TAHLEQUAH — email@example.com
Though northeast Oklahoma is still mired in August heat, plans are already taking shape for the winter holiday festivities in downtown Tahlequah.
The city will put on the third annual Snowflake Winter Festival, and the Christmas Parade is scheduled Dec. 7.
This year, the 62- by 120-foot Snowflake ice skating rink will be adjacent to Norris Park at Morgan Street and Water Avenue. The space was chosen as a better fit for the rink and to reduce wear to the Norris turf.
“The city of Tahlequah was thought forward by bringing ice skating to town,” said Kate Kelly, tourism director for the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce. “This year, downtown and Norris Park will be festooned with even more lights and decorations. The Chamber and its Tourism Council and the Tahlequah Main Street Association are please to assist in every way we can with the winter festival.”
The Snowflake Winter Festival is scheduled to run Nov. 21 through New Year’s Day.
The theme for the 2013 Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Bank of Cherokee County, will be determined by vote. Votes may be cast at the chamber building, 123 E. Delaware St., Lakes Country Radio 102.1 at 5686 S. Muskogee Ave. and all Bank of Cherokee County locations.
“The parade is one of the most fun and anticipated events in Tahlequah,” Kelly said. “The TMSA will have Norris Park and Muskogee Avenue fully decorated, which will enhance the experience of the parade and the entire run of Snowflake.”
Kelly said volunteers are always welcome to assist with Snowflake and the Christmas Parade. Those interested may call the TMSA at (918) 431-1655 or the chamber at (918) 456-3742.
Several other events are planned as the holidays approach. The TMSA will hold its Ladies Night Out, when many downtown businesses extend their hours into the evening.
“Last year’s event was wildly successful and very well-received,” Kelly said. “It is a perfect opportunity to get a jump on holiday shopping.”
OKsWagen happens Oct. 11-12. A Volkswagen parade, YolksWagen egg toss, the QuacksWagen Duck Race, and the ArtsWagen - a Volkswagen where kids and adults can express their artistic visions - are just a few of the activities included.
“What started as a small gathering of friends with a common interest in Volkswagens has grown into a festival that attracts enthusiasts from across the state, as well some from Arkansas and Texas,” Kelly said.
Arrowhead Resort hosts the Fandango Bicycle Ride Oct. 11-12, featuring rides of varying distances for participants. The Tahlequah Chamber expects some routes to bring bicyclists into town for OKsWagen and other city attractions.
Ghost Stories at the Murrell Home is Oct. 25-26. Reservations are required and can be made by calling (918) 456-2751. The event is not recommended for young children.
A new event, the Good Food Festival, a joint effort of the TMSA and Tahlequah Chamber, is in late October. The festival will be in Norris Park and replace Taste of Tahlequah.
“Instead of buying one ticket for admission to the event, people will buy tickets - similar to the system at the Tulsa State Fair or Mayfest - and use them to purchase items from local restaurants represented,” Kelly said.
“We believe this makes the event more accessible and affordable. Items will range in price. Perhaps at one booth you could purchase an item for three tickets, at another you might purchase an item for six tickets.”
The Thompson House Victorian Christmas is Dec. 6-8, and visitors can purchase handcrafted items for holiday gifts.
“The Thompson House Kitchen also sells a variety of homemade items from pies to pepper jelly to fudge to breads,” Kelly said. “Those items always go fast.”
Other upcoming events include the Illinois River Arts and Crafts Fair at Northeastern State University on Nov. 8-10, and the Murrell Home Christmas Open House on Dec. 8.