SAPULPA, Okla. — While many are cheering on the start of the football season, it's another season that's been the talk of Sapulpa for well over a year.
"I can't wait to see what it looks like," says Sapulpa resident Will Berry.
Berry and a group of worker elves are creating a Christmas gift unlike any around.
"The dream is to have Sapulpa on the map as a Christmas destination," says Tawni Vickers with the City of Sapulpa.
A dream that started in the summer of 2019 is now a Christmas wish come true with the Route 66 Christmas Chute.
It's a festive, twinkling, colossal Christmas canopy.
"People are able to come, get out of their cars and walk underneath, and just really enjoy the Christmas spirit," says Berry.
Inside the Sapulpa workshop, planning, testing, and construction have been underway for over a year.
"There are 35,400 feet of lights and so much garland. I couldn't even tell you how much garland," says Berry.
The Christmas Chute will feature ten themed sections that run for over 1,000 feet.
They range from religious to Route 66, Christmas-themed to Candyland. Many of the decorations used are homemade.
It has taken hundreds of volunteers thousands of hours to create this Christmas magic.
"It's not done with a professional constriction company or decoration company. This is legitimately a total community project," says Berry.
That includes over 100 Sapulpa student-athletes.
"We were screwing in lightbulbs and all these green rods. It was supposed to take three hours, but because so many of us showed up and had a good system, it only took an hour," says Holly Haslam, a student who helped with the project.
This is an $800,000 undertaking made possible by the giving spirit.
"It's a project that's totally privately funded. We fundraised for it, just like any other private project," says Berry.
The Christmas Chute will be entirely constructed in October on Dewey Ave along Historic Route 66. It will start at Main and run five blocks or nearly three football fields to the courthouse.
"Lights on will be November 3rd for all of you to come see," says Berry.
"There will be activities every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday throughout November and December. We will have Santa, live Reindeer, fake snowball fights, and more," says Vickers.
The City hopes you'll spend the day, then stay for the twinkling lights at night.
Because when it comes to Christmas in Sapulpa, the more, the merrier!
"The dream is to have thousands of people walking under the chute, being happy, spreading cheer," says Berry.
Once the Route 66 Christmas Chute opens in November, it will stay open through the New Year. The City has a website where you can track events for the season.