Sidewalk sale kicks off monthly 1st Saturday Downtown

This summer, residents can grab great sales on the first weekend of each month as the Downtown Merchant’s Group begins 1st Saturday Downtown.

1st Saturday Downtown is a monthly downtown-wide sale on the opening Saturday of the month. The all-day shopping event begins when stores open, generally 10 a.m., and will feature great deals from the majority of shops in the downtown district.

“The new 1st Saturday Downtown is a great opportunity to come downtown and support our local shop owners and grab some great finds,” said Jessica Jackson, Claremore Main Street Executive Director. “The fact that there will be deep discounts is just an added bonus!”
Each month beginning at 12:30 p.m., a different food truck will be set up in the RCB Drive Thru to give guests another dining option. On June 4, Dorothy’s Wiches, a Claremore-based sandwich truck, will be the food truck in attendance.

​The inaugural 1st Saturday Downtown on June 4 also will feature a sidewalk sale and an appraisal fair.

The appraisal fair, which will be from 1-3 p.m. at the corner of Will Rogers Boulevard and Missouri Avenue, will offer an informal, verbal estimate of worth. There will be no sales associated with the appraisal fair.

For details about the deals offered at the opening 1st Saturday Downtown in downtown Claremore, visit the Facebook event.

Claremont 4th grade class wins UP Flag Art contest

Mrs. Flint’s 4th Grade class at Claremont Elementary School is the winner of the Union Pacific Flag Art Contest designed to promotion train history and safety here in Claremore. Fourth-grade classes all over town participated in the contest. Attendees at this year’s Sip, Savor & Shop: Taste of Claremore voted for their favorite flag. The winning class received $100, courtesy of Claremore Main Street and Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce, the contest’s hosts. The flag will be delivered to the contest’s sponsor, UP Railroad, to hang in their corporate office. All the classes’ flags are hanging in downtown Claremore all during the month of May, Train Safety Month.

Food Trucks to line downtown select Thursdays

Thursday nights will come alive in downtown Claremore again this year as the downtown district brings back the popular monthly food truck events.

Rebranded this year as Food Truck Thursday, the family-friendly street party features late shopping, delicious food trucks, top-notch music entertainment and activities along the street for patrons to enjoy.

“We are excited to bring back Food Truck Thursday this year. It’s a great opportunity to shop late while getting yummy food,” said Carol Thibodeau, chairman of the committee in charge of the event.

Food Truck Thursdays will be from 6-9 p.m. on the final Thursday of the month from May through October in downtown Claremore.

The only exception is June when the event was moved to the fourth Thursday to coincide with when the statewide bike ride, Oklahoma Freewheel, will be spending the night in Claremore.
Residents should mark their calendars for this season’s events on May 26, June 23, July 28, Aug. 25, Sept. 29 and Oct. 27.

The monthly event is hosted by the Downtown Claremore Merchants Group and Claremore Main Street.

“The monthly street parties give Rogers County residents a chance to gather, shop, eat and listen to great music. We have activities that are fun for all ages,” said Jessica Jackson, Claremore Main Street director. “It’s essentially a city-wide block party in the heart of Claremore.”

Visitors will find most of the stores open late, many with great deals for one night only. Food trucks will line Will Rogers Boulevard, which will be blocked off from Lynn Riggs Boulevard to Muskogee Avenue.

Live music from local and area musicians will entertain crowds and a kids zone will be chalk full of family-friendly activities. Further, non-food vendors will give attendees an even wider variety of browsing options.

“Our customers asked for us to bring back these nights. We plan to continue to grow it and make it even better this year, with different activities available at each event,” said Thibodeau, who also owns Rhapsody Boutique & Spa, 108 S. Cherokee Ave.

At most of this year’s events, local authors will have book signings at Boarding House Books, 300 W. Will Rogers Blvd.

Each month will feature a different theme to which activities will be focused.

Downtown Hoedown
Kicking off both the Food Truck Thursday season and the Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo will be the Downtown Hoedown on May 26.

“The Will Rogers Stampede Rodeo, now in its 75th year, is an event truly a great resource in our community,” Jackson said. “We want participants and guests at the rodeo to get a true Claremore experience, and that’s showcased in our downtown events like Food Truck Thursday.”

DocFell & Co. will be the featured band throughout the evening and a dance floor will give two-steppers a place to bust a move. The night will kick off with the singing of the National Anthem.

Eleven food trucks are scheduled to attend, giving guests a variety of cuisine and desserts. Food trucks include Meltdown Gourmet Grilled Cheese, Dorothy’s Wiches, MooChewSooey BBQ, Cake Smash, 2 Chefs on Wheels, Creole Catering, Taqueria El Jarocho, Kona Ice, Papos Latin/American Café, Dog House and Maw & Paw Kettle Corn.

Being a rodeo theme, visitors can enjoy free mechanical bull riding during the event. Other activities and vendors will be along the street to greet guests in attendance.

The Tri-State Gunfighters will perform throughout the evening on the streets in downtown Claremore.

Boarding House Books will host several area authors for book signings. One of the author’s, Doris Coke Myers, the niece of Will Rogers himself, will be there with her book, I Just Called Him Uncle Will.

RCB Bank’s booth will give guests an opportunity to meet and get an autograph with their favorite Miss Rodeo Oklahoma Teen and Princess.

Many of the downtown stores, which will stay open until 9 p.m., will feature discounts and giveaways throughout the evening.

Join the Facebook event!

For more information or to sign up as a vendor, please call Jessica Jackson at 918-341-5881 or Carol Thibodeau at 918-923-7157.

food truck thursay

Cash Mob ends season with a bang, benefits schools

PictureDistrict on Main owner Cari Bohannan (left) presents Amy Evans, executive director of the Claremore Public Schools Foundation at check.

A group of Claremore shoppers spent nearly $1,200 in a matter of 45 minutes at Claremore Main Street’s final Cash Mob of the 2016-17 season and will help improve the quality of education in a community as a result.

The bimonthly shopping ‘mob’ rushed into the District on Main last month, quickly finding goodies for themselves and others. Each shopper voted on a nonprofit to donate 10 percent of the night’s proceeds to and the Claremore Public Schools Foundation was the resounding winner.

“Thank you to Claremore Main Street, The District on Main and the community for supporting our schools and teachers,” said Amy Evans, the foundation’s executive director. “This donation will allow the Claremore Public Schools Foundation to continue making a difference in the classrooms and pursue our mission to ‘enrich the quality of education in the Claremore Public Schools.’”

​Regularly partnering with the foundation, District on Main owner Cari Bohannan agreed to donate the whole day’s proceeds to the cause. She said she appreciates all Cash Mob does for Claremore.

“I love Cash Mob because it’s shopping that is a contribution to a local store as well as a local charity,” Bohannan said.

Claremore brings home two first place awards

The Burlap Closet and North Block Common were recognized with first place awards at the 27th annual Oklahoma Main Street Awards Banquet on May 3 in Oklahoma City.

Further, Sarah Sharp, Claremore Main Street vice president, was recognized as Board Member of the Year for the program.

Claremore Main Street’s Crowning Achievement was the Strategic Plan, which renewed the focus needed to take the program to the next level.

Thirteen representatives from Claremore made the trip to Oklahoma City for the banquet. Melton Sales, Inc. provided a vehicle for many of the attendees to carpool together.

Main Street programs across the state submitted more than 250 nominations in 21 separate categories to Oklahoma Main Street Center to be considered for the awards.

The Burlap Closet
The Burlap Closet, 405 W. Will Rogers Blvd., took home the grand prize for Best Visual Merchandising, a category that features businesses that have a unique way of showcasing their items.

“It was exciting just to be in the running. I never really expected to win. We are truly blessed beyond measure to be in this community doing what we love,” said Katrina Pope, the store’s owner.

The Burlap Closet isn’t your average boutique, and it certainly doesn’t remind customers of a department store.

In the boutique, shoppers will find clothes and accessories hanging from a chair on the wall or inside an antique hutch, purchased from a neighboring downtown store. Almost all the items used to display her merchandise were bought downtown.

The store maintains a rustic-chic look throughout with wood pallets on the wall and modern furniture on the ground for visitors to rest.

Burlap Closet was a finalist in Best Building/Business Branding for their exterior signage as well.

North Block Common
North Block Common, 115 N. Missouri Ave., earned the Best Façade Rehabilitation Under $10,000 at the banquet.

“It was fun to see the energy and excitement of Main Streets across Oklahoma,” said Robert Melton, one of the owners of North Block Common who attended the banquet. “We are honored to be a part of Claremore Main Street and look forward to what is clearly a bright future.”

During their renovation last summer, brother and sister owners Robert Melton and Amy Gordon removed dated white painting on the bricks, uncovering an old ghost sign for a grocery store they later discovered was owned by their great-grandfather, George Melton.

Further, they replaced the windows and doors and added new outdoor lights and signage. The clean look of the building preserves its historic significance while updating to a modern feel.

The inside of the 3,500 square-foot building was turned into a co-working and meeting space that is now home to and Claremore Collective.

North Block Common was also a finalist in Best Interior Design Project.

“North Block Common was honored to be nominated for two categories and excited to bring home an award,” Amy said. “We are proud that our efforts have been recognized on a State level and look forward to working more with our Main Street community.”

Sarah Sharp
Claremore Main Street Vice President Sarah Sharp was voted as the Board Member of the Year by the local chapter’s Board of Directors.

Sarah has been with Main Street for six years and serves on several committees, including co-chairing the Promotions Committee and chairing the St. Paddy’s Committee.

“It’s great to see Claremore recognized for the strides business owners, organization and individuals have taken and continue to take to improve our community,” Sarah said.

Her keen organization skills, her knowledge of the program and its history and her presence at all events hosted by or in downtown either as a volunteer or an attendee led to her peers nominating her for this honor.

Sarah’s dedication to Main Street is invaluable and, more importantly, her character is unmatched.

This is the second time Sarah was named Board Member of the Year, having taken the honor in 2014 as well.

The Strategic Plan
In 2015, Claremore Main Street saw a year of transition and refocusing, which after hundreds of volunteer hours by Board members and stakeholders, resulted in the Strategic Plan.

The Strategic Plan put the program on the path to becoming stronger and more valuable in the years to come through specific goals, realistic objectives and renewed passion for the work the program does.

The Strategic Plan included six goals: increase memberships and sustainable funding, improve visual appeal through updates, increase the number of available properties, increase foot traffic, establish a strong merchant group and maintain ongoing communication with key audiences.

Each goal was assigned to one of the organization’s committees, and progress on each has gone well since the adoption of the plan last summer.

“The tides are turning and change is occurring,” Sarah said. “It is an exciting time for Claremore and its citizens.”

Façade Squad helps new building owner

Claremore Main Street volunteers known as the “Façade Squad” spent their Sunday helping the Thibodeau family remove an awning from their newly purchased building in downtown Claremore.

Carol Thibodeau and her family purchased 318 W. Will Rogers Blvd. and will be moving their store, Rhapsody Boutique & Spa, 108 S. Cherokee Ave., in the coming months.

But first, rehab.

Carol’s husband, William, and son Brad joined the Façade Squad, comprised of Tracy Whittaker, Ray Brown and Dale Peterson, on Sunday for the first step to the renovation.
​“We are thankful for the assistance of the Façade Squad,” Carol said. “They came ready with tools in tow, gave up their Sunday and worked hard. A true example of a community coming together to support each other.”

It took the group three hours to remove the awning and clean the area of debris. Since then, the owners have been removing paint chips from the building in preparation for a new coat of paint.

In the process, the Thibodeau’s have discovered a ghost sign that says “Daily Progress.” 318 W. Will Rogers was once home to the Claremore Daily Progress.