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Guthrie takes weeklong trip back to Victorian times with annual festival



Guthrie is now a tourist attraction for the city's vast collection of original Victorian architecture downtown. After massive restoration efforts, the buildings achieved national landmark status and even attracted movies looking for an authentic turn-of-the-century feel.

The annual Victorian Walk, which takes place Saturday through Dec. 15, celebrates this rich history by setting the clock back to the 1890s, when Guthrie was booming after the Land Run.

"Guthrie is a little town of festivals. We like to have festivals," said Rick Staton, chairman of the Victorian Walk and owner of Winan's Fine Chocolate and Coffees. "It draws people in, it helps our economy and we have a lot of fun. Visitors are looking for people who are dressed up and like looking at the living windows, and we have quite a few."

Townspeople will be decked out in Victorian garb, complete with big hats and puffy sleeves, some acting out old-timey Christmas scenes in shop windows. Also part of the event:
" carolers,
" gunfighters and
" carriage rides.

"Because we have such a historic district and there are so many buildings on the landmark list, we like going back and making it look that way, dressing the stores up and closing the streets " just have some fun," Staton said.

Kathy Montgomery, president of Guthrie's Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the walk " now in its 15th year " has a dramatic economic impact. She estimated between 5,000 and 8,000 people will show up on Saturday alone. "Charles Martin


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