Holiday lighting event for Blue Whale adds a new twist

The iconic Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma, has been decorated for the Christmas season for nearly 15 years. But on Saturday, the city added a new twist to the annual event.

Santa in his sleigh was placed onto the pond, with a long string of Christmas lights leading to the whale, as if the big mammal was pulling it.

A glowing red nose was added to the front of the whale, ala Rudolph, as the capper.

According to Fox23 in nearby Tulsa, the Catoosa Chamber of Commerce, American Legion and local businesses.

The lighting event also served as a fundraiser for a local family:

Ahead of the event, the City of Catoosa said Santa and Mrs. Claus would be collecting donations for the Dotson family and their son July, who was diagnosed with a form of inoperable brain cancer.

The City said July’s Father, Kevin, is a Catoosa graduate and spent several years as a teacher and coach at Catoosa Public Schools.

The City said anyone who couldn’t attend but still wants to help can donate to the family’s GoFundMe.

The lights for the Blue Whale come on daily after sundown during the Christmas season.

The city is considering a $6 million development proposal for the Blue Whale that would include a new visitors center, an RV park, a giant Route 66 shield, a retro-looking neon sign, an ice cream bar and coffee shop, catch-and-release fishing and walking trails. It hopes to have it done by Route 66’s centennial in 2026.

Hugh Davis hand-made the Blue Whale from concrete and shaped rebar in 1972 as an anniversary gift to his wife. The Blue Whale and its spring-fed pond became a popular swimming hole for locals and travelers along Route 66.

It closed in 1988 and fell into disrepair until it was restored in the early 2000s. Davis’ son, Blaine, was the caretaker at the property for years.

The city purchased the Blue Whale site and its land in 2020 from the Davis family for $1.5 million.

(Screen-capture image from Fox23 video of the holiday lights on the Blue Whale of Catoosa, Oklahoma)

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