By Conrad Dudderar
For the second straight year, Yukon’s Main Street program has three top three finalists for annual Oklahoma Main Street awards.
The Oklahoma Main Street Center recently announced the finalists of the program’s annual statewide awards competition.
Selected as top three finalists from nominations submitted through Yukon’s Best Main Street were:
- Rock the Route Music Festival – Best Premier Event (Over 1,000 Attendees)
- Czech Christmas Market – Best New Creative Event
- Grady’s Green Room Music Shop – Best Visual Merchandising
All finalists will be honored, and the winners announced, during the 32nd annual Main Street Awards Banquet set Sept. 20 in Oklahoma City.
“We are honored to have three finalists again this year and already feel that each are winners, at least in our community,” Yukon’s Best Main Street Director Vicki Davis said.
The selection of Yukon’s Main Street program as a finalist in three categories is validation that local programming has been effective, according to Davis.
“It is highly competitive with the other 30-plus communities across the state,” she said. “To have three ‘top three’ award nominations again this year is a great honor considering the other great things communities are doing.”
Mayor Shelli Selby, a Yukon Main Street board member, wholeheartedly agreed with that assessment.
“I am so proud of our Main Street businesses in all that they do for our community and our volunteers who makes these events happen are simply the best,” Selby said.
Main Street programs across Oklahoma competed in 20 award categories representing the “four points” of the Main Street approach – Organization, Promotion, Economic Vitality and Design.
Panels of outside judges for each point reviewed the entries and determined the winners.
Yukon’s Czech Christmas Market debuted on the first Saturday in December 2020 with about 40 participating vendors on Main Street.
Other finalists in the Best New Creative Event category are Ponca City’s Virtual Awards Banquet and Tahlequah’s Veterans Banner Program.
“We’re proud of all our larger events,” Davis said. “The Czech Christmas Market is something that’s very unique, specifically to our community as the ‘Czech Capital of Oklahoma’.
“We are happy to have such a well-received event that celebrates the culture of Yukon.”
Rock the Route, a red dirt music festival typically the Thursday before Labor Day weekend, is a finalist in the Best Premier Event category along with Enid’s Holiday on Ice and Tahlequah’s Red Fern Festival.
Grady’s Green Room Music Shop, 440 W Main, is owned by Yukon musician Grady Cross and opened in 2020.
Other finalists in the Best Visual Merchandising category are Collinsville’s Farm Hippie Farmers Market and Enid’s No. 5 Findings.
BUILDING A TRADITION
Last year, Yukon’s Best Main Street also was a finalist in three categories of the Oklahoma Main Street awards program:
Best Premier Event (Rock the Route), Best New Creative Event (Cruisin’ for a Cause) and Best New Business (Urban Boondocks).
Urban Boondocks ended up winning the Best New Business category in 2020.
“We were so proud of that,” Davis said. “It has brought great recognition to her business from people coming to town with a purpose of stopping at her shop.
“It was an incredible achievement to have three finalists and one winning award in our first year eligible for the competitive award categories.”
Only fully designated Oklahoma Main Street communities are eligible for the awards program. Yukon received its designation at the end of 2019.
After being a top three finalist in 2020, Rock the Route was resubmitted for the 2021 Oklahoma Main Street awards program.
“That category was highly competitive last year as another community was awarded the top prize,” Davis explained. “So, we were eligible to resubmit the nominations.”
The 2020 Rock the Route was canceled due to COVID-19.
The Oklahoma Main Street Center’s awards banquet is typically held in May.
In 2020, the awards presentation was postponed due to COVID-19 and eventfully held virtually, in September.
The 2021 banquet has been scheduled for Sept. 20 in hopes there will be an in-person event without limiting the numbers of seats available due to COVID safety protocols.
For more information about the banquet or the Oklahoma Main Street Center, call (405) 815-6552 or visit OKcommerce.gov/mainstreet.