Riverboat Days

Justin Herman of Clinton finds the exit during some adventure time on an inflatable obstacle course on the Riverboat Days grounds during the 2009 event.

The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

CLINTON — For 48 years Clinton Riverboat Days has been the multifaceted festival that happens during the 4th of July.

When asked most people will tell you about their favorite part of Riverboat Days, whether it’s the concerts, tractor pulls, mud volleyball or maybe it’s the Jaycee’s Carnival.

Organizers say the 2009 festival was no different, that many exciting events including concerts, tractor pulls, motocross racing, a demo derby plus many others took place to provide a well-rounded event with something to enjoy for all of its patrons.

But they say the 2009 festival saw a very low attendance rate compared to years past.

“Only speculations can be made why this was the cause,” said Donald Tegeler, who serves on the RBD board and will be the 2010 Commodore. “Was it because of the soft economy? What is because of the rain that washed out most of Saturday’s events? Are there too many other things that may be more affordable for families to do during the 4th of July weekend?”

Tegeler and board member Mike Fullerton say many carnival-goers would speculate the frustrations the Jaycees experienced with the carnival this year played a part as well. They say maybe it was the combination of all these things that caused the low attendance rates.

No matter what the cause, when the 2009 Board of Directors met Sept. 16 to elect and turn over the festival to the new 2010 board, a lot of tough questions were left behind with very few answers.

The biggest question of all is, does the current version of Riverboat Days work anymore?

This is precisely the question that the 2010 board intends to explore.

Right now the 2010 board is entertaining many new ideas on how to transform RBD into an organization that can better fill the needs and wants of all its loyal patrons.

“One of the most popular ideas so far is to hold multiple events during the year, creating an overall expansion of activities taking place in Clinton,” Tegeler said. “Of course this is only one of many good ideas that have been discussed, but what Riverboat Days would like is to get some more great ideas from the people of Clinton.”

A special form has been put in place on the Riverboat Days Web site to make it easy for everyone to comment on what they would like to see happen in the future. Go to www.riverboatdays.org and click on Leave Feedback to fill out a feedback form or mail suggestions to PO Box 241, Clinton, IA 52732. Suggestions also can be e-mailed to info@riverboatdays.org or mailed to Riverboat Days at Box 241, Clinton, IA 52732.

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