By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2010
The Territorial Marshals will be doing historical reenactments both nights of Dickens on the Boulevard.
Transport yourself back to the days of the Victorian era at Claremore’s annual Dickens on the Boulevard, a two-day event celebrating the beginnings of the city and kicking off the holiday season. On November 19 and 20, downtown Claremore will turn back the hands of time to when the now-renovated historic buildings were celebrating their grand openings. “This is a great experience for the whole family,” says Cindy Bissett, executive director of Claremore Main Street. “Everyone can learn something about Claremore’s heritage and have fun together.”
Each year visitors come from all around the region to take in the colorful sidewalk scenes, straight out of a Dickens novel, and the authentic Victorian costumes. Prizes will be awarded each night for the best-dressed couples, individuals, boys and girls.
Some of the foods that Dickens characters may have eaten will be on the menu in the Victorian food court. Enjoy cornbread and beans, stew and sarsaparilla.
Era-appropriate artisans will be featured in various stores. Blacksmiths, basket makers, weavers, glass blowers, wood carvers and candle makers will display their skills and offer their creations for purchasing.
The Territorial Marshals will be back with an expanded performance. This historical reenactment group has been known to play card games that are interrupted by a “bank robbery.” But there’s no need to worry – everyone will be safely entertained.
Other old favorites include wagon rides, photos with Santa, Christmas at the Belvidere Mansion, and street dancing, including the graceful waltz and the lively Virginia reel. The street dancing will begin around 8:30 p.m. both nights.
Most of the downtown stores will remain open until 8 p.m. during the event to host their Christmas open houses. Victorian characters in the display windows will welcome shoppers in.
The renovated historic buildings are home to a wide variety of tenants, including antique malls, restaurants, clothing consignment stores, bookstores and shops specializing in jewelry, home décor, bicycles, dolls, children’s clothing, picture frames, flowers and equine accessories.
Participating stores will offer entries in a Dickens Dollars Giveaway. Three prizes, to be used as cash in the stores, will be awarded each night.
At 6 p.m., the popular upper floor tours will begin in a select group of downtown buildings. Historical characters will provide factual and colorful details of the role each building played in shaping Claremore’s early history. The doctors, lawyers, merchants and innkeepers, all portrayed by local volunteers, will tell stories of what they did and how they did it. One group, however – the “bawdy” ladies – probably won’t share as much information. “We have new scripts and actors this year, so if you have gone on the tour before, it will be a whole new experience this year,” says Cindy.
Cost of the two-hour guided tour is $5 per person. Flashlights are provided. Capacity is limited, and reservations must be made in advance.
Dickens on the Boulevard is presented by Claremore Main Street, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and revitalization of Claremore’s historic downtown district.
For more information, please call Cindy Bissett at (918) 341-5881.
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.