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Local News

March 13, 2012

Crapemyrtle fest moves to April

DUNCAN — Carolyn Rodgers didn’t let a drought deter her from the task of keeping many young crepemyrtle bushes hydrated during the summer of 2011. She was driven by a desire to help beautify Duncan, so what are a few dozen 100-plus degree days?

But recalling just how hot it was last summer, even during the evening party held in mid-summer, Rodgers is changing course to help promote the Crepemyrtle Capital of Oklahoma.

“Crepes for Crapemyrtles has been scheduled for Friday, April 27, a cooler month,” she said with emphasis on “cooler.”

Rodgers knows crapemyrtles are not blooming in April, but she said people are thinking about their landscaping projects at that time.

With that as a motivation, she’s hoping by having the annual party in April, more people will attend and also get involved in beautifying their own yards with the city’s official designated flowering bush.

“Plant that crapemyrtle this year and attend Crepes for Crapemyrtles, our one and only fundraiser,” she said.

Several people, including Rodgers, are already selling tickets for the event.

In years past, chef Keith Zinke and his wife Deanna prepared the crepes, but they recently moved to southern Florida.

Not to worry, though, Rodgers assured the crepes will be just as spectacular, noting they will be prepared by talented cooks at The Territory Golf Club.

“So, the food will be excellent,” she said.

Also, this year, instead of a band from out of the area, Duncan resident Brian Hibbard will entertain in the role of dee-jay, proving a variety of dance music.

“Once again we will have a Crapemyrtle Photography Contest,” Rodgers added. “Your 8-inch by 10-inch photos can be submitted to the (Duncan) Chamber (of Commerce & Industry).

“Our judges this year will be Toni Hopper and Michael Harris.”

Photographs do not have to be matted or framed. Rodgers also requested, “If you entered last year, please do not submit the same photos that were on display in 2011.

“We are also encouraging photos that have Duncan landmarks in the photos with the crapemyrtles.”

Rodgers said photos highlighting crapemyrtles only can also be submitted, but she  encouraged people to try and capture Duncan’s flavor in the photo as well.

“Since plants are not blooming in April, you’ll have to rely on photos taken last year. At least you’ll know to take plenty this year when they start blooming,” she said.

After the party, all entries will be on display at Duncan Public Library for 30 days and then returned to their owners.

Photographs also will be scanned and uploaded to the Crepemyrtle Facebook site, with permission from the photographer.

Rodgers said only 250 tickets will be sold for this year’s party and there are no reserved tables.

“This is a party, not a gala,” she said.

The idea is to get people to attend who don’t normally get involved in community activities. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. April 27, in the Redbud Room at the Simmons Center.

“You can eat when you like and as many crepes as you like,” Rodgers said. “With a party atmosphere you are welcome to mix and mingle.

“It should be a fun time for all.”

There will also be a silent auction with a variety of prizes, from crapemyrtle bushes, to gardening and home decor items.

Tickets are available from Rodgers, Kay Wallraven, Pam Germany and Gina Flesher. Tickets are also available Gardentown, the Duncan Chamber office and the Simmons Center.

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