By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Other | Issue: November 2007
Dickens on the Boulevard is enjoyed every year by people of all ages.
Sidewalks and storefronts in downtown Claremore will be transformed into a Dickens-era wonderland at the annual Dickens on the Boulevard event. Taking place the weekend before Thanksgiving, the event will start nightly at 6 p.m. on November 16 and 17. Since its establishment in 2003, the two-day, Victorian celebration of Christmas kicks off downtown’s holiday shopping season.
Local personalities contribute to the season of gaiety by dressing up in Victorian finery and becoming part of storefronts’ “living windows” displays. Those who stroll down the sidewalks of Claremore’s downtown historic district can peek into the store windows and be transported back to the Victorian era.
Adding to the richness of the Victorian era scenes will be singers and street musicians. The sounds of bagpipes, hand bell choirs, a community chorus, local singers, Celtic music and Christmas carolers will fill the air throughout the Dickens On The Boulevard event.
The dress contest is always a favorite Dickens on the Boulevard event from year to year. Participants are encouraged to arrive in their best Victorian finery: top hats, spats, long tresses and frilly dresses. Beginning at 7:30 on both Friday and Saturday evenings, a competition will be held to select the best-dressed woman, man, couple, boy and girl. “We will be judging people as they stroll through the streets,” says David Wolf, chairperson of this year’s event.
Tours will be given of the second stories of several historical buildings in downtown Claremore. “People will be able to see what has happened in these rooms through storytelling,” Wolf says. “People will also get a glimpse of what the rooms looked like in the past when they served as doctors’ offices, boarding houses and more.” Tickets for the tours will be sold for a small price, and a limited number of people will be allowed on each tour.
Carriage rides and trips to the Belvidere Mansion also top the list as favorites among Dickens on the Boulevard guests. Stories about the ghosts of the Belvidere will be told during tours of the famous mansion.
Both evenings of Dickens on the Boulevard will feature an opportunity to learn the art of Victorian-style dancing. Streets will be blocked off in preparation for the dance lessons, which are scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. both nights.
The Artisan Village will be back this year with approximately 15 different artisans. Featured crafts and wares of the Victorian era will be available for purchase. “We’re expecting to have crafts from weavers, blacksmiths, quilters and a glass-blower to entertain and educate people,” Wolf adds.
New attractions have also been added this year. “We have invited area schoolchildren to enter an art contest depicting scenes from early Claremore and the Dickens era,” says Wolf. “We will display their artwork at Wolf Productions Gallery of the Arts.” Plans are also underway for a Dickens-era re-enactment performance.
Dickens on the Boulevard is sponsored yearly by Claremore Main Street, Inc. For more information about the event itself or to volunteer, call (918) 342-4210 or e-mail Wolf at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0. Mark your calendars for November 16 and 17.
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.