Jim Cowan

Have you ever tried something you didn’t know much about? Brussel Sprouts? Artichokes? Fried Green Tomatoes? Maybe something different that may not make much sense at first, but once you give it a try, you’re like, Wow! This is pretty good!

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to meet multiple groups of people either at the Parade or by the Leg Lamp. I heard so many cool stories. A large group of people from San Antonio that love the movie “A Christmas Story” saw on the news about our 40 foot tall Leg Lamp and made the long drive to our town. They enjoyed our restaurants, shopped at our stores, stuck around for the parade and then spent the night at one of our hotels.

I talked to other groups of people from Tulsa, Denton Texas, Wichita Kansas, Amarillo Texas, Shreveport Louisiana and all had similar stories. They had all heard about the Leg Lamp, but didn’t really know much about Chickasha. What a perfect day to come visit Chickasha with incredible weather, a Hometown Christmas Parade, The Festival of Light and plenty of places to shop and eat.

This has been a devastating year for our boutique shops, restaurants and other small businesses. Restricting inside eating at restaurants, closing some retail shops for several weeks and then add in the downturn in the energy industry and recently an increased threat of business restrictions because of rising cases of Covid. Keeping your doors open and your staff employed has never been more challenging in Chickasha, but for one weekend we had a lot of people “give us a try.” Hopefully they had a great experience and will tell other people about our charming small town.

I know the heavy traffic caused some challenges for people. I know there are a few that don’t like the Christmas Tree on the West end of Chickasha avenue. I know there are a few that don’t understand why a 40 foot Leg Lamp stands next to the train depot, but when you have unprecedented economic challenges, you have to have a creative response. We need visitors coming to Chickasha and this past weekend they did just that in large numbers!

We responded great when we had restaurant bingo and shop Chickasha earlier this year and now we have the Chamber’s Buy Chickasha program. Please spend your money here locally, it’s more important now than ever! Local dollars plus visitors dollars add up to a much needed boost to our local merchants.

Let’s continue to try a few new things, maybe we will actually like these experiments. We need to continue to spend our marketing dollars to convince people to visit Chickasha and help our local businesses. This is our town, our neighbors owning and operating local businesses. We all need to support each other to make sure our businesses keep their doors open. 

News 9 anchor, Kelly Ogle, referred to us as “ChristmasShay” instead of Chickasha this week. He told all the viewers that we know how to do Christmas. That’s the kind of endorsement we need. Let’s welcome our visitors and support our merchants. That’s what we do here, that’s who we are and that is #TheGoodStuff.

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