By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2011
Santa’s reindeer are on vacation until Christmas Eve, so Santa will be hitching a ride on one of the Verdigris fire engines for the parade. (L to R): Andrew Williams, Dave Sykes, Santa Claus, Chief Mike Shaffer and Josh Irby.
Tradition (noun): the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially by word of mouth or by practice: a story that has come down to us by popular tradition.
The Town of Verdigris is establishing a new tradition this year with its first-ever Christmas parade, set for Saturday, December 3 at 1 p.m. The Town of Verdigris’s population has more than doubled over the past 10 years, and this community, just south of Claremore, is seeking ways to establish its own identity, according to Verdigris Town Clerk Susan Beck.
“We’ve been discussing the idea of a Christmas parade for the past five years or so,” says Beck, “but we weren’t in the position to pull it all together. Our town is now big enough to support it. Now, we have a police department to help manage and stage it and the personnel we need to put it together effectively.”
Although the Verdigris school district, located right off Highway 66, has celebrated their football homecoming with a parade each year, this is the first town-sponsored parade. “We want to bring the town together and start some of our own traditions,” Beck adds. “We want to bring recognition to our town by gathering children, families and older people together. It gives us an identity as a town.”
Parade organizers are inviting area businesses, church groups and schools, including bands, civic groups, veterans’ groups, organizations and clubs of all kinds. “We’d like to encourage area Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, sports clubs, motorcycle riders and 4-wheelers as well as bicycle riders to enter the parade and join in the Christmas festivities,” says Beck. You can also saddle up your horse or hitch up your wagon team to join in the festivities.
The town is also organizing a “Little Mr. and Miss Verdigris” contest. Winners of a drawing will get to ride in the parade. “Anyone from age four through eight can enter the contest,” says Beck. “We will put all of the names of those entered in a pot and draw out two lucky winners.”
The parade lineup will begin at the east parking lot of Verdigris High School. Parade participants will then travel down 540 Road to Franklin Road and then to their final destination at the south end of the elementary school parking lot, where Santa Claus will greet children of all ages after bringing up the end of the parade on a Verdigris fire truck. Parents and grandparents need to bring their own cameras to capture a photo of their children with jolly Ole Saint Nick.
“A greeting area will be set up at the elementary for photos with Santa,” says Teresa Dorsey, the deputy town clerk, who is also helping to organize the parade. “We want to encourage people in the area to consider a parade entry, whether it is a float, a vehicle or something else,” she adds.
“This is an outreach, as well as a way to pull our community together,” says Beck. “We want area people to share in the fun and celebration of Christmas.”
To participate in the Town of Verdigris’s inaugural Christmas parade, contact Dorsey at (918) 379-0142 or email her at eat0@eau0eav0eaw0 to request an entry form. Dorsey may also be contacted for an entry form for the “Little Mr. and Miss Verdigris” contest.
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.