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Community encouraged to shop local along Route 66

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Posted at 9:50 PM, Jun 03, 2021
and last updated 2022-06-01 11:18:21-04

TULSA, Okla. — The community is being encouraged to “get your kicks” on Route 66 this weekend for 'Shop 66 Saturdays.'

Take a drive down the historic road through Tulsa on Saturday, and maybe plan a few stops along the way at shops like Decopolis. Owner William Franklin had to close the store’s downtown location during the pandemic but opened on 11th street last year.

“It’s been great," Franklin said. "We really enjoyed it. And the people have been coming in. It’s been packed.”

If you’re hungry, head across the street to the Tulsa Brisket Company food truck. It opened in October. Owner Phillip Gilbertson said it was a slow start at first.

“As the world has opened up and things have changed, I’ve noticed that the lines are getting a little bit longer and there’s more people out," Gilbertson said. "And that’s helped with summertime being here.”

Both businesses are taking part in 'Shop 66 Saturdays.' It's a new initiative from the Tulsa Route 66 Commission to boost economic development and growth along the historic road in Tulsa.

Both business owners said it’s important to spend your dollars on local businesses in your community.

“You’re not going to find this type of atmosphere and fun and engagement at any retail, chain-type store," Franklin said.

Shops and restaurants from west to east Tulsa, including downtown, will take part in Shop 66 Saturdays. It’s also part of an effort to revitalize Route 66 in Tulsa.

“That’s something that was always kind of lacking in Tulsa, was that tourism component," Franklin said. "So, to be picking Route 66 as something that the state, the city, and these other local groups are focusing on, really helps us as a small business because we’re not alone here.”

“There’s so much down here and it’s all local and it’s all handmade, homemade, is what I like to say, and it’s all got a lot of charm to it," Gilbertson said. "And I think that’s what draws people down here.”

The first 100 shoppers will receive a free Shop 66 Saturdays canvas tote bag and a Route 66 trip guide from the Oklahoma Route 66 Association. You can get a bag at the Tulsa Route 66 Commission pop-up under the Meadow Gold neon sign at 1324 E. 11th St. from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

You can learn more about participating businesses here.

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