Bluegrass & Chili Festival Finds New Home In Wagoner
WAGONER, Oklahoma - The 39th annual Bluegrass and Chili Festival has a new home in the heart of Wagoner.
After calling Claremore home for years, the festival is moving to downtown Wagoner, and they have a lot of work left to do before September.
The City of Wagoner has six weeks to deconstruct and reconstruct several historic buildings downtown.
"The city officials, they've all stepped up and said name what you need and we'll get it there,” festival organizer Dell Davis said.
She said after Claremore decided not to play host anymore, she wondered if the festival would happen this year at all.
"We really honestly did not think we'd be able to pull off a 2018 due to the time limit," Davis said. "Once we publicized it wasn't going to happen, we had 10 entities and cities call us and say, 'Hey, we want this event in our town.'"
After weeks of site visits, Davis picked Wagoner.
"We tried to do apples to apples, or chili peppers to chili peppers in our case, and Wagoner came out on top," she said.
Now, the city is hard at work fixing up Main Street after two fires in six months tore through the downtown area.
"What's happening downtown today is the deconstruction of our historic buildings," Mayor Albert Jones said.
The mayor said all the old bricks will be stored and used again in the rebuilding phase.
"When we're completed, it will look exactly like it was, except there will be viable businesses in all those buildings downtown," he said.
Jones said they will have all it cleaned up and ready to go by September 7th and 8th.