Food Truck Thursday brings the carnival downtown

Claremore residents can test their ring toss skills this Thursday during this month’s Food Truck Thursday: Downtown Carnival on July 28.

The monthly event, set in downtown Claremore from 6-9 p.m., features live music from Brent Giddens Band, a free Kids Zone by First United Methodist Church, a chance to dunk local celebrities in a dunk tank, more than 10 food trucks and late-night shopping.

“With hundreds of people flocking downtown to enjoy our district each month, the Food Truck Thursday is one of my favorite events,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Claremore Main Street. “We have a little bit of something for everyone with great shopping, food, kids activities and local musicians.”
​The Kids Zone is completely free to attendees, but parents are asked to watch their children while they enjoy the bounce houses, sand castle stations, face painting and carnival games.

In addition to the Kids Zone on the 300 block of W. Will Rogers Blvd., near the band on the other end of downtown will be a balloon animal artist handing out free creations and a dunk tank featuring local faces.

For $5, guests will have three opportunities to dunk State Farm Agent Grant Gingerich, City Councilor Jeff Godwin, Rogers County Sheriff’s Office’s Erica Brown and Joel Smith,’s Ashley Orf or compete in the Bedlam Battle – Dr. Steve Elgeston representing the University of Oklahoma or Brent Youngs representing Oklahoma State University.

“The dunk tank is a fun addition to our event and the carnival theme,” Jackson said. “We found your neighbors and community figures who were willing to just have fun with us at this event and put themselves in the hot seat.”

Proceeds from the dunk tank will go to improving subsequent Food Truck Thursdays and beautification of downtown Claremore.

Pokémon Go fans can make use of the five Pokéstops in the district as “lures” will be set up all three hours to help gamers nab some rare Pokémon during the event.

“We see people walking the streets all day and night in search of Pokémon, and we are excited to add in something for the gamers in our event this Thursday,” said Carol Thibodeau, owner of Rhapsody Boutique & Spa, 106 S. Cherokee, and Food Truck Thursday committee chairwoman.

Boarding House Books, 300 W. Will Rogers Blvd., will feature a book signing by local authors Jim Laughter, Tom Yarbrough, Jan Monk, Tammy Mullins and Patricia Harsley.

Several 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, Taqueria El Jarocho, Papos Latin/American Cafe, Curbside Comfort, Wild Al’s and Jen’s Java.

Additionally, the final Civic Concert will take place in Gazebo Park on Thursday evening. The Claremore Museum of History will be open and will hand out free ice cream sundaes to the first 100 people who show up after 7 p.m.

Many of the downtown stores, which will stay open until 9 p.m., will feature discounts throughout the evening. LoliPop: A Sweet Boutique, 518 W. Will Rogers Blvd., will hand out free cotton candy to the first 100 guests.

There are three other Food Truck Thursday’s remaining this season. Rogers County residents can enjoy CLUE in Downtown Claremore on Aug. 25, I Art Claremore – Downtown Chalk Walk on Sept. 29 and Downtown Zombie Infestation on Oct. 27.

The monthly event is hosted by the Downtown Merchants Group and Claremore Main Street, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the revitalization of the downtown district and reigniting the area as the social core of our community.

Check out the event on Facebook!

Dunk Tank Schedule
6-6:25 p.m. – State Farm’s Grant Gingrich
6:25-6:50 p.m. – Councilor Jeff Godwin
6:50-7:15 p.m. – BEDLAM BATTLE
Brent Youngs (Orange Power!)
7:15-7:40 p.m. – BEDLAM BATTLE
Dr. Steve Elgeston (Boomer Sooner!)
7:40-8:05 p.m. – RC Sheriff’s Office’s Erica Brown
8:05-8:30 p.m. – RC Sheriff’s Office’s Joel Smith
8:30-8:55 p.m. – moreClaremore’s Ashley Orf

She Brews expands thanks to community leaders

One of Claremore’s favorite lunch spots is getting the opportunity to grow and serve more of Rogers County thanks to a donation by Leadership Rogers County.

She Brews Coffee House, 414 W. Will Rogers Blvd., is in the process of their remodel, which will include dining for an additional 30 people and a full-service kitchen.

“We had this vision but Leadership Rogers County became like the fuel behind the vision to make it happen. We honestly could not have done it without their assistance,” said Rhonda Bear, She Brews’ owner. “I’m very grateful.”

Each year, the Leadership Rogers County class raises money with an annual golf tournament to benefit a local nonprofit or cause. The 2016 class unanimously voted to help She Brew’s vision to expand.

“Our class felt that our class project contributing to She Brews was a no-brainer,” said Crystal Campbell, the 2016 Class Leader. “The story of She Brews leads a great example for so many in that together we can make effective changes in the lives around us.”
“Servant leadership is a core value of any great leader and so many of us felt that common bond in Rhonda Bear,” she added.

She Brews isn’t your traditional coffee shop. It’s a ministry that gives previous incarcerated women a chance to get back on their feet and change the path of their lives. Bear also works to reunite the women with their children.

Her program boasts an 85 percent success rate. In October, Bear was named the Leading Lady of the Year in Claremore.

“With the growth, we can increase the number of employees,” Bear said. “They love to tell their stories. What’s going to be neat is that the walls will tell their stories, too.”

The front of the She Brews will have a coffee shop feel, with a barista station and couches. Diners will go farther back to enjoy a traditional dining area. On the walls will be photos of women saved – and their children — through Bear’s mission and a looping video with their stories.

The glass tabletops were donated by Oklahoma Glass & Mirror in Claremore and the TV to display the video was donated by Destiny Life.

Farther back still will be a full kitchen, allowing She Brews to make their staple “She Bread” and their traditional casseroles and dishes on site.

“To be able to support a local business as well as the lives of Oklahoma women and children meant so much to so many in our Leadership class,” Campbell said. “The smiles of the ladies and the heart of Rhonda make it an easy place to love going to and supporting.”

Bear said she hopes to see She Brews reopen in mid-July.

Leadership Rogers County is a program designed to develop the talent and broaden the perspective of future or present community leaders. The program provides practical information, builds networking circles and provides opportunities to serve the community.

“It was great to go through the journey of Leadership Rogers County this last year,” Campbell said. “As a class, we not only got to see more of our community but we made great friendships as well.”

To apply for the 2017 Leadership Rogers County Class or to get more information about the program, visit their website.