By Gary Perkins
The first big news is that we are back in stock with the 2013 Fort Gibson Christmas ornament; however, reports are that they are again going fast. I’m sold out here at the chamber, but the Fort Gibson State Bank, SonBurst Graphics, Armstrong Bank, Valu-Med Pharmacy, and Town Hall have some available.
I am also very happy to say that after posting the quantities of previous years’ ornaments, most of those are also gone. For those interested, I still have two of the 2009 ornament, which is the John C. Berd building; two of the 2010, which is the National Cemetery ornament; only one of the 2011, which is the Historic Site; and about 20 of the 2012 ornament, which is the Centennial Park and gazebo from downtown. If anyone is interested if these past ornaments, give me a call, and I’ll hold one for you. As mentioned previously, the first of our series, which began in 2008 and was in the shape of the state of Oklahoma, is sold out.
We appreciate the response to this year’s ornament, which is a tribute to the Grand River Bridge here in Fort Gibson. Many have said it is of particular importance to them, because of the memories it represents to many of you, driving over it or swimming beneath it. We will keep a close eye on the sales, and it is possible that we could place one more order if we sell out quickly. That decision will have to be made by about Dec. 12. Thank you all for your response to our annual Fort Gibson Commemorative Christmas ornament.
The next big news is the great success of our Starlight Christmas Parade, held Dec. 2. I especially want to thank those who participated in this year’s parade. We had nearly 30 entries, with many of the entries having numerous participants in the way of vehicles, horses, and lots of people walking, riding, and certainly waving and throwing out candy to the kids, and I saw many adults grabbing the goodies, as well. Several entries also threw out T-shirts, including SonBurst Graphics.
The parade started at 7 p.m., and the entire procession lasted for over an hour. Once again, the Fort Gibson Fire Department was the final entry, with Santa riding high on one of their engines, waving to all and officially ushering in the Christmas Season for all of us.
Our panel of judges, made up of Shannon Clark, Will Crawford, and Tim Espe, had a tough time making the decision to award the winning plaques to OG&E for the best “Business” entry and to the Royal Regiment Marching Band from Fort Gibson School as the winning “Non-Profit” entry. Congratulations to them, and to all who entered.
I also want to give special thanks to those that helped out, in addition to the mentioned judges. First, and foremost, thanks to Kathy Perkins, Cheryl Hill, Justin Young, and Steve Woods, for their efforts in lining up all the entries prior to the start of the parade. This is not always a pleasant task, but these veterans did a wonderful job, and everything went off without any mishaps. Also, special thanks to our announcers, again, Kathy Perkins, and Dowe Boulter. This fun pair of announcers have been doing the commentary on our parade for the past eight years and do a great job. Also, special thanks to Tony Clark for help in the tear-down and clean-up of the judges’ table and announcers’ booth after the parade. Prior to the start of the parade, we held a countdown for the lighting of the Town Christmas Tree.
At approximately 6:45 p.m., the countdown began, and the switch was thrown to the delight of all those gathered around Centennial Park for its lighting. Our tree is unique and beautiful and certainly something we can all be proud of. Special thanks to Theda Rowan and Tim Espe for all their efforts in this regard.
The weather had a big effect on our turnout at this past Thursday’s Weekly Chamber Luncheon, as only a few ladies from the bank and myself showed up. The roads were icy, and most wisely stayed home or at work. Still, for Lisa Clayton, Sue Edwards, Kathy Perkins, and myself, we had a great lunch and some lively conversation. Come join us, each Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at Charlie’s Chicken, which is our location for the month of December. Everyone is invited, and it is always a fun adventure.