History Goes Downtown

By: Eddie Stephens | Category: Other | Issue: November 2006

Carol Grassi, Owner of Antique Peddler’s Mall, is ready to step into the Victorian era celebration.

The streets of Claremore echo with history. You are invited to join residents and visitors for a stroll down Main Street on November 17-18 to enjoy the classic sights and sounds of the Victorian era.

Dickens on the Boulevard transforms downtown Claremore into a splendid Victorian setting one weekend each year and it is an excellent opportunity to welcome the upcoming holiday season!

Carol Grassi, owner of the Antique Peddler’s Mall on Main Street and the Promotions Director and Secretary of Claremore’s Main Street, Inc., the catalyst organization for this event, says, “I support, promote, and take part in this annual event because I’m a downtown merchant. I’ve fully participated for 16 years.”

The annual two-night event commences on a Friday evening. The historic Will Rogers Boulevard will be closed at 3:30 p.m. that day as the downtown area is transformed into a Victorian era setting.

At select locations throughout the downtown area there will be performances, food services and a featured Artisan’s Village. Event activities officially begin at 5 p.m. with ongoing entertainment throughout the event.

Many classic, Victorian themed activities span the two-days of festivities and entertainment. “Living” window displays will feature live mannequins regally dressed in Victorian attire.

Participants dressed in Victorian attire will stroll the streets. You will feel as though you have stepped back in the pages of time. On Saturday night, those attired accordingly, will have the opportunity to be recognized and awarded in a Victorian Costume Contest.

The Artisan’s Village, located at 510 Will Rogers Blvd., will feature public demonstrations of period trades and crafts. A Blacksmith, Glass Blower, Spinner, Weaver, Wood Carver, Sculptor, and more will enable you to experience a marketplace of the era.

Beyond the downtown location, the past will come alive on the grounds of Claremore’s Belvidere Mansion. Throughout the event, wagon rides will transport you from downtown, to the Belvidere, and back.

Christmas at the Belvidere and Mansion-themed ghost stories will provide entertainment for the entire family. Be sure to spend some time on the Belvidere lawn to interact with those participating in the Civil War encampment.

Returning downtown, a Victorian Food Court will offer food, drink and dessert choices for a small fee. Although event functions are free, proceeds from the food court help fund the annual event.

An event highlight, beginning at approximately 8 p.m. each night, is the Victorian Street Dance. Though period themed attire is recommended, everyone is invited to participate.

According to Grassi this festivity draws all ages, “It’s an enjoyable sight to see everyone from children up to ninety-year olds, many in Victorian attire, dancing into the night.

All merchants stay open late. You’re invited to shop, browse and enjoy the event theme throughout the downtown shops.”

A merchant costume contest engages many of the downtown business owners. The winning merchant receives a $100 credit on their next electric bill.

Participating merchants will give out Dickens Dollars when you enter their store. These tickets provide an opportunity for you to receive prizes of varying amounts, which will be awarded before the street dance at 8 p.m.

“Participating businesses are asked to donate $25 in prize money. A ‘cash prize’ will be awarded in the form of Dickens Dollars, which can be spent at participating businesses anytime between Saturday, November 17 and Christmas Eve,” Grassi says.

Ms. Grassi also reminds us that a Living Nativity will be featured, in addition to traditional Pictures with Santa, as we approach Christmas. “Dickens on the Boulevard is an exceptional way to welcome the holiday season.”

In its 14th year, this event showcases Claremore’s downtown area and its merchants. Grassi has been a part of the business community for 16 years with her Antique Peddler’s Mall that features only antiques and collectibles. The store is open 7 days a week (Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.).

We want people to experience Claremore’s downtown district. With the variety of shops and dining opportunities, you can park and spend an entire day here.

History reverberates in downtown Claremore. And once again, you are invited to enjoy a slice of history as you participate in Dickens on the Boulevard – November 17 and 18.

For more information, contact

Claremore Main Street

(918) 341-5881

Antique Peddler’s Mall

(918) 341-8615

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