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El Reno home to festive reindeer tradition

Bill O'Brien / Red Dirt Report
El Reno loves its reindeer tradition.
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EL RENO, Okla.-- In recent weeks, a herd of reindeer has apparently made its way to downtown El Reno where individual reindeers are currently visible in a variety of locales there. One such beast, who has a dark red complexion and is wearing white and red striped socks and a green shirt, appears to be standing as a silent guard protecting three different presents that are on the street, wrapped in bright colors.

The nearby Butts Flower Shop hosts a dark complected reindeer in its interior that is wearing light blue high heels, a variety of brightly colored bows and one red Christmas ornament as an earring. Visitors are told that it is known as “he-she” due to its seemingly androgynous nature.

Yet another reindeer is visible in a store window wearing a Christmas wreath around his neck; he appears to be an albino with a white skin that is reminiscent of the skin color of the albino alligators that are found in the aquarium in New Orleans that is adjacent to the Mississippi River.

There is a similarly pale one inside another establishment, but he sports golden antlers and tail, a red nose, and is wearing a checkered scarf. A sign behind him indicates that he is, “so excited about Christmas that I am just glitzing gold.”

Inside the office of the El Reno Main Street organization, are found two reindeers that are bereft of any color and appear to be constructed of unfinished wood. And the recently installed Director of the El Reno Main Street, Shana Ford, recently explained that all of the reindeers who have descended upon the community were originally of a similar nature, and were donated to the  Main Street organization.

Those reindeers were purchased and later decorated by local businesses who subsequently finished them. Several people will determine which one has enjoyed the best makeover, and the party who was responsible for it will receive a cash prize.

The reindeer are in an area that is being revitalized that includes a prosperous coffee house, murals on wall that detail the history of El Reno and feature images of Native Americans, early settlers and U.S. military officials, and formerly unused second stories of buildings that are now providing loft housing to increasing number of people who have chosen to live in the  downtown area.

Amidst change, downtown El Reno hosts traditions such as the 94-year-old man who is known as Mr. Ross, who has served customers for decades at the family-owned  Ross Feed Store and also offers them popcorn without charge. It is said that several years ago Mr. Ross contemplated retiring, but his daughter who works with him dissuaded him from doing so.

In the outer office of the District Attorney’s Office, that is adjacent to the downtown area, a large portrait of the late President John F. Kennedy, who appears to be deep in thought, hangs and it has been said that the image has made many older people nostalgic for his time.

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About the Author

Bill O'Brien

Bill O'Brien is an attorney based in Oklahoma City.

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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