Downtown launches Music on Main fundraiser

Music is coming to downtown Claremore.

But it will only arrive through generous donations by hundreds of Claremore residents, friends and business owners.

Claremore Main Street’s Music on Main initiative is designed as a crowdfunding project to raise funds to install 12 speaker sets on current light poles in downtown Claremore. The project went public on Nov. 28, Giving Tuesday.

The project, which has been in the planning phase by the nonprofit organization for the last few months, is looking to raise $25,000.

“Psychological studies have shown that music plays to people’s emotions and social instincts. It enhances customer moods and visual pleasure, directly leading them to be happier,” said Debbie Butler, Claremore Main Street Board President. “Music is powerful. We know this, and we feel it missing from our downtown.”

The concept is simple. During business hours, the speakers will play music – whether it’s today’s popular music or a holiday hit – for those sitting on a bench or wandering through the downtown.

During downtown events like Dickens on the Boulevard or Food Truck Thursday, music, bands and announcements from the stage will play throughout the three blocks.

“As folks stroll through the streets of downtown Claremore, we want to see their heads bopping to the latest hits or classic favorites. During the holiday season, we want to fill the streets with Christmas cheer through music,” said Jessica Jackson, executive director of Main Street. “In short, we want to surround Claremore’s historic core with joy and harmony.”

The project was born out of several committee members experiencing music in downtown’s throughout the state and country including Okmulgee, Broken Arrow and Collinsville.

“I’ve experienced music downtown in several other communities and thought to myself, ‘Claremore needs this,’” Jackson said. “We hope to see the system fully in place in the middle of the summer of 2018.”

The organization already has seen an outpour of support from local businesses and partners who have agreed to match certain funds raised by community individuals.

“We are thankful to have local businesses support us through matching donations,” Butler said. “Because of their support, your individual contribution will be doubled, matched dollar-for-dollar, so you can make a bigger impact on this project.”

Donations on Giving Tuesday were matched through a grant from the National Main Street Center. Other matching donations will be from the Downtown Claremore Merchant Association, the Claremore Museum of History, The District on Main and RCB Bank.

The Music on Main committee is comprised of representatives from downtown businesses, City of Claremore, Claremore Collective, Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority, Rogers County Industrial Development Authority, Rogers County, RCB Bank, Claremore Main Street Board members and volunteers within the community.

Claremore Main Street officials hope to raise the full $25,000 by mid-March, but the support of individuals in the community is paramount.

“This project is for the community and in turn will be funded by the community,” Jackson said. “Main Street is contributing finances as well as time and talent, but we want the community involved. When this project is all complete, and the speakers are up and music is playing, we want you to be able to say, ‘I helped make this happen.’”

Claremore Main Street is dedicated to its mission to enrich downtown Claremore by promoting a healthy downtown economy and advocating for revitalization and historic preservation. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was established in 2002.

For more information, call Jackson at 918-341-5881 or email .

Downtown merchants host Santa pictures

He’s making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who’s naughty and nice. Santa Claus is coming to (down)town.

Good old Saint Nick will be available for photos in downtown Claremore for 1st Saturday Downtown on Dec. 2. He will be in the window of the Cranberry Merchant, 417 W. Will Rogers Blvd., from noon to 3 p.m.

Photos are $5 and will include a print to take home that afternoon. The pictures are hosted by and a fundraiser for the Downtown Claremore Merchant Association.

“We’re excited to have Santa come to Claremore all the way from the North Pole for the second year in a row,” said Sheila Giannelli, president of the DCMA. “This is one of the fundraisers we do that helps us give back to the community and our downtown.”

In the last year, the DCMA has hosted several events that raised money as well as provided a service for the community – including Santa photos last year, Souper Saturday and Easter Bunny photos as well as Food Truck Thursday in conjunction with Claremore Main Street.

The organization also has given back to the community through a canned food drive and a school supply drive.

With the money raised, the DCMA has donated $2,500 to Claremore Main Street’s Music on Main initiative and has established a grant fund of $1,000 to help property and business owners make improvements downtown.

The Santa photos are part of 1st Saturday Downtown, a monthly event on the first Saturday of each month in downtown Claremore that features activities and/or special sales and discounts.

Downtown focuses on shopping small for Small Business Saturday

The weekend after Thanksgiving is one of the most shopped of the year as it’s home to Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

This year, Claremore Main Street has teamed up with American Express to host Small Business Saturday events and shopping deals in downtown Claremore.

Small Business Saturday – Nov. 25 – is the chance for holiday shoppers to make a big impact by shopping at small, locally-owned stores.

“We just want to see folks come out and enjoy the day with us in downtown Claremore, finding one-of-a-kind items for their loved ones,” said Jessica Jackson, Main Street Director. “It’s a good time to remember that when you shop local, you’re helping your neighbor right here in Rogers County — not some corporate CEO on the coast.”

The day will kick off with the free Shopper Breakfast at She Brews Coffee House’s downtown location, 414 W. Will Rogers Blvd., from 8:30-9:30 a.m. The first 200 guests will receive a free canvas bag full of shopping deals.

She Brews will be serving coffee and breakfast burritos for free to shoppers, and many stores are opening the doors early.

More than 20 downtown stores and businesses are offering specials and discounts for Small Business Saturday shoppers.

“Shopping local is especially important in Oklahoma, where cities rely solely on sales tax as a lone funding source,” Jackson said. “I challenge everyone to do the majority of their Christmas shopping right here in Claremore to make the biggest impact.”

While out and about, shoppers are encouraged to use the hashtags #SmallBizSat and #ShopSmall to join the nationwide conversation.

Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010. It was created to be a day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to promote small, locally-owned businesses.

Claremore Main Street is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to its mission to enrich downtown Claremore by promoting a healthy downtown economy and advocating for revitalization and historic preservation.

For more information, call Jackson at 918-341-5881 or email or follow the Small Business Saturday event page on Facebook.

Claremore set to kick off Christmas Victorian-style

The windows in downtown Claremore are featuring red and white displays with Christmas trees and Santa Claus images. Wreaths have started the line the streets, and a faint ‘ho, ho ho’ can be heard in the distance.

Brace yourself. Christmas is coming.

Downtown Claremore starts the holiday season off every year with Dickens on the Boulevard, a Victorian-themed Christmas festival right in the heart of town. The 21st annual Dickens on the Boulevard starts at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday night (Nov. 17-18).

“Thousands of community members come out each year to start the holiday season with us,” said Jessica Jackson, Claremore Main Street director. “We love hosting this event, which is truly for the whole family – for the whole community – to enjoy together. It’s certainly a labor of love.”

The two-night event is jam packed with Victorian and Christmas activities and culminates each night with the Victorian stroll and street dance. Rogers County and surrounding residents of all ages join one another in the streets of downtown Claremore to dance the night away.

Dickens on the Boulevard is hosted by Claremore Main Street. RCB Bank is a major sponsor of the event while Wantland Law Firm is the saloon sponsor. Supporting sponsors are Price & Sears Law Firm, Inola Castings, Claremore Chiropractic, Three-Twenty on Main, Kevin Fortna, CPA, and Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority.

What’s new this year?

While keeping all the traditional favorites, the Dickens on the Boulevard planning committee has been hard at work creating more of an atmosphere for guests to this year’s event.

“With such a long-running event, it’s important to us to continue to add new features each year,” Jackson said. “From fencing to a new tour to a silent auction, we have some fresh, fun activities for 2017!”

The Victorian Fencing Society will be in Claremore both nights of the event, taking the stage for a demonstration at 7:15 p.m. Society members will be around after the performance to answer questions and show additional techniques.

There will be a silent auction on Friday night only at the Claremore Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Proceeds of the auction go to benefit the continued revitalization and beautification of downtown Claremore.

Auction items include tea set baskets, Christmas decorations, a wine basket, a Main Street basket with $50 in free shopping, a coffee basket and a Young Living Basket. The auction begins at 6 p.m. and closes out at 8 p.m.

Claremore Main Street is also selling limited edition ornaments that feature the Will Rogers Hotel, Will Rogers statue, railroad tracks and Route 66. The ornament says “Downtown Claremore” and “Season’s Greetings 2017.”

Ornaments are on sale now and during Dickens on the Boulevard at the Main Street office; The Grapevine, 404 W. Will Rogers Blvd.; and the Willow Tree Mall, 409 W. Will Rogers Blvd., for $10 while supplies last.

Also new this year is the Historic Walk, an afternoon tour that takes guests from the Will Rogers Hotel to the Belvidere Mansion for a one-hour, quarter-mile storytelling adventure.

The Walk is perfect for history buffs – both from Claremore and not – as the tour guide is guaranteed to tell stories about Claremore characters never before heard.

The tour begins at 2 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Will Rogers Hotel. Tickets are limited and pre-purchasing is encouraged. Tickets can be purchased at the Claremore Main Street office for $8 during regular business hours.

In addition to the Historic Walk, the Tales from the Top evening tours are back this year with brand new plays. The Tales from the Top tours include history on five of the downtown Claremore buildings, a short play and a chance to explore the upper floors of those buildings, often with only a flashlight.

The Tales from the Top tours begin each night at 6 p.m. Tickets are $12 and advance purchase is encouraged. They are available at the Claremore Main Street office.

What’s Victorian themed?

Throughout the evening, guests will be greeted by actors in a “living window,” street urchins and street performers all in character.

“This is Victorian-themed festival,” Jackson said. “We take that seriously and really want to make our visitors feel like they’ve traveled back in time.”

Guests are encouraged to wear Victorian-era attire to the event, which hosts a Victorian Costume Contest each year.

Contestants can check in to be judged between 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Thrift Harbor at 316 W. Will Rogers Blvd. The judges will review the entire ensemble for authenticity.

Winners will be announced each night at 8:20 p.m. at the stage in the following categories: Adult Couple, Adult Male, Adult Female, Young Male, Young Female, Male Child and Female Child.

The Territorial Marshals will host territorial re-enactment in the center block of downtown at 7:45 p.m. Friday night, while the Tri-State Gunfighters will have an old west shootout at the same time Saturday.

Horse and carriage rides are available to take visitors from the downtown core to the Claremore Museum of History, the Belvidere Mansion and back to the boulevard. Rides are $5 for adults, $3 for children 6-12 and free for youngsters five and under.

To whet your whistle, the Wantland Public House – an old-west saloon – will be at 512 W. Will Rogers Blvd., serving up sarsaparilla, water, peanuts and a card game called faro. There will also be a selfie station in the saloon.

Those who come hungry can enjoy dinner from the traditional chuckwagon for campfire favorites. Additionally, the Masonic Lodge and Boy Scouts will both be selling food.

Open for business those nights downtown will be the Pink House in the Belvidere Mansion, Boomarang Diner, Dot’s Café, She Brews Coffee House, Main Street Tavern and Frosted.

What’s Christmas themed?

No Christmas celebration would be complete without a visit with Santa Claus himself. Santa will be available for pictures at the Cranberry Merchant, 417 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Pictures are $5 and can be downloaded about week after the event.

After visiting Santa, children should stop by Santa’s Workshop inside Crystal Pistol Boutique & Mom & Pop Ceramic Shoppe, 323 W. Will Rogers Blvd., to paint their own Christmas ornament keepsake for $5.

Along down the street, guests will be transported back to Biblical times with the Living Nativity by Shepherd’s Cross. The Living Nativity includes several live animals as well as Mary, Joseph and the Three Wise Men.

On the stage at 6:30 p.m. Friday night, the Choir Company will perform Christmas classics to entertain the crowds.

“Christmas is woven throughout this event,” Jackson said. “You won’t be able to leave without singing carols and feeling in the Christmas spirit.”

Naturally, holiday shopping is a must at Dickens on the Boulevard. Most of the downtown stores will be open throughout the event and many participate in Dickens Dollars – a downtown shopping giveaway.

Dickens Dollars are gift certificates that can be used like cash at participating stores. For a chance to win some of the $800 in Dickens Dollars given away, guests can visit any or all of the 20 participating stores. [Dickens Dollars instructions]

Participating stores will have a sign on their door, window or at the register. One ticket per adult is available free of purchase from each of the stores. Some stores offer additional tickets for purchases.

Tickets should be dropped off at the Gold Box on the stage before 8:15 p.m. each night. Five $75 packets of Dickens Dollars will be given out for free to winners each night. The additional $50 will be part of Friday’s silent auction.

In addition to the stores, several craft vendors will be set up in the 500 and the 300 block to sell items you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

Four local authors will be set up in Boarding House Books, 300 W. Will Rogers Blvd., for author book signings. Authors will have their books for sale during the event. The local authors are Linda Harkey, Linda Trout, Will Kennebrew and Karen Willis.

How can I learn more?

Join the Facebook event!

Interested parties can also get more information on Claremore Main Street’s website or by calling 918-341-5881.

Cash Mob benefits local women’s shelter

Downtown Claremore was mobbed again.

Mobbed by a generous group of Claremore folks who are dedicated to shopping local and benefitting the community’s nonprofits. It was all part of Claremore Main Street’s Cash Mob.

Cash Mob is bimonthly shopping ‘mob’ where participants gather and then, as a group, “mob” a downtown store chosen at random, spending $20 in that store. Hundreds of dollars are pumped into the local economy in 45 minutes.

The mob also benefits a local nonprofit, usually voted on by the attendees. But in October, Cash Mob went to Second Impressions, a resale shop that directly benefits Safenet Services, a local women’s shelter.

Since the business was already a nonprofit, 100 percent of the money spent directly went to benefit all Safenet does for Claremore families.

“What a boost for Second Impressions,” said Donna Grabow, Safenet Executive Director. “With that boost, we are able to have transportation for residents of shelter and help with supplies for support groups. Talk about a major win-win.”

Safenet Services helps families of domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault with a safe haven to live, heal and thrive. It was established in 1991, and in the last 26 years has provided shelter and safety for more than 3,200 abused women and their children.

Second Impressions, 106 N. Cherokee, is a trio of stores that have furniture, books, knick knacks and boutique clothing, often designer clothing never before worn.

Grabow is also a “mob” shopper, and she has found some of her favorite stores through Cash Mob. She said the bimonthly activity turns out to be a win for all – the shoppers, the stores and the nonprofits.

“Cash Mob is the greatest,” she said. “Spending $20 in local shops is a blast. Sometimes we just don’t take the time to go explore, and this is an opportunity to do just that with a great group of shoppers. The local businesses get a real boost in sales for the day. Plus, many new customers may be found!”

The Cash Mob was sponsored by Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority.

The next Cash Mob is scheduled for Dec. 5 at 5:30 p.m., and is sponsored by Kevin Fortna, CPA.

To participate in Cash Mob in the future, please fill out the form below.

Two tours offered this year at Dickens on the Boulevard

History buffs and story enthusiasts have two tour options to enjoy this November in conjunction with downtown Claremore’s Dickens on the Boulevard.

Dickens on the Boulevard is a Victorian-themed Christmas festival right in the heart of downtown on Nov. 17-18 now in its 21st year in Claremore.

Guests have an opportunity to enjoy two separate tours as part of the annual event – the Tales from the Top tours and the afternoon Historic Walk.

As one of the activities, the Tales from the Top tours have delighted guests for years. The tours will be all new this year, with never-before-seen plays in the upper floors of five of historic downtown Claremore buildings.

After the play, guests may have an opportunity to walk through the upper floor with a flashlight to see what pieces of history may be left over from previous tenants.

The tours begin promptly at 6 p.m. each night and last about one hour.

The tours are open to children, but some of the upper floors do not have electricity and are very dark. Parental discretion is advised. The tour includes several flights of stairs.

Tales from the Top tour tickets are $12 and should be purchased in advance at the Claremore Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Tickets are on sale now and are limited.

In addition to the Tales from the Top tours, Claremore Main Street is adding an afternoon Historic Walk on Nov. 18 only.

The Historic Walk takes guests from the Will Rogers Hotel to the Belvidere Mansion on a one-hour entertaining journey through the history of both the downtown and Claremore as a city.

Guests will hear stories about former Claremore residents, histories about the buildings and fun facts about town.

The Walk is just less than a half-mile and comfortable shoes are encouraged.

Tickets for the Historic Walk are $8 and are limited as well. The tours will be at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Downtown Claremore is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Dickens on the Boulevard starts each night at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public but food and some activities do cost.

The event includes Victorian era clothing and costume contest, a fencing demonstration, “living windows,” artisans, traditional chuckwagon fare and street ‘urchins’ with the night capping off with the stroll and street dance.

Santa Claus will be posing with pictures, and Santa’s Workshop will give guests an opportunity to paint an ornament. Both activities are $5 each. There also will be carolers and a free living nativity scene by Shepherd’s Cross in addition to a horse and carriage ride to the Belvidere Mansion and Claremore Museum of History.

Those looking for more of a wild west feel can enjoy the annual shootout each night at 7:45 p.m. with the Territorial Marshals will take the stage on Friday and the Tri-State Gunfighters performing the re-enactment on Saturday. Guests can whet their whistle at the saloon – Wantland Pub House – for sarsaparilla and a chance to play faro with the Territorial Marshals or take a photo with the saloon girls.

Stores stay open during the event. Shoppers can qualify for the Dickens Dollars drawing by visiting any of the participating stores. Dickens Dollars are gift certificates that spend like cash at participating stores. There are multiple drawings each night at 8:15 p.m.

For more information, visit us online or call 918-341-5881.