By SEAN ROWLEY
If locals are looking for something fun to do around town, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce and the Tahlequah Main Street Association would like to suggest some ideas.
TMSA hosts Movies in the Park on July 27 and Aug. 10 at Norris Park. Screenings begin at dusk, around 8:30 p.m. Concessions are available and those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.
The July 27 feature is “Finding Nemo.” The Aug. 10 screening is Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 suspense classic, “Rear Window,” starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly.
Another popular event happening soon is the 2013 Tahlequah Rock and Mineral Show, scheduled Aug. 16-17.
“The Rock and Mineral Show brings a lot of people in from out of state,” said Kate Kelly, Chamber tourism director.
“There will be an educational component on Friday for kids and we have a good assortment of minerals in this area.”
Included are exhibits and vendors of jewelry, crafts, rocks and fossils. There will be flint knapping and gem cutting demonstrations, and a snack bar will be available.
The Rock and Mineral Show is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 16 with an auction at 3. On Aug. 17 the show is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for those over 18 is $3. Information is available by calling 918-284-5770 or 918-456-8198.
Also on Aug. 17 is the 5K Balloon Chase Run, sponsored by Tahlequah City Hospital and the Northeast Oklahoma Heart Center, and organized by the Illinois River Balloon Fest Committee.
“Last year, we had about 700 runners and we expect as many or more this year,” said David Moore, executive director of the Chamber. “The course is run at the industrial park west of town and runners should expect to see a couple of balloons.”
Moore can be contacted about the 5K Balloon Chase Run at 918-456-3742.
Kelly, Moore and Drew Haley, TMSA director, all mentioned the tax-free holiday on Aug. 3-4.
“The Chamber isn’t doing anything in association with it, but we want to get the word out to folks,” Moore said. “We are asking people to please shop locally.”
Shoppers may by clothing or school supplies without paying state or local sales taxes, providing purchase price is $100 or less. Taxes must still be paid on items costing more than $100.
“We ask Tahlequah consumers to shop in town because it helps the existing merchants keep their doors open, and it also helps the Chamber and Main Street Association attract new retailers,” Moore said. “State reports suggest every outside dollar spent in Tahlequah turns over about seven times before it leaves the community.”
Moore added that local taxes lost during the holiday are reimbursed by the state.
“That means people shopping in Tahlequah during the tax-free holiday still generate revenue for the city,” Kelly said. “Sales taxes fund our fire department, street department, police department – stuff we take for granted every day. Shopping locally supports the city, business owners and business employees, so we certainly want people to support their hometown stores.”