Main Street to host Mardi Gras-themed shopping event

Fat Tuesday is just around the corner and Claremore Main Street has residents covered with a Mardi Gras-themed retail event on the Saturday before.

The Mardi Gras Poker Stroll is a shopping extravaganza that promotes shopping local and gives participants a chance to go home with a grand prize!

The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 10 in downtown Claremore. For every $10 spent at a participating store or restaurant that day, shoppers will receive a bead necklace, up to three per store.

Whenever the participant is done for the day, he or she can exchange the bead necklaces for playing cards. The best five-card poker hand wins.

Guests can collect as many beads as they want during the event with a minimum of five beads. Multiple beads benefit the participant because one can collect nine beads for nine different cards and select the best five for a better chance of winning.

If someone comes in with 10 or more beads, they can choose to play one or two hands, however each card can only be used once.

Bead necklaces can be exchanged between 10 a.m. at 3 p.m. at the Claremore Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Shoppers and diners should have their beads as well as a copy of their receipt – paper or electronic – listing the date of purchase as Feb. 10 only.

The grand prize – a gift basket worth more than $250 – will go to the person with the best hand as of 3 p.m. that day. The winner will be notified at that time and does not need to be present to win. The basket needs to be picked up within one week of the event.

Participating businesses will be designated by a poster in the window. The 17 participating businesses are Bike-About Bicycles, Boarding House Books, Boomarang Diner, Centsible Spending, The Cozy Cottage, District on Main, The Haberdashery, LoliPop: A Sweet Boutique, Outwest Home Decor, The Pink House, Rhapsody Boutique & Spa, Sailor Antiques, Second Impressions, She Brews Coffee House Downtown, Thrift Harbor, Waterfront Frame & Art and Willow Tree Mall.

Claremore Main Street is dedicated to the ongoing revitalization of historic downtown Claremore. With a focus on economic vitality, historic preservation and placemaking, the organization strives to secure downtown as the social and economic core of the community.

The Mardi Gras Poker Stroll is one of the handful of new retail-focused events Claremore Main Street is hosting this year. For more information or for a full list of events as the year progresses, view the calendar or call 918-341-5881.

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Residents, merchants to benefit from music downtown

As downtown Claremore continues to grow, a common request continued to come before the Claremore Main Street Director’s desk.

“People kept asking me what it would take to get speakers and a sound system downtown,” said Jessica Jackson, the organization’s director. “I heard it from business owners, community members and even a few City Councilors, so it became one of our major projects.”

The decision was made to raise the money needed — $25,000 in all – using crowdfunding, the idea that a little bit donated here and there by hundreds of community members can affect change.

“We’re really encouraged by the support so far. We are well on our way with about six weeks to go in our campaign,” Jackson said.

All donations are appreciated. Each donation is doubled thanks to donations from corporate sponsors. Donate online here.

“I would love music. Music is very motivational and to me it just would add and increase the ambiance of this downtown,” said Jim Anderson, a longtime resident of Rogers County. “Music is part of a rhythm that gives people a jaunt to their step … It’s more than a flat medium. Music is everywhere.”

“It allows people to kind of enjoy the moment much more than walking in silence,” he added.

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Once the project is funded, music will play along the speakers up and down the three blocks of historic downtown Claremore during regular business hours and events. Music will be at a low volume as to not disturb conversations or those living downtown.

“The Claremore Main Street staff will be careful in choosing the music played,” Jackson said.  “We don’t want it to be our favorite music, but what the community actually wants to hear.”

It’ll feature a variety of clean, radio-edits of songs, including but not limited to classic rock, adult contemporary, new hits and holiday music. Music also can be themed during the holidays or during Claremore events.

“Music makes people happy. It’s calming,” said Cari Bohannan, owner of The District on Main, 406 W. Will Rogers Blvd., a corporate sponsor of Music on Main. “You’re more relaxed when you listen to music, and I think you’re not as rushed.”

A number of businesses have caught the vision. Corporate sponsors – whose donations will be used in the drive as an individual match, essentially doubling a person’s donation – include the Downtown Claremore Merchant Association, Claremore Museum of History, District on Main, RCB Bank and Grand River Dam Authority.

“The Merchant Association wanted to contribute because this improves downtown for all of us, the community and the merchants,” said Amy Cannon, owner of Willow Tree Mall and DCMA Treasurer. “Additionally, these speakers will allow us to run announcements from the stage during events such as Food Truck Thursday … throughout all the event area.”

Given that the donation is going to a 501c3 nonprofit organization – Claremore Main Street – 100 percent of the donation is tax deductible.

“I think in the traditional aspect of just environmentally, you want to keep your town alive and active and part of that is having something that attracts people that nowhere else has,” Anderson said.

Jackson said she’s confident Claremore residents will come out to support the project and enjoy it once it’s in place. Donations will be raised through the St. Paddy’s Day Party on March 16.

“They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we believe it takes a village, a community, to create a sense of place in our downtown through music,” she said. “That’s why we’re asking for each citizen’s support. Just $10, $20 or $50 – any little bit can make a difference and make this dream a reality.”

Claremore Main Street is dedicated to the ongoing revitalization of historic downtown Claremore by promoting a healthy downtown economy, historic preservation and placemaking. It is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was established in 2002.

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

Third grant opportunity open to downtown businesses

Claremore Main Street announced this month a new beautification grant designed to help business and property owners in downtown Claremore make small improvements to their buildings.

The Beautification and Improvement Grant is a $75 matching micro-grant created for all those finishing touches that complete the look of downtown storefronts.

“These micro-grants are designed to offer an incentive for the little projects that shop owners are looking to do directly outside their business – a new flower pot, updated signage or even additional lighting,” said Jessica Jackson, executive director of Claremore Main Street.

Eligible improvements include planters and landscaping, signage, holiday lighting and decorations, some exterior painting, exterior lighting, window displays, public art and exterior cleaning.

“Our goal is to make downtown a destination to shop, dine and unwind,” Jackson said of Claremore Main Street, a nonprofit organization. “Being able to offer these grants to help small businesses improve their exterior will only encourage more people to spend time downtown.”

Applications are due monthly on the last day of the month by 5 p.m. to the Claremore Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd., or by midnight CST by email at .

Notification will be made within one month of the application deadline, and projects must be completed with receipts submitted for reimbursement within 45 days of the award notification. Applications must be completed and grants awarded before work begins.

Businesses and properties can receive the grant no more frequently than once a quarter and only on different projects. Preferences are given to new award applicants and projects that prove high visual impact, lasting improvement and active streetfront. The grant is exclusively for downtown partners.

“The last few years, we’ve had a successful partnership drive. In turn, we were able to get this grant up and running earlier than originally planned,” Jackson said. “We wanted this to be a perk for partners because they are the ones who helped us raise enough to offer it in the first place.”

Claremore Main Street also offers a $1,000 matching Façade Grant to anyone within the Main Street Boundaries, and the Downtown Claremore Merchant Association offers $250 Giving Back Grants to businesses within downtown’s National Historic District.

The Façade Grant has quarterly deadlines with the next one coming up on March 31. The application is available for download here.

The Giving Back Grant is open until the grants are awarded. Applications are available at the Willow Tree Mall, 409 W. Will Rogers Blvd., or by contacting the DCMA.

Claremore Main Street is dedicated to the ongoing revitalization of historic downtown Claremore. With a focus on economic vitality, historic preservation and placemaking, the organization strives to secure downtown as the social and economic core of the community.

For more information, call Jackson at 918-341-5881 or email her at . Applications and a map of the boundaries can be downloaded here.

More information about the Facade Grant Program here and the Giving Back Grant here.