Fans of local history and persons who appreciate a good story will have two tour options to consider this month in conjunction with Dickens on the Boulevard in downtown Claremore.
Dickens on the Boulevard is the annual Victorian-themed Christmas festival held in the heart of downtown Claremore, this year, to be Friday, Nov. 17 and Saturday, Nov. 18.
Guests at this year’s Dickens on the Boulevard will be able to experience two seperate tours being given as part of the annual event: the Tales from the Top tours and the afternoon Historic Walk.
As one of the activities, the returning Tales from the Top tours have delighted guests for years. These tours will be all new this year, with never-before-seen plays in the upper floors of five of historic downtown Claremore buildings.
Guests will be given the opportunity to walk through the upper floor with a flashlight to see what pieces of history may be left over from previous tenants.
The Tales from the Top tours begin promptly at 6 p.m. each night and last roughly an hour.
“The tours are open to children, but some of the upper floors do not have electricity and are very dark, so parental discretion is advised,” said Jessica Jackson, Claremore Main Street. “Additionally, persons with restricted mobility are advised to be aware that the tour includes several flights of stairs.”
Tales from the Top tour tickets are $12 and must be purchased in advance at the Claremore Main Street office, 419 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Tickets are on sale now and are limited.
In addition to the Tales from the Top tours, Claremore Main Street will be hosting something new this year — an afternoon Historic Walk, to be given on Saturday, Nov. 18.
This Historic Walk takes guests from the Will Rogers Hotel to the Belvidere Mansion on a one-hour entertaining journey through the history of both the downtown and Claremore as a city.
Guests will hear stories about Claremore residents of yesteryear, histories about the buildings and fun facts about town.
“The Historic Walk is slightly under half-mile, so comfortable shoes are recommended,” Jackson said.
Tickets for the Historic Walk are $8 and are limited as well. The tours will be at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Downtown Claremore is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dickens on the Boulevard starts nightly at 6 p.m. It is free and open to the public but food and some activities do cost.
The event includes Victorian era clothing and costume contest, a fencing demonstration, “living windows,” artisans, traditional chuckwagon fare and street ‘urchins’ with the night capping off with the stroll and street dance.
Santa Claus will be posing with pictures, and Santa’s Workshop will give guests an opportunity to paint an ornament. Both activities are $5 each. There also will be carolers and a free living nativity scene by Shepherd’s Cross in addition to a horse and carriage ride to the Belvidere Mansion and Claremore Museum of History.
Persons who appreciate more of a wild west feel can enjoy the annual shootout each night at 7:45 p.m. with the Territorial Marshals will take the stage on Friday and the Tri-State Gunfighters performing the re-enactment on Saturday. Guests can whet their whistle at the saloon — Wantland Pub House — for sarsaparilla and a chance to meet the Territorial Marshals or take a photo with the saloon girls.
Many downtown stories will stay open during the event. Shoppers can qualify for the Dickens Dollars drawing by visiting any of the participating stores. Dickens Dollars are gift certificates that spend like cash at participating stores. There are multiple drawings each night at 8:15 p.m.
For more information, call 918-341-5881.