Blanchard, Oklahoma, USA

Blanchard is a city in McClain and Grady counties in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Blanchard is part of a rapidly growing area of northern McClain and Grady counties known as the "Tri-City Area" with Newcastle and Tuttle. U.S. Route 62 passes through the centre of town as 2nd Street, leading northeast 28 miles (45 km) to the centre of Oklahoma City and southwest 18 miles (29 km) to Chickasha. Oklahoma State Highway 76 heads north out of town on Main Street, ending after 10 miles (16 km) in the northern part of Newcastle. Highway 76 leads south 23 miles (37 km) to Lindsay.

Blanchard consists of one square mile "core" of streets roughly laid out in a grid pattern, situated atop a gentle hill surrounded by newer development and agricultural areas within about a 4-mile (6 km) radius of the centre. Central Blanchard, located in McClain County, consists of homes (about half built before 1960), several churches and a historic Main Street downtown area. The commercial downtown features antique shops, eating establishments, city services, senior centre, and a fitness centre.

On the periphery of the city centre are schools, businesses, and modern housing subdivisions. While Blanchard is often described as a commuter town with much of its workforce commuting to nearby Norman and Oklahoma City, local businesses are beginning to surge. As of 2008, local amenities included a supermarket, several restaurants, a public library, banks, a large building supply centre, a new hardware store, and a large car dealership.

Residents of Blanchard tend to view it as a small-town environment with character and charm, but the rapid growth in the area has brought change. To keep the town from being swallowed by urban sprawl, a large annexation was effected in 2004 to provide Blanchard with a "buffer zone". A Main Street beautification project is underway and infrastructure is being improved to handle the rise in population. In 2007, several older buildings in central Blanchard were removed to allow the widening of U.S. 62, yet the historic downtown commercial buildings were preserved.

America/Chicago/Oklahoma 
<b>America/Chicago/Oklahoma</b>
Image: Photo by Alan Villegas on Unsplash

Blanchard has a population of over 7,670 people.

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