Jim Cowan

Next week I will make my New Year’s resolutions and predictions, but this week I wanted to do a recap of all the good stuff that happened in 2021. It was a busy year even though Covid continued to be an obstacle for our local economy. Every year has it challenges, but as I look back on last year I believe our Community responded well and we have a lot of successes to look back upon.

We created the Keep Chickasha Beautiful Facebook page in the Spring to tell everyone about Clean-up Days and hauled off tons of debris. We did it again in the fall during Civic Pride week. This year we have even more on the calendar to Keep Chickasha Beautiful, but more on that next week. Last year’s campaign was recognized by Keep Oklahoma Beautiful as a State Finalist for Environmental Excellence. We must continue growing our awareness of how to keep our City clean!

Speaking of awards, last summer during the Redbud Awards, Chickasha was recognized by the Oklahoma Travel Industry Association with three awards: The Chickasha Leg Lamp for Outstanding Media Coverage and Outstanding New Attraction and the music video “Hometown Christmas” won for Best Overall Marketing Campaign. The Holiday Season expanded this past December as the Festival of Light operated at the Depot and offered Food Trucks, entertainment, pop-up shops and a shuttle to Shannon Springs Park. This will grow much more in 2022 and I will share more details next week.

This past year Chickasha received certification from the OK Film + Music office as being “Film Friendly.”  This was something we already knew, but the certification will help us attract more movie sets in the future. It was a nice boost for our local economy when the movie “A Cowgirls Song” was shot entirely here last summer. Having celebrities like Cheryl Ladd, Darci Lynn and Savanah Lee May staying here and enjoying our great restaurants was awesome. Glad we have such creative talent like Reagan Elkins, Shand Henry and Maggie McClure making movies happen here. Details coming soon on when that movie will be released later this summer. 

Our local economy started rebounding last year with sales tax and hotel/motel tax slowly climbing up from the dive they took in 2020. The Chamber continued the successful Shop Chickasha and Buy Chickasha campaigns that focus on our small businesses. New businesses like Jungle Ice Fun Zone opened and current businesses like HSI expanded to signal a strong business climate.  . Mayor/acting City Manager Chris Mosley deserves high praise for his ability to keep the City moving forward during the transition of hiring new City Manager Tyler Brooks. The City Council and City Manager seemed focused on the needs of our Community and working with everyone to see growth.

At the end of 2022, we saw the Chickasha Community Foundation lease the land by the Depot in order to build a new Downtown Park. Bike racks, park benches, a new mural and crosswalk art have started and will continue the resurgence of our Downtown. The positive wind of change started blowing in Downtown and is sure to be a powerful force this year.

Not everything was perfect last year in Chickasha, but as a brand new resident to our fine City told me this week, “you can tell Chickasha is moving forward.” As we look back on last year, I hope we can continue to focus on our strengths, while working to improve our weaknesses. We have to believe in ourselves. Knowing the best is yet to come in 2022, well that kind of belief is #TheGoodStuff!

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