Main Street Claremore walking tour now available on your phone

Main Street Claremore and the Will Rogers Memorial Museum have partnered to produce a Main Street Claremore Walking Tour that people can take with just their phones.

On your phone’s web browser visit and select the “Enhanced Tours” Button.

Tours are available for the Memorial Museum, Birthplace Ranch, the states and countries Will Rogers visited, and now, the Claremore Main Street Walking Tour.

The tour currently offers information on the Belvidere Mansion, the Claremore Museum of History, the Claremore Daily Progress, the Twin Oaks Motel, the Northblock Commons Mural and the Will Rogers Hotel.

Each includes some text a short audio clip to introduce tourists and home-owners to new information about downtown Claremore’s iconic landmarks.

Tad Jones, executive director of the Will Rogers Memorial Museums, said, “It’s something we can expand, grow, and eventually put video on there.”

“We hope we can use that system to encourage people to go and look around Claremore,” Jones said.

It’s a Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley!

Shopping local has never been easier this holiday season as shoppers can travel throughout Claremore on a free Holiday Trolley on Saturdays in December.

Claremore’s Holiday Trolley was announced by West Bend Winterland as a way to encourage both shopping local and attending the activities at Winterland.

“We are thrilled to have the Holiday Trolley this year,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Claremore Main Street. “It will just make the whole Christmas experience better in Claremore – where you can shop, dine and enjoy Winterland seamlessly and without the hassle of a car.”

The Trolley will leave from the grounds of the Claremore Expo Center and make continuous loops to several trolley stops, including Ne-Mar Shopping Center and two stops in downtown Claremore – one on Missouri and the other in the Claremore Daily Progress Parking Lot. All trolley stops will have signage to make it easier to spot for pick-ups and drop-offs.

The Trolley will run from noon until 8 p.m. on Dec. 1, Dec. 8, Dec. 15 and Dec. 21. The complimentary service is made possible by West Bend Winterland, Claremore Main Street, the Claremore Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Claremore Merchant Association.

“Shoppers can ride as often as they like, or make several trips back to their vehicle at the Expo Center in case they need to drop off bags,” said Tanya Andrews, director of the Claremore Expo Center. “This is a great way to promote Shop Claremore, Shop Local and encourage residents and visitors to spend money in town. It’s a great service provided by our partners.”

Many of the merchants in historic downtown will remain open until 7 p.m. or later, and folks can always grab a great meal or libations while they are out and about.

“The merchants are excited to participate in West Bend Winterland and are glad to partner in the Holiday Trolley, which will provide shoppers a convenience we have not had in Claremore before,” said Sheila Giannelli, president of the Downtown Claremore Merchant Association.

A full schedule of the Holiday Trolley and West Bend Winterland can be found online here or by calling 918-342-5357.

Shop Small this Saturday for Small Business Saturday

Downtown Claremore’s second annual Shopper Breakfast will kick off the national Small Business Saturday for Claremore this Saturday, Nov. 24.

Small Business Saturday is the chance for holiday shoppers to make a big impact by shopping at small, locally-owned stores. Falling the day after Black Friday, it fits into the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

“Shopping locally and at small businesses makes such a big impact on our local economy and serves our local families,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Claremore Main Street. “That’s why we’re eager to host a Small Business Saturday breakfast with She Brews again this year.”

For the second year in a row, Claremore Main Street has teamed up with American Express to host Small Business Saturday events and shopping deals in downtown Claremore.

The day will start with the free Shopper Breakfast at She Brews Coffee House’s downtown location, 414 W. Will Rogers Blvd., at 9 a.m. The first 200 guests will receive a free canvas bag with store coupons and deals for the day.

She Brews will be serving coffee and breakfast goodies for free to shoppers, and many stores are opening the doors early for customers to get started right away.

Santa Claus will even be in town! He will be in North Block Common, 115 N. Missouri Ave., from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for free photos, courtesy of Grant Gingerich State Farm and MoreClaremore.

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, follow the Small Business Saturday event page on Facebook.

Dickens on the Boulevard promises ‘historically’ good time

The air is getting cooler and soon Santas, snowmen and holly will be popping up everywhere. The onset of the holiday season in Claremore brings a historic flair as Dickens on the Boulevard hits the streets of downtown Claremore for the 22nd year.

The Victorian-themed Christmas festival in the heart of downtown has been the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season for decades and comes back to Claremore on Nov. 16 and 17. Donning historic attire, the streets of downtown are flooded with shoppers enjoying the crisp winter air, holiday music and historic re-enactors.

“This event is a Claremore favorite because there is so much to do, see and experience during Dickens on the Boulevard,” said Jessica Jackson, Claremore Main Street director. “It brings history alive while launching guests into the Christmas season.”

Visitors will be greeted by actors in a “living window,” street urchins and even a chuckwagon feast to fill the three blocks of the historic downtown. A carriage ride to the Belvidere Mansion and back, a saloon – Wantland Public House — with sarsaparilla, and a chance to play cards with the Territorial Marshals give guests even more of that Victorian spirit.

Gearing up for Christmas, Santa Claus himself will be on site in the Cranberry Merchant, 417 W. Will Rogers Blvd., for photos for $5, and just down the street will be a living nativity by Shepherd’s Cross.

A free Kids Zone will be available both nights. Cedar Point Church is sponsoring Friday’s Kids Zone while Trinity Baptist Church is sponsoring Saturday’s Kids Zone.

Saturday only, Dickens on the Boulevard will feature a Dickens of a Cook-off Chili Cooking Contest. Participating businesses, nonprofits and individuals will begin in the afternoon and cook through 6 p.m., at which time public tasting will open. A limited number of tasting kits will be sold starting at 5:30 p.m. for $5 while supplies last.

Cook-off participants can register through an application online here or in person at the Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Space is limited and available for a $35 registration fee. Awards will be given out for People’s Choice, Judge’s Choice, Booth Decoration and Ham-manship.

“People always mention they want more food options, and what goes better with a Victorian-themed Christmas festival than delicious chili?” Jackson said. “We hope the cook-off brings more people downtown during the day and then feeds them at night.”

Stores stay open during the event. Shoppers can qualify for the Dickens Dollars drawing by visiting each of the participating stores and asking for their complimentary ticket. Additional tickets may be available with purchases.

Dickens Dollars are gift certificates that spend like cash at participating stores. There are multiple drawings each night. Winners receive Dickens Dollars, which are good to spend through Christmas Eve.

The Schedule

At 6:15 p.m. both nights, the stage entertainment will kick off with Christian Homeschool Acting Troupe’s “It’s a Wonderful Christmas Grinch,” an original mash-up of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” and “A Christmas Story.”

Following the play will be Westside Elementary School Choir on Friday and Timothy O’Brian’s Celtic Cheer on Saturday. Around 7:10 p.m., First United Methodist Choir will take the stage on Friday and Bethel Holiness Choir will perform Saturday.

Follow the stage entertainment, the annual shootout will take place at 7:45 p.m. by the Territorial Marshals.

Each year, the event features a Victorian costume contest with categories for different ages and genders as well as for the best dressed couple. Those interested in entering can visit Thrift Harbor, 316 W. Will Rogers Blvd., between 5:30-8 p.m. each night to check in with the judges.

Following the costume awards presentation is the festival’s nightcap – the Victorian Stroll and Street Dance. The stroll is the perfect opportunity for young and old to get together on the street and enjoy the old-fashioned entertainment. A caller will explain each dance, so community members of any experience level can take part.

“The stroll and street dance is my favorite part of the evening,” Jackson said. “The whole community comes together to dance and enjoy downtown. The togetherness and sense of belonging is so strong; it’s just the perfect way to end the night!”

Special Tours

The Tales from the Top tours will be all new this year. It is a ticketed tour that takes guests through the upper floors of five downtown Claremore buildings. A short play will take place in each one, and guests may have an opportunity to poke around the 100-year-old buildings.

The tour begins at 6 p.m. and last about an hour. Tickets are $12 and are limited. They can be purchased beginning on Nov. 1 at the Claremore Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd.

For historic buffs, Claremore Main Street also offers a daytime Historic Walk through downtown on Saturday afternoon. The approximately three-quarter mile walk takes guests from the Will Rogers Hotel to the Belvidere Mansion while relaying aspects of Claremore’s history and telling stories that most Claremore residents don’t know.

Tickets for the Historic Walk are $8, are limited and will be on sale at the Main Street office Nov. 1. The tour will be at 1 p.m. Nov. 17 and end at the Andy Payne Sculpture Dedication Ceremony at Gazebo Park. The dedication ceremony begins at 2 p.m.

The Claremore Museum of History is hosting the sculpture dedication and opening a new Andy Payne exhibit that day. Andy Payne is known for winning the International Trans-Continental Footrace in 1928.

Dickens on the Boulevard is hosted by Claremore Main Street. Wantland Law Firm is the saloon sponsor. Supporting sponsors are American StaffCorp, Leading Edge Landscape Creations and RCB Bank.

For more information, visit us on the web or call 918-341-5881.

Alley Activation 2025: Mural Signing Party on Oct. 2

Photo by DroneWorks

Downtown Claremore is a little brighter and bolder, thanks to a larger-than-life mural on the North Block Common, 115 N. Missouri Ave.

The mural is part of Claremore Main Street’s Alley Activation 2025 project. Public surveys earlier this year resulted in the No. 1 takeaway being that Claremore residents wanted more public art.

Alley Activation 2025 was born from a Claremore Main Street committee and with the support from the City of Claremore, partnerships with Spectrum Paint and The Hammer Studio, the first piece of alley revitalization and our first public art piece in four years, has been possible.

We were proud to have enlisted the artistic ability of Claremore’s own John Hammer, of Hammer Studio to be the artist.

The Mural is centered around Claremore Astronaut Stuart Roosa, Claremore’s favorite son Will Rogers, and of course a large Route 66 road sign.

On Oct. 2, a community party in the alley will take place from 5-7 p.m. where the artist will sign his artwork, officially completing the 2,700-square-foot piece. There will be food, beverages, live music and a fun atmosphere!

Main Street expands grant opportunities downtown

With the success of the Façade Grant Program offered by Claremore Main Street, the nonprofit organization announces an expanded program, including five new grants.

Grant opportunities include Awning Grant, Lighting & Signage Grant, Windows & Doors Grant, Paint Grant and a Storefront Grant.

“We are thrilled to expand our popular Façade Grant Program to include new, specific grants,” said Jessica Jackson, Claremore Main Street Director. “In the last year, we’ve had two grants projects completed and two more in the works right now.”

Each grant offers a dollar-for-dollar match, essentially doubling the applicant’s dollars not to exceed $1,000 payout.

The program has quarterly deadlines for building owners to apply when it is most convenient for them. The next deadline is Sept. 30.

“We know that building improvements can be expensive, so we’re happy to be able to help share that cost and reduce the burden for property owners,” Jackson said.

While the grants are targeted to property owners in particular, renters are welcome to apply with the property owner’s permission.

The Awning Grant is for repair, replacement or addition of awnings.

The Lighting and Signage Grant is for repair, replacement or additions for exterior lighting as well as for signage.

The Window and Door Grant offsets the cost for window or door repair and replacement as well as transom repair and replacement.

The Paint Grant is available for exterior painting, with the exclusion of painting unpainted brick, as well as murals or public art desired on the property.

The Storefront Grant includes masonry or mortar joint repair, replacement or repair of architectural details, removal of non-historic materials and other improvements.

Applications must be completed in full, including a detailed description of the project, bids or quotes and photos, and be turned in by the deadline. Projects must be completed within six months of the award notification.

To be considered, applicants must be within the Claremore Main Street Boundaries, which extend from Lynn Riggs Boulevard to Chickasaw Avenue and from 4th Street to Patti Page Boulevard.

Applications will be given priority if they prove high visual impact, historic or architectural integrity, lasting improvements and are on an active street front or include a public entrance.

The Façade Grant Program began in April of 2017. The inaugural recipient was Carol Thibodeau, owner of Rhapsody Boutique & Spa, 318 W. Will Rogers Blvd., for a new awning on the building’s storefront.

Last fall, Claremore Main Street awarded a grant to the Rogers County Historical Society for help paying for the repairing, caulking, re-glazing and painting windows and trim at the Belvidere Mansion.

In August, Kevin Fortna, CPA, was awarded two grants – one for the front and one for the rear of his building at 512 W. Will Rogers Blvd.  Those projects are expected to be completed in the fall.

In addition to the five new grants with the Façade Grant Program, Claremore Main Street also offers a Beautification & Improvement Grant, which is for smaller beautification projects such as planters, outdoor décor, holiday decorations or window displays. The B&I Grants have monthly deadlines and are worth $75.

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 . Applications can be downloaded here.

Fresh Paint Days to transform downtown Claremore building

One downtown Claremore building will have an all new look with a fresh coat of paint thanks to Claremore Main Street volunteers and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful’s Fresh Paint Days grant.

Volunteers will gather on Monday (Sept. 17) evening to paint the outside of downtown’s centermost building, 409 W. Will Rogers Blvd. The store, formerly the Willow Tree Mall, is in the process of re-branding to the name Back in the Day.

“I’m so excited about Fresh Paint Days. It’s going to greatly improve the look of my store and our street,” said Ronda Cole, owner of Back in the Day. “The timing is perfect since I’m re-branding my store I’ll have a new look for a new name!”

The “Paint Party” will begin at 5 p.m. and will go through 8 p.m. Supplies and dinner will be provided to volunteers, whether they’re able to give just an hour or stay for the duration. All are welcome.

“This is the second year in a row we’ve participated in Fresh Paint Days,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Claremore Main Street. “It’s a great opportunity to really put some sweat equity into our wonderful downtown to support businesses and improve the area.”

Additionally, each volunteer who signs in will be entered into a drawing to win a $50 gift card to Back in the Day.

Claremore’s local Sherwin Williams store is a community partner, donating primer, paint supplies and t-shirts for all volunteers.

The volunteer painters will be replacing orange and black paint with recycled, almond-colored H-I-S paint provided by the grant.

Fresh Paint Days is a program founded on the collaboration between H-I-S Paint and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful. KOB, with the help of sponsors, provides the paint and a stipend for supplies; selected communities supply the volunteers. This program has helped to revitalize communities across Oklahoma with a fresh coat of paint.

Claremore Main Street and Back in the Day are among 43 participating groups working on chosen projects across the state.

H-I-S Paint and Keep Oklahoma Beautiful started the Fresh Paint Days program in 2005.

“H-I-S Paint is thrilled with the transformations that are being made within each of the communities participating in the Fresh Paint Days in Oklahoma initiative,” said Joe Cox, founder and CEO of H-I-S Paint. “It’s amazing how a fresh coat of paint can help to transform the entire community.”

Amelia Schoenhals, the projects coordinator for KOB, works with potential participants throughout the application process.

“I am honored to be able to assist communities in renewing their pride for the town they have built a life in,” Schoenhals said. “The participants of Fresh Paint Days truly exemplify how Oklahomans can make a change by working together, asking for help and applying a vision for the future.”

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 .

Food Truck Thursday celebrates 1950s

Downtown Claremore is celebrating the days when women walked around downtown in poodle skirts and Elvis Presley was the most popular musician in America. The days before cell phones, when color TVs first hit the market.

This celebration of the 1950s is part of Food Truck Thursday At the Hop Downtown on Aug. 30 from 6-9 p.m. in Downtown Claremore. The monthly, seasonal event features more than 15 food trucks, late night shopping downtown, a free Kids Zone by Cedar Point Church, local musicians and a fun theme each month.

Performing for the night is Elvis Presley — known locally as EJ Sharp. He will be performing at the stage in the 500 block.

The event also features a Classic Car Show, which is held in conjunction with Volunteers for Youth as a small fundraiser for the organization. The show will feature up to 20 classic cars available for viewing and voting from 6-8 p.m. in the Claremore Daily Progress Parking Lot, 315 W. Will Rogers Blvd.

Guests will get to vote on their “Fan Favorite.” Voting will end at 8 p.m., and the winner will be announced at the stage at 8:30 p.m. The winning car’s owner will receive a $100 gift card to Doe’s Eat Place.

It is free to vote, and each attendee will get one vote. To enter a car, the registration fee is a $10 donation to Volunteers for Youth. One hundred percent of the proceeds will go to the organization to support its mission to keep at-risk youth on track for a happy, healthy, productive life. Space is limited. Those interested in participating can download the application here.

At the free Kids Zone by Cedar Point Church, kids can play volleyball, hop scotch, hula hoop and other fun kids games. The church also always offers a free snack for all kids in the Kids Zone. Parents are asked to watch their children while they enjoy the games and fun activities.

Volunteers for Youth’s TSET Healthy Living Program is sponsoring a free cooking demonstration with items available for purchase at a farmer’s market booth nearby. There also will be a dunk tank to benefit the Volunteers for Youth.

Most shops will remain open throughout the event while other vendors will be in the streets to add to the shopping variety. The Main Street Tavern will be selling low-point beer, and Studio B Artworks will be offering face painting.

Food trucks include Alpha GrillBlue Boys Soul FoodCurbside Comfort, Dave’s Smoke ShackDorothy’s Wiches, Hoops Philly TruckHot Mess BBQ, Jack’s Ice Cream, Kona IceLa Hermosa Taco Truck, Maw & Paw Kettle Corn of Miami, MooChewSooey BBQMy Baby Can CookRopin Flamingo Italian IceTaqueria El Jarocho and Wild Al’s.

Food Truck Thursday is a monthly, seasonal event in downtown Claremore hosted by the Downtown Claremore Merchant Association and Claremore Main Street. Both organizations strive to improve downtown Claremore and reignite the area as the social core of the community.

Upcoming dates for Food Truck Thursday are Downtown Fall Festival on September 27 and Downtown Halloween Haunt October 25.

Food Truck Thursday was named the 2018 Best Premier Special Event Over 1,000 Attendees by the Oklahoma Main Street Center.

Food Truck Thursday is made possible thanks to its community support and sponsors, including Season Signature Sponsor Midtown Rentals and numerous major and supporting sponsors.

Volunteers needed for downtown photoshoot

Claremore Main Street is once again seeking volunteer models and extras for a downtown photoshoot scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 18 at 10:30 a.m.

All are welcome to come be a part of the shoot, either as a “model,” meaning they’d like to be featured, or as an “extra,” those who want to participate but would rather be in the background. Children and pets also are welcome.

The photos will be taken by DroneWorks and will include people downtown, architecture shots and drone photography.

“We had our first photoshoot in February and had wonderful turnout and beautiful shots taken,” said Jessica Jackson, director of Claremore Main Street. “With its success, we wanted to do it again in the summer to get different lighting and clothing.”

The photos will be used for marketing materials, including the organization’s website, advertisements, social media and brochures among others.

Volunteers should meet at the Claremore Main Street, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd., by 10:30 a.m. for instructions and assignments. The entire shoot will be over by 12:30 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged to stay as long as they can but are welcome to come-and-go as necessary to fit their schedules.

Additionally, volunteers are asked to dress in summer attire without logos — with the exception of RSU or Claremore Zebra attire — trademarks or offensive language.

“All clothing should be deemed not offensive by the average person,” Jackson explained. “Basically, anything that is revealing or potentially controversial should be left at home.”

Volunteers are not required to RSVP but when possible should let the Main Street Director know by emailing if they intend to be there. In case of rain or bad weather, Jackson will notify everyone those she’s heard from and update their Facebook page if the shoot is postponed.

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.

Breakfast at the Boom supports local restaurant, downtown stores

With the popularity of Cash Mob’s en masse shopping concept, Claremore Main Street introduces a new event featuring en masse dining – Breakfast at the Boom.

Breakfast at the Boom is exactly what it sounds like – a big group getting together and eating breakfast at the Boomarang Diner, 302 W. Will Rogers Blvd. But there’s more to it.

“Breakfast at the Boom is a fun opportunity to get together as a group and enjoy a meal, plus we’ll have added benefits of giveaways and free shopping dollars,” said Jessica Jackson, Claremore Main Street Director.

The event is from 8:30-10 a.m. Saturday, August 18. Registration is required and space is limited. To register, call or text Main Street at 918-341-5881 or email .

Just like in Cash Mob, attendees are expected to spend $20. The cost covers the free meal, prizes and giveaways and shopping dollars to spend at select stores downtown.

“Main Street isn’t making any money off of this,” the nonprofit director said. “One-hundred percent of the registration fee will go to the downtown businesses, either in the cost of the food, the shopping dollars or purchasing the door prizes.”

Main Street encourages shopping right after breakfast, which conveniently ends at the same time most stores are opening.

“Enjoy your delicious breakfast and then shop! Take in the downtown and visit the variety of stores offered downtown to find a perfect gift to take home,” Jackson said. “The best part is that we’re all doing it together!”

Breakfast at the Boom is sponsored by RCB Bank.

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.