By SEAN ROWLEY
Leaves and temperatures are falling, and some of the year’s most festive events will soon sweep into downtown Tahlequah.
Perhaps the most anticipated is the city’s third annual Snowflake Winter Festival, and the Christmas Parade is 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 selected as a better fit for the rink and to reduce wear to the Norris turf.
“There will be no [designated] sessions at Snowflake this year,” said Drew Haley, director of the Tahlequah Main Street Association. “If it is a school day, the hours are between 5 and 10 p.m. If there is no school, the rink is open from 2 to 10 p.m. For $10, you can skate all day if your body can stand it. Skates will be provided or people can bring their own skates, but the price is the same.”
The Snowflake Winter Festival runs Nov. 21 through New Year’s Day. Haley said the TMSA would like to have music, singing and dance groups perform during the holiday event, and is asking interested parties to contact his office.
The Christmas Parade begins at 6 p.m. on Dec. 7. The theme for the 2013 parade, sponsored by the Bank of Cherokee County, is “A Snowflake Christmas.” The theme was determined by vote.
Those wishing to enter the parade can obtain forms at the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce office, 123 E. Delaware St.
“There aren’t any major changes attached to the parade this year,” said David Moore, executive director of the Chamber. “The snowflake theme means there must be a snowflake or snow incorporated into the presentation. No real snow necessarily, but something that portrays or indicates snow.”
The TMSA will hold its Ladies Night Out from 5-9 p.m. in conjunction with the opening of Snowflake on Nov. 21. More than 20 downtown businesses will extend their hours.
“Each store offers something different,” Haley said. “There will be food, drinks, giveaways, and there are sales held specifically with this event. This is a huge shopping day in Tahlequah.”
Haley said a limousine bus will make rounds along Muskogee and Water avenues to pick up and drop off shoppers. A valet parking service will also be available.
Some years the Chamber has sponsored Shop Tahlequah First beginning in late November to spotlight area merchants. No firm decision has been made on that yet, officials said.
For information about upcoming holiday events call Moore or Kate Kelly at the chamber at (918) 456-3742, or Haley at the Tahlequah main street office at (918) 431-1655.