By Conrad Dudderar
The City of Yukon, its mayor and former city manager were honored this week by the Oklahoma Municipal League.
Yukon’s “Christmas in the Park”, a yuletide spectacular that has become Oklahoma’s premier holiday light tour, earned OML’s “Innovation Award.”
Yukon City Manager Tammy Kretchmar accepted the award at the OML Hall of Fame Induction & Awards Banquet on Sept. 9 at the Oklahoma City Convention Center.
“It means a lot to me because I know how much hard work our employees put into this event,” Kretchmar said. “I wanted to show my thanks and appreciation to all our employees who are involved and responsible for making Christmas in the Park happen.
“It’s their award.”
Christmas in the Park, which started 25 years ago, brings tens of thousands of visitors to Yukon during its 40-day run between mid-November and early January. An outdoor ice-skating rink is a new featured attraction.
Mayor Shelli Selby also credited city personnel for their contributions to Yukon’s Christmas festival, which features some 4.5 million lights and several hundred displays across three interconnecting city parks.
“They do an amazing job putting on this incredible event,” she said.
‘WOMAN OF THE YEAR’
Mayor Selby earned the 2020 “Woman of the Year Award” (for cities over 5,000 population) at Thursday night’s OML banquet.
“I was so humbled to be nominated because there are so many amazing women in municipal government,” Selby said. “And to be elected by my peers was just incredible.
“We live in a great city, and I am so honored to serve the citizens of our community.”
Selby was elected to the Yukon City Council in spring 2018 and has been mayor since May 2020.
The City of Yukon is unique because it has a female mayor and female city manager.
Kretchmar commended the mayor on her accomplishment.
“This award was well deserved,” she said. “She was very dedicated to our community during COVID. She’s gone above and beyond her duties. I’m really proud of her.”
‘HALL OF FAME’
Meanwhile, retired Yukon City Manager Jim Crosby was inducted into the OML “Hall of Fame for City and Town Officials.”
Crosby spent 55 years in municipal government and was the City of Yukon’s top administrator for more than 21 years over two separate stints.
Crosby also served as city manager in Piedmont and Norman. He retired in January.
Crosby was instrumental in starting Yukon’s Christmas in the Park and many other civic improvements during his time as city manager.
Other awards presented during the Sept. 9th OML banquet were 2020 and 2021 Mayors of the Year, Gerald Wilkins Award, Jeff Shockley Award, and Don Rider Award.
OML is an association of Oklahoma’s incorporated cities and towns. Executive director is former Piedmont Mayor Mike Fina.