Over the past two months, Yukon has really made up for the paucity of special events in 2020.
I counted more than two dozen holiday programs and activities occurring in our fine town between Halloween and Christmas.
Now that’s more like it, Yukon!
There was no shortage of 2021 holiday happenings in Yukon, that’s for sure.
Just in the last few weeks alone, we’ve had Christmas in the Park, the Czech Christmas Market, Christmas on Main, Central Oklahoma Ballet’s Nutcracker, Sounds of the Season Concert, Library Christmas Auction, Mayor’s Christmas Party, Santa’s Toy Shoppe, Yukon Yuletide Express, and I’m sure I’m missing a few.
In Mustang, they lit the community Christmas tree a few Mondays back.
We were so busy, even Mustang City Manager Tim Rooney came to Yukon to perform in our Nutcracker.
The past month reminds me why we’re known as “The Festival Capital of Oklahoma.”
Besides an epic 40-day Christmas light festival, we have the Chisholm Trail Festival, Czech Festival, July 4th Freedom Fest, Iron Thistle Scottish Festival, Spooksville Halloween festival, Festival of the Child, Rock the Route music festival, Fall Harvest Craft Festival, and then some.
Next year, we will welcome the return of the Yukon Chocolate Festival, Daddy Daughter Dance festival and Taste of Yukon food festival – which had been shelved due to COVID-19.
Rumors are swirling we’re going to add a Tiddlywink Festival in 2022 as well.
Once again, I relished my small recurring role in the Yukon Nutcracker on Dec. 4-5 at the Yukon Fine Arts Center, 850 Yukon Ave. I’ve been in it about 20 times since the late 1990s.
We were unable to perform last year, and I think that made this year’s 26th production even better. Kudos to Debra Doran-Vossen and all the performers for a great show that capped off two months of rehearsals.
This was the first year that Lakeview School Principal Scott Hein and Discover Oklahoma’s Deanne (Stein) McGehee performed the roles of the host parents in the opening “party” scene. Scott and Deanne have great stage presence and both did a fine job!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS: Yes, it’s that time of year again. Just because January will start this Saturday, that doesn’t mean there won’t be even more Yukon special events to attend.
The annual Diaper Dash/Baby Crawl contest will be Jan. 15 at the Yukon Community Center and the ever-popular Daddy Daughter Dance returns Jan. 29 at the Dale Robertson Center.
Although the filing period for Canadian County and state offices isn’t until next April, rumors already are spreading about who might run for District 3 county commissioner.
I have it on good authority that Republican incumbent Jack Stewart, of Yukon, wants a fourth, four-year term in office.
I’ve heard at least two other GOP members are considering challenges against him – El Reno Mayor Matt White and Calumet’s Daniel Pugh.
Daniel has fallen short several times previously, the last time running as an Independent candidate. Matt also has toyed with the idea of running for the state Legislature.
The primary election will be Tuesday, June 28 (runoff is Aug. 23). The general election is set Tuesday, Nov. 8.
Oklahoma House of Representative seats will be up for election, including the three that cover parts of the Yukon area – District 41, 43 and 60. Incumbents are Denise Crosswhite Hader of Piedmont, Jay Steagall of Yukon and Rhonda Baker of Yukon.
State House members are elected to two-year terms, which is too short by at least one year if you ask me.
DID YOU KNOW? Elections are prohibited by law in May, July, September, and October of even-number years.
And no elections will be in January of March 2022, per Oklahoma Senate Bill 347.
NO MORE CHICKEN?: Yukon is getting a new restaurant on Garth Brooks Boulevard. And no, it’s not another chicken place.
In fact, Hawaiian Bros. Island Grill will replace a chicken place.
Construction is underway on the former Zaxby’s restaurant building, which this new eatery will occupy in front of Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse south of Interstate 40.
In the past year alone, Yukon has welcomed new Mexican restaurants, pizza places and several coffee shops. There is no shortage of dining options here.
THE RESULTS ARE IN, ALMOST: Results of the Yukon Community Survey will be presented at the first Yukon City Council meeting in January.
The city council and administration will use feedback from this citizen survey and last fall’s three town hall meetings when deciding what to propose in a bond issue or sales tax election planned for June 2022.
Voter approval will be required to fund any of the proposed capital improvement projects that will be listed on the ballot.
What do you think your city council needs to include?
A third fire station? A multi-generational sports/recreation complex? A new library? A disc golf course? Newly surfaced interior streets?
Or something else? We’ll learn more Jan. 4.
I lost my mother recently at age 86 after she suffered a stroke and was unable to recover. I was glad I was able to fly home to New Jersey to be with her and say goodbye.
So many friends here in Yukon reached out with well wishes, texts and sympathy cards. One of the cards came from Jim Schmaelzle, an audiologist and one of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. Jim used to perform in Yukon’s Nutcracker with his dance partner, Glenda Ochsner.
Every time I see Jim, he asks when I will write my column again. Well Jim, here you go!
I really appreciate everyone for their thoughts after my mom’s passing, and it’s made me realize why Yukon is such an amazing place to be.