ENID — If Enid could burst at its seams, it might happen this weekend, as mountains of colorful yarn lines city sidewalks, pours out of local restaurants and hangs from fences, streetlights and stop signs.
The fiber art decorations are part of “Yarnover Enid,” the first community outreach program designed to bring business owners, residents and community leaders together by “stitching the strip” with yarn along Main Street.
“We wanted to do something to celebrate the community and the strides that we've made in the last couple of years,” founder Paula Nightengale said. “I thought, if you're going to weave a community together, why not use yarn?”
More than 1,500 colorful pieces of knitted and crocheted art will be available for viewing by residents and visitors until October, Nightengale said.
The works come from Park Avenue Thrift Store, a nonprofit and fair share United Way employer that Nightengale and David Hume operate.
After noticing the large amount of yarn being donated to the thrift store, Nightengale banded together with 35 other women who call themselves the Prairie Yarn Stormers.
The Stormers worked on their own creations and completed unfinished knitting and crocheting projects that had been donated to the store to provide the pieces for Yarnover Enid.
This year, the store reached $1 million in revenue since opening in 2007.
All store profits go to supporting community endeavors, Hume said. Recipients include Enid Symphony Orchestra, Gaslight Theatre, Enid's Toys for Tots and Shop with a Cop programs and Pegasys, a public educational and government access TV station.
“This is a thriving community,” Hume said. “It's a great place to work and raise a family and its growing. But if we want it to continue to grow we need to get people out and about and talking and cash registers opening up.”
Part of getting dollars flowing is getting fingers knitting, Nightengale said.
“This puts a smile on people's faces. It gets business owners talking to each other and nonprofits thinking about what they can do to further city development,” she said.
Nightengale said tags attached to many of the decorations promote upcoming events hosted by businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Director of Main Street, Kelly Tompkins, said the beautification process is just in time for Enid's Cherokee Strip Celebration, which starts Friday and continues through Sept. 15. The celebration marks the land run of Sept. 16, 1893, when an estimated 100,000 people raced to claim plots of land in an area in northern Oklahoma territory known as Cherokee Strip.
This year festivities will include lunch and a movie shown on the courthouse's lawn, a downtown farmers market, a trick roping show, face painting, a bicycle parade, quilt sale and a Randy Atkins concert at Enid's Events Center.
Event sponsor Creative Arts Enid offers knitting and crocheting classes. To register, go to www.creativeartsenid.com.