It's beginning to look a lot like winter, but Grove Area Chamber of Commerce President Donnie Crain hopes the weather will hold off just enough for this weekend's lighted Christmas parade.
The parade, set to begin at 6 p.m., on Saturday, Dec. 8, is still a go as of press time.
"We're watching [the weather] closely," Crain said. "It's our intent to go as planned. The only thing that would stop us is icy roads."
Crain said he has talked with city workers concerning the parade route, and other roadways in town.
The hope is, even if snow or ice should arrive in the early morning hours of Saturday, the route will be cleared for the parade.
"A lot of it is in Mother Nature's hands," Crain said, adding that a decision concerning the parade's status would come mid-afternoon on Saturday.
"A lot of folks look forward to the parade each year," Crain said.
As of press time, all of the events in downtown Grove, which includes the Jingle Bell 5K, the Ugly Sweater Contest and the Music on the Community Center's lawn, are still a go.
Crain said those events will also be considered in a timely manner, depending upon what weather arrives in Grove.
Christmas at the Lake
This year's Christmas parade theme, Christmas on the Lake, has been left "wide open" Crain said, for artistic interpretation.
"This gives people the flexibility to showcase living here, on the lake," Crain said. "I'm curious to see what folks make of the theme."
This year, local musician Jana Jae will serve as the Grand Marshal for the parade.
Jae, who has lived in Grove for more than three decades, is best known as the "lady with the blue fiddle" who played on Hee Haw.
In Grove, Jae has established Grand Lake Festivals Inc., a non-profit organization which helps promote music and musical education, through a variety of events each year.
The festival's signature event is the American Heritage Music Festival which takes place the first full week of June each year.
The other events organized by festival volunteers include the Cajun Festival around the July 4 holiday, and the annual Jana Jae Fiddle Camp which takes place on Labor Day weekend.
Jae also owns Southwest Gallery, a boutique and art gallery, on Main Street in Grove.
Jae, who divides her time between her home in Grove and traveling, said she was humbled by the request to serve as grand marshal.
"It's a big honor to be even this part in the parade," Jae said. "I love Grove. I would love to be able to spend all my time in Grove."
Jae said she knew Grove held a special place in her life, ever since she purchased her home on Honey Creek.
"I looked down Honey Creek into the main part of Grand Lake, towards Shangri-La and [the view] just grabbed me," Jae said. "It was so beautiful."
Jae said she loves the fact Grove is at the center of the country.
"It's very meaningful to me to be in beautiful Grove," Jae said. "It's just a magical, wonderful place. I'm centered and grounded in Grove."
Jae believes being tapped for the grand marshal is an endorsement of everything she's tried to do and bring to the community through the various festivals.
Crain said Jae was one of the nominations for the grand marshal submitted by members of the community.
"Her [nomination] was one that rose to the top," Crain said. "She's done so much for the community over the years, plus she's a very accomplished entertainer and musician. It's the perfect combination."
More about the parade
The parade, which begins at the Grove Civic Center, travels down Main Street to the intersection at Third and Main.
There, it takes a left turn, and travels down Third Street until it reaches Cheepo Depot.
The main viewing stand, with the judges and parade announcers, is located on the trailer in front of the Grove Community Center at 104 West Third, Grove.
As in past parades, entries will be judged on the best use of lights and the best theme. All entries are required to utilize lights and pay a $10 fee.
The chamber's float is the only Santa allowed in the parade. No candy may be thrown from the float. However, persons walking beside the float may pass out candy.
Other Chamber sponsored events
• Jingle Bell 5K Fun Run
The Jingle Bell 5K Fun Run, sponsored by the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, will take place beginning at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Grove Community Center.
Participants are encouraged to wear “Christmas-themed jogging attire” or come dressed as their favorite holiday characters. Prizes will be given out for the best times in the various age groups and the best costumes in each age group.
This is a non-sanctioned, timed race.
Early registration is available until Nov. 27 for only $25 and includes a race t-shirt free with registration. Registrations after Nov. 27 will cost $30 and are available up until 7:30 a.m. on the day of the race. T-shirts, however, will not be available for those participants who register late.
• Holiday Music on the Community Lawn
A time of holiday music, bluegrass-style, will take place on the Grove Community Center porch beginning at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.
Participants are asked to bring lawn chairs, to enjoy a time of music performed by David Bridges with Coyote Hill Bluegrass. The event is free and open to the public.
• Ugly Sweater Contest
Dig out those "ugly" Christmas sweaters for a chance to win prizes in the second Ugly Sweater Christmas Contest set for 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, on the Grove Community Center porch.
Registration takes place between 5 and 5:15 p.m., with the contest at 5:30 p.m. There's no charge to enter the contest. The winner will receive $20 in chamber bucks, which are redeemable at participating Grove area merchants.
• One Grand Christmas Drawing
The Grove Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with local businesses on a One Grand Christmas giveaway promotion, where one lucky Grove shopper will win $1,000. Shopper can enter at the the following participating businesses through noon, Saturday, Dec. 8:
1909, French Girl Farm, Goodfella’s Pizza, Grand Panache, The Muddy Pearl, INTEGRIS Grove Hospital Auxiliary Gift Shop, Jana Jae’s Gallery Southwest, and Tulsa Diamond House.
The One Grand Christmas winner will be drawn at 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, just before Grove’s Lighted Christmas Parade. One Grand Christmas is sponsored by BOLT Fiber Optics, Grand Country Pest Control, and Grand Savings Bank.
Contest details may be found on the “Shop Grove” Facebook page.
For more information on the events, or to receive a parade entry form, persons interested may contact Donnie Crain, president of the chamber, at 918-786-9079 or email@example.com.
In the event of inclement weather
In the event of inclement winter weather, a decision concerning the status of the Grove Lighted Christmas Parade (and other afternoon events) will come on Saturday.
Donnie Crain, president of the Grove Area Chamber of Commerce, said chamber officials are watching the weather closely.
The hope is that the Christmas parade will go on, as planned - city officials have a plan to keep the route open.
Crain said some of the outdoor activities on the Community Center's lawn may be canceled, depending upon what hits Grove with the coming storm system.
Watch www.facebook.com/grovesun for real time updates concerning the festival and potential cancelations (or change of locations).
Other Christmas events
ECC Holiday Movie Matinee
Volunteers from the Grove Early Childhood Center are postponing the “old fashioned” holiday movie matinee on Saturday, Dec. 8, due to concerns about the changing weather conditions.
ECC Principal Julie Bloss said she hopes to reschedule the event at a later date.
For more information, persons interested may contact the ECC at 918-786-3003 ext.
Second Chance Breakfast & Dessert Auction
The Annual Christmas Breakfast and Holiday Dessert Auction to benefit the Second Chance Pet Rescue of Grand Lake will take place from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m., on Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Grove Community Center, 104 West Third, Grove.
The Holiday Dessert Auction will begin at 9 am.
Tickets are $7 per person and may be purchased from the Second Chance Thrift Shop, 220 E. 3rd Street; Second Chance Pet Rescue shelter office, or via the website at www.doitforthepets.com. Tickets also available the morning of the breakfast at the Community Center.
Fairland Christmas Bazaar
The Fairland Christmas Bazaar will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Fairland Fire Department.
The event will include a luncheon from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring homemade chicken noodles, mashed potatoes, a roll and drink for $5 per person.
Santa will be available for pictures from 1 to 2 p.m. Booths expected to be represented include crafts, a hot chocolate bar, wood decor, boutique items, Fairland apparel and more.
For every $5 a person spends at any booth - including the luncheon - they will receive an entry into the drawing for their choice of a 32 inch TV with DVD player, Pioneer Women Bowls and Accessories or a 7-inch tablet with headset and sleeve.
Booth space remains available. For more information persons interested may contact Tonya Reynolds at 918-848-0636.
Jay Christmas Parade
The Jay Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Jay Chamber of Commerce, will take place at 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, in Jay.
This year's theme is "Christmas around the World." As in the past, the Chamber’s float is the only entry, which may include Santa.
Lineup will take place at 1:30 p.m., on First Street near NAPA. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. No entry form or fee is required, however if the entry includes animals, please contact the chamber for additional information.
For more information, persons interested may contact 918-253-8698.
Fairland Christmas Parade
The Fairland Christmas Parade starts at noon on Saturday, Dec. 8 with the theme of “Downtown Charlie Brown Christmas,” and travels down Fairland's downtown.
A Fairland Christmas Bazaar is also scheduled from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Dec 8. at the Fairland Fire Department the same day as Christmas Parade with crafts, wood work, items for Christmas gifts, etc.
Pictures with Santa will be offered after the parade, and a homemade chicken noodle luncheon, along with drawing for many prizes.
Did You Know?
Volunteers with Freezin' for a Reezin' will stand at the corner of Third and Main, from 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, to 4 p.m.,, Sunday, Dec. 9, to collect items for the Be The Change - Grove Ok non-profit group.
Be The Change helps provide items for people in need and also helps keep the Blessing Boxes in the area filled with items.
Suggested items for donations included toilet paper and paper towels, hygiene items such as shampoo, soaps and deodorants, combs and brushes, shaving cream and razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes, laundry detergent, dish soap, gloves, hats, scarves, travel can openers, socks, lap sized blankets, travel sized kleenex, bibles, draw string backpacks, Ipsy bags for feminine products, and non-perishable (in date) food items.
The event is sponsored by the staff at Shoe Sensation in Grove.