By SEAN ROWLEY
With the Snowflake Winter Festival about to wind down, members of the Tahlequah Main Street Association met Monday at the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce building to discuss events planned for the new year.
Many events return to the TMSA 2014 calendar, as well as a few new additions bearing the tentative titles of Third Thursdays, Super Star Saturdays and Mamapalooza, and a new website.
“At the end of the year, we have been discussing rebranding with an emphasis on downtown Tahlequah,” said Drew Haley, TMSA director.
“We want to include all our partners on this website, downtowntahlequah.com.”
While the site is still under construction, it is running and can be accessed. It includes a directory of members with links, and a list of events.
A popular summer series is Movies in the Park. Films to be shown at Norris Park in 2014 include “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “Monster University,” “The Wizard of Oz,” “Back to the Future,” “UP,” “Pitch Perfect,” “Planes: Fire and Rescue,” “Rudy” and “Jaws.”
TMSA is planning eight Third Thursdays during the year, which will facilitate after-hours shopping downtown until 9 p.m.
“We have been in discussions with the merchants and they have talked about wanting to stay open late one night each month,” Haley said. “The idea behind Third Thursdays is to have an event where the businesses can extend their hours, people can visit the Cherokee Arts Center and the (Northeastern State University) Art Gallery, and afterward they can visit the clubs downtown.”
Mamapalooza will be held May 8, the Thursday before Mother’s Day, to give locals some extra time to find a gift for mom.
“Mother’s Day is second only to Christmas in terms of gift shopping,” Haley said. “We’re still talking about what we will do, but we will find out which merchants want to participate and see what deals they want to offer.”
Initial ideas for Mamapalooza include an “admission” of $10 for shoppers. Each shopper would be entered into a drawing for $1,000 cash and receive a coupon book to use at participating shops.
Super Star Saturdays - the name may change - is in response to North End merchants requesting a shopping event for summer Saturdays. Plans for the Saturdays, like several other TMSA events, are fluid.
“The new website will always be updated as events approach and plans become settled,” Haley said.
“People can check downtowntahlequah.com or call our office for more information.”
TMSA also plans to move the dates of the North End Music Fest to Aug. 18-23. Haley said the mid-August weekend poses fewer problems with conflicts.
“We’ve decided not to schedule during NSU’s homecoming this year,” he said. “However, the students will just be returning to campus and football season won’t have started yet.”
Tentative dates for TMSA events for 2014 include: Wines of Winter, Feb.11; Third Thursday/Art Walk/After Party, March 20, April 17, May 15, June 19, July 17, Aug. 21, Sept. 18 and Oct. 16; Red Fern Festival, April 25-26; Mamapalooza, May 8; Movies in the Park, May 17and 31, June 14and 28, July 26, Aug. 9 and 16, and Sept. 13 and 27; Super Star Saturday, June 1, July 12, Aug. 2; Wines on the Avenue, June 13; North End Music Fest, Aug. 18-23; OKsWagen Festival, Oct. 10-11; Snowflake ice rink opens, Nov. 20; and Ladies Night Out, Nov. 20.
The TMSA office can be contacted by calling (918) 431-1655.