, Muskogee, OK

September 3, 2013

Never too early to think about next year's run

By Gary Perkins
Chamber Notes

— In celebration of Labor Day, we will make this a shortened version of Chamber Notes.

It is the chamber's desire that everyone enjoyed their long weekend and make the most of what is normally the last fling of summer.

For us at the chamber, to have the stress and pressure of the recent annual run behind us, with its 800-plus runners, will be reason to relax and rejoice a bit.

Speaking of the run, we have made some notes for next year that should improve the run, including having the start and finish at the same place, starting the 10K runners 15 minutes or more ahead of the 5K runners, and making sure the mile runners have a better-marked turnaround point.

With the number of runners, we are also considering the use of a time-marking device at the start, as well as at the finish, so times are exact.

Any other suggestions are welcome, and we will take all recommendations into consideration. It is always our desire to make sure our events are compatible to those participating and attending.

We had a great turnout to our Weekly Chamber Luncheon, even though normal attendees, Tonia Cooper and Denise Bain couldn't attend. This was the last of the luncheons for the month at Simple Simon's Pizza, and we want to thank Jim Huggins and his crew for the great hospitality and great food throughout August.

Attending on Thursday were Mark Young and guest Jeff Rhodes, who is an attorney participating with Mark at a Oklahoma trust law seminar. Also present, were: Justin Young, Cliff Garrett, Sue Edwards, Lisa Clayton, Kathy Perkins, Cheryl Hill, Rhonda Lee, and myself.

For the month of September, beginning Thursday, we will be holding our luncheon at the Subway on South Lee Street. Everyone is invited to attend our "very informal" luncheons at 11:30 a.m. each Thursday.  No formal attire is required, and no formal agenda is ever prepared — just good food and good friends, talking about whatever comes to mind. Come join us.

September also brings the wind-down of the weekly Farmers' Market, from 4 to 6 p.m. each Thursday at Langston Park, across from the library.

Some vendors show up a bit early, or stay a bit later, but that is fine.

There is never a fee to set up, and it is always fun to see the array of goodies that are for sale. Martha Brown's pies are always a hit and sell fast. Check it out.

Our next big event will be the Smokin' the Fort-BBQ & Bluegrass Festival, scheduled for Oct. 25-26, in downtown Fort Gibson.

The barbecue committee met this past week, and final plans are coming together to make this year's event the biggest and best yet.

Added this year will be a special KCBS Judges Class, to be held on Thursday, Oct. 24, from 6 to 10 p.m. at Town Hall. Membership in KCBS is required for this class. Current KCBS members will pay $55 for the class, and non-members will pay $90, which will include a one-year KCBS membership.

Once the class is completed, judges will be able to participate in any KCBS sponsored barbecue event, as certified judges.

Each tournament requires 30-plus judges, depending on the number of teams attending.

Bluegrass bands have been named for this year, and they include: Kenny Cantrell Band, Meyer Family, and Lonesome Road Bluegrass Band. Friday night’s entertainment is being arranged, but you won't want to miss any of the action and food, on Friday evening and all day Saturday.

Much more information will come forth in the next few weeks, but mark your calendar now.