The Holiday Season kicked off with a bang Tuesday night in downtown Sand Springs as larger-than-expected crowds turned out for the first known Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in town history.
The inaugural event drew more than a thousand attendees to shop local, eat local, and watch Mayor Mike Burdge flip the ceremonial switch to kick off the 2017 Christmas season.
The event grew from seed to harvest in a mere three weeks after local cosmetologist Joni Sporleder invited fellow business owners to her shop, Joni's on the Triangle, earlier this month. Representatives from Blush Hair Salon, YellowHouse Market & Boutique, Rod's Books and Relics, the Sand Springs Chamber of Commerce, Sandite Pride News, Dog and Duck Antiques, and Yesterday To Now Antiques were joined by realtor Jennifer Barretto and Santa Claus entertainer Glen Burkett to brainstorm and begin the rushed planning process.
The Sand Springs Parks Department graciously and meticulously decorated a tree on the Triangle with more than 3,000 lights, wrapping every single branch.
Mrs. Marshall's Voice Studio and Olivet Baptist Church choir led the town in Christmas caroling while Three Feather's Catering, Lee's Charburgers, Monie Horsechief Indian Tacos, and Kettle Treats fed the crowd.
Many downtown members of the newly-formed Small Business Coalition will be open later hours on Tuesdays from now on, and the success of the event has the organization planning future entertainment on the Triangle. In addition to looking at festivities for the holidays, they also want to host concerts throughout the year.
The Christmas festivities will continue downtown this Friday beginning with the Inaugural Parade of Books at Rod's Books and Relics at 4:00 p.m. More than a dozen local authors will be selling books, giving autographs, and answering questions from fans, supporters, and aspiring writers. At 7:00 p.m. the 35th Annual Festival of Lights Christmas Parade will meander through downtown.