Year-in and year-out, Yukon has one of the best Christmas season displays across Oklahoma.
The main reason for the holiday success is the people who put in the many hours of work to make it great.
On Thursday the City of Yukon hosted the annual Soups and Sweets Christmas Thank You Luncheon at the Dale Robertson Center as a way to give back to those who put in those long hours to put Yukon on the map.
“It’s a small token of appreciation to those people who dedicated hours and hours to make our city a destination place,” Parks and Recreation Superintendent Quincy Rinkle said. “We want to thank both the city employees and the patrons that volunteer their time and effort.”
Hundreds of people gathered to enjoy the hot food inside on a cold day outside, which included baked potatoes, several different kinds of soups, salad and many types of sweets.
Parks and Recreation Director, Jan Scott, said Yukon is different than other cities when it comes to their Christmas light display.
“We work together as a group, so we are able to do more things,” Scott said. “The Christmas season is unique here in Yukon because the city puts it on and in other towns, it’s all volunteer work. That’s what has allowed us to sustain all of these years.”
The Christmas season in Yukon seems to get better with age. Rinkle said 2017 was arguably the best year and the weather played a role.
“We had record crowds,” Rinkle said. “The Christmas In The Park train had more riders than we have ever had before and the traffic was non-stop for all 40 days. We had great weather, which helped a lot as well. The potential economic impact on the city is huge.
“We are fortunate to have the I-40 frontage, so people will get off the highway and go see the lights and then stop and get a drink or eat in Yukon. It’s another way to put our city on the map. We take pride in putting out the best possible product for our city.
Scott added that one of the ways Yukon adds more spectators to their Christmas In The Park display is the returnees.
“A lot of people return every year to see the lights,” Scott said. “They plan on stopping every time they are coming through Yukon. Christmas is big in Yukon. I live in Oklahoma City and I have had people come up to me not knowing where I work or what I do and tell me that they think Yukon has the best Christmas lights. It makes us feel good.”
Yukon is not the only city to put on a Christmas light display. Many other cities in the state also have their own Christmas season specials as well as other festivals or events.
“We actually share advice with other communities,” Rinkle said. “We have become kind of the ‘go to’ for other communities to come and learn from when it comes to different events.”
Scott added Yukon has also picked up ideas from other communities.
“We go through the State Recreation Society to speak with other cities,” Scott said. “We have borrowed several ideas from other communities and they have borrowed some from us.”
Even though Yukon is considered to be one of the top spots for Christmas lights, Rinkle said there is always room for improvement.
“We are always looking to improve,” Rinkle said. “We strive to be bigger and better every year and that will be our goal next Christmas season. We have expanded every year. The growth and improvement of technology over the years has helped with making the display bigger and better. As technology continues to evolve, that will help us to improve what we do every year.”