The Claremore Christmas tree has been delivered and lit! For the third year in a row, we are the proud owners of the state’s largest fresh-cut tree!

The tree was chosen from a tree farm in Manton, Michigan. Why not Oklahoma? Because trees don’t get that tall here, and we want to have the best tree in 77 counties. After Winterland is over, the tree is cut into shavings, which are then used for the FFA kids showing animals during the Rogers County Fair.

We had high hopes of obtaining a real ice rink this year. Winterland is funded through partnerships with several local businesses and individuals, and while we are grateful for all of the support, the price of a real rink was a little steep. We considered not having even synthetic ice, but the kids enjoy it, and we own it, so why not?

West Bend Winterland has a shortened schedule this year. In the past, we have had to close early several times due to cold or inclement weather. Additionally, several of the bonus activities we offered (inflatables, carnival rides, etc.) could not be operated below certain temperatures, so that was a financial loss. We are offering a pared-down version of the community event for 2019 to see how it works. Also, Winterland is operated strictly by volunteers, and without extra hands on deck, it’s not possible to be open any more.

We are, however, offering a couple of events that we haven’t in the past, including a community-wide sunset prayer service hosted by local churches, and a special afternoon for seniors and veterans, sponsored by the Winterland committee.

You can find a full schedule of events at WestBendWinterland.com, or follow Winterland on facebook for updates! If you or a group you’re involved with would like to volunteer for the event next year, please contact Tanya Andrews at tandrews@claremorecity.com.