This past week I have witnessed what it means when a story goes viral. As most people know by now, the Chickasha EDC put up a 40 foot inflatable Leg Lamp at the end of Chickasha Avenue. Since this was our first time to set this up and secure it against the Oklahoma wind, we experimented with it for a few days. Before we could make an official announcement of what and why we were doing, pictures leaked out on social media and all I can say is Wow!
It didn’t take long before those pictures were shared all over social media along with comments of praise. Lt. Governor Matt Pinnell remarked on his Facebook page: “I’m always telling communities to stand out from the crowd. Well, Chickasha certainly is. Welcome their new “major award’ Leg Lamp to downtown. Great place to shop local this holiday season.” Our Lt. Governor oversees tourism for Oklahoma and he understands the importance of standing out in order to gain attention and tourism dollars. In his role, he wants Oklahoma to stand out and draw visitors from other states and we are using the same strategy for Chickasha.
Tim Elliott is the owner of Standley Systems, a four generation family business that has been around Chickasha since 1934. If you have talked to Tim in the past couple of years, you have probably heard him talk about putting up a Leg Lamp to attract visitors to Chickasha. This summer long time Chickasha resident, Noland James, passed away and in his obituary it stated that James created the Leg Lamp used in the movie, A Christmas Story. That provided a connection between the Leg Lamp and Chickasha and the decision was made to order a customized inflatable Leg Lamp. TV stations came down and did interviews with Tim and those interviews were shared all over the Country. We are still working on calculating how many people saw the story about the Chickasha Leg Lamp, but we believe it will be well over a Million. That’s a lot of people hearing positive news about Chickasha and many of them commenting that they want to come visit our town and see it and the Festival of Light. Tim was event contacted by someone from Tokyo Japan about appearing in a Zoom to show of the Chickasha Leg Lamp. I would say that is definitely “standing out from the crowd.”
The Leg Lamp is scheduled to be set back up on Thursday with stronger cabling to help it withstand the Oklahoma Wind and that is perfect timing for the weekend festivities. This Saturday night, the Chickasha Chamber of Commerce has organized the Christmas Parade starting at 7 pm under the lights downtown. The Parade Grand Marshals will be Shane Henry and Maggie McClure of the Imaginaries. Their music video/short movie “Hometown Christmas” was filmed entirely here in Chickasha by local film maker Reagan Elkins. That video promoting Chickasha also went viral and has been viewed over 30,000 times all over not just the Country, but the world. It was recently highlighted by a website in the U.K. listing the best new Holiday songs for Christmas. They will be performing an outdoor Christmas concert after the Parade is over. There will be a tent set up by the Depot with social distance seating for those that would like to hear a little Hometown Christmas in person.
How do we grow Chickasha for the future? How do we get noticed by potential new businesses? How do we attract more people to come visit Chickasha? I think we take the Lt. Governor’s advice and stand out from the crowd. We let the world know that we love the holiday season and maybe provide a much needed smile to people. I think we show everyone that we are a special place that embraces all the tradition of a Hometown Christmas. As we get media attention that makes us proud of Chickasha, we will share that news and that is #TheGoodStuff.