By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Other | Issue: November 2014
Making plans for this year’s Dickens on the Boulevard are committee members (L to R): Matt Mize, Denise Lawrence, Dale Peterson, Barbara Cruse, Susie Nickerson, Carolyn Peterson and Kathy Glover. (Not pictured: Hope Conner and Abigail Peters of the RSU President’s Leadership Class, Jenny Meeks, Brenda Reno, Hoytana Benigar and Jeannie Smith.)
Claremore Main Street will be kicking off the Christmas season with their annual Dickens on the Boulevard celebration featuring lots of family-friendly fun for everyone November 21-22 in historic downtown.
Five of Claremore’s historic buildings will come alive on both nights with a guided 90-minute tour of the upper floors and “a slightly embellished story from Claremore’s past,” says Cindy Bissett, executive director of Claremore Main Street. “Participants on the ‘Tales from the Top’ tours will get to hear a story from a character that is closely associated with the building’s past as they portray their life in early-day Claremore. This year’s attendees will also get to participate in the first city council meeting that will be re-enacted based on documented minutes from that meeting, meet royalty who visited Claremore for the radium baths in 1906, and more.” Tours will begin promptly at 6 p.m. on both nights. Cost is $8 per person.
Main Street will be roped off for dancing beginning at 8 both nights, including the polka and waltz as well as other Victorian-era dances. Bob Rollins will be calling the dances, such as the
With the closing of downtown to traffic, families can safely stroll, dance or ride by wagon down the historic main street beginning at 6. Businesses will be decorated for the holiday season during the free event. Many businesses will also be hosting open houses and keeping their stores open until 8 p.m. Shoppers can sign up for drawings and receive up to $100 in Dickens Dollars to spend at the participating merchants. “We’ll be giving away $300 to $400 each night,” says Cindy.
Visitors will be transported back to the Victorian era with live storefront window displays. Individuals, donned in their extravagantly designed gowns and frock coats, will engage people strolling down the historic sidewalks. For those who want to participate in the action by wearing a costume, a contest will be held to determine the Best Dressed. Winners will receive prizes in the following categories: man, woman, couple, young man, young woman, boy and girl.
Onstage entertainment by local groups will add to the festive scene. Children can also have their photos snapped with Santa Claus for $4. For those who want to use their own cameras, the cost is only $2.
Other planned activities include a Territorial Marshals Reenactment, a Living Nativity, and wagon rides to Christmas at the Belvidere, where an open house will be hosted on the second floor of the historic mansion. “The Territorial Marshals will be reenacting a gunfight, meeting people in their saloon where you can buy nonalcoholic beverages like Peanut Sarsaparilla and learn old-time card games,” says Cindy.
Victorian craftsmen will also be on site demonstrating their craft, including a wood turner, a blacksmith, a basket weaver and more. Regional authors will be available both nights to sign copies of their books at Boarding House books, located across from the Claremore Progress.
For more information, contact
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.