usable wool product.
Western Trading Days are April 30 and May 1 at Will Rogers Memorial Museum and J.M. Davis Arms & Historical Museum. You’ll find all types of items for sale, including guns, knives, and Native American and cowboy arts and crafts.
A new event this year is the Route 66 Cruise-In on April 30. The Route 66 Cruisers will cruise in to the Ne-Mar parking lot and display their beautiful classic cars.
The final day of Destination Claremore, May 7, will include the annual Lilac Festival in historic downtown. The festival offers a variety of activities: craft vendors, art shows, children’s activities, live stage entertainment and more. May 7 is also Derby Day at Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs, featuring Breakfast on the Rail, horse races, the annual derby hat contest, and several other competitions. The Kentucky Derby will be broadcast live that evening.
“Last year’s Destination Claremore was beyond our expectations. Every event garnered tremendous community support,” says Tanya. “The comments, phone calls, emails and handwritten notes I received from visitors across the country and from residents alike showed me the value of this event.”
Destination Claremore is hosted by Claremore Convention & Visitors Bureau, but according to Tanya, it would not be possible without the support of its sponsors. “Our sponsors go above and beyond to ensure that Destination Claremore is a success,” she says.
Presenting Sponsor Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs features live horse racing, exciting Las Vegas-style electronic games and video poker, great food, fabulous entertainment, and dancing. Presenting Sponsor RCB Bank is a major component of Claremore and its history, currently celebrating its 75th anniversary. The full-service financial institution is highly involved throughout the community, supporting schools and education, sporting events, Chamber events and more.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.