Sapulpa had one of, if not the largest, groups in attendance for the 33rd Annual Oklahoma Main Street Awards ceremony on Tuesday night.
Easily filling four tables, just under twenty people, including members of the City, the Chamber, Main Street, and local politicians gathered for dinner and celebration in the hope that Sapulpa would bring home hardware in at least one of the six different categories it had been nominated for.
As it turned out, Sapulpa brought home not one, but three awards—one for the Christmas Chute, and two for Gasoline Alley Classics.
Gasoline Alley Classics, the beautiful retail and petroliana shop at 24 N. Main has become a must-see on Route 66 in the short time its been open. Every day, owner Michael Jones is publishing photos to social media of travelers from around the world stopping in to see the decor and maybe purchase their own piece of historic Route 66. The retailer won for “Best Visual Merchandising,” and “Best Adaptive Reuse Project Over $25,000.”
Store owner Michael Jones said that the wins were the validation he was hoping for that the seven-year-long project was worth all the time and effort it took to get it open.
“It confirmed the vision I had from the beginning that Gasoline Alley Classics could be a destination business on Route 66,” Jones said.
“It was very rewarding for others to see the transformation of this historic building.”
Gasoline Alley was also nominated but lost to Okmulgee’s Merc on Morton Loft for “Best Interior Design Project Over $25,000.”
The other of Sapulpa’s three winners was the Route 66 Christmas Chute, which won “Creative New Event,” beating out Stockyards City and Woodward for the prize.
Will Berry, who was instrumental in creating and orchestrating the Chute, was on hand to accept the award. He said all of Sapulpa should be proud of the win.
“I would say that I’m super happy for our entire community,” he began. “The chute was not only a great achievement for the City of Sapulpa but it was more of an accomplishment for showing how strong our volunteer base and how giving our community truly is.”
Berry also said that he’s thrilled with the attention the town is getting and the direction it’s heading.
“We all should be very proud for all that we have accomplished in the last couple of years and the future looks very bright for Sapulpa.” He said.
The Chute was also nominated for “Outstanding Community Engagement Effort,” but lost that one to Ponca City.
The other Sapulpa-based landmark that was nominated was the Rumble Fish Alley Redevelopment, which was nominated in the “Best Placemaking Project” category, but that one went to Ardmore’s Depot Park.
The 2023 board member of the year for Sapulpa was Joe Krout.
Sapulpa Main Street Director Cindy Lawrence was also nominated for the Watonga Bob Shoemaker Award. The director who won that award was Pryor’s Jennie LaFave, who, incidentally, was mentored by Lawrence.