CAMANCHE — Corn dogs and carnival rides; slow-pitch and sand pits; family, friends and fireworks — it is time for the 34th annual Camanche Days celebration, “Where Childhood Memories Come Alive.”
After months of planning, the time is nearly here to showcase the hard work of the Camanche Days committee and the city of Camanche.
“The committee has been doing a really good job getting all of the events lined up,” Camanche Mayor Ken Fahlbeck said. “They have a group that really commits to doing good for the community.”
Many of the events lined up for the four-day celebration are old fan-favorites that people look forward to every year, but the committee worked hard to make the 2013 bash, bigger and better.
“We’ve had a really good crew this year,” Committee president Brenda Larkey said. “I’m very excited for all of the new events people to be successful. I’m excited for them.”
The new events that attendees can look forward to include a trivia contest, barbecue cook-off, a pre-fireworks rally and a senior citizens versus children’s Wiffle Ball game.
“The barbecue cook-off is a big plus for this year and I think the trivia night is going to hit a home run,” Larkey said.
A couple of old gems are also getting an update from the committee this year. Event-goers can look forward to a revived boat parade and the return of the sand volleyball tournament.
Coordinator of the volleyball tournament, Chris Sheridan, is happy to be a part of Camanche Days this year and is excited to see the turn out.
“I’m expecting around 10 teams to enter, but really hoping to see at least 12,” Sheridan said.
Although the volleyball tournament seems to have people excited, the boat parade has not garnered as much attention as coordinator Bill Hugunin had hoped for.
“As of right now we only have four entries, but many will show up at the last minute. I’m hoping for at least a dozen participants,” Hugunin said.
One event the Camanche Days committee knows will bring a big draw is the unlimited-arc, slow-pitch mens softball tournament.
“(It’s) probably one of the better known events at Camanche Days,” organizer Chad Bigwod said.
Bigwood and his team have competed in the softball tournament for more than 20 years and this year he said he has 13 teams committed to playing, with another four expected to join.
“It averages anywhere from 12 to 16 teams. Last year we had 18 and that was too big, so typically I try not to have more than 16,” Bigwood said.
The tournament will take place three out of the four days of the celebration, making it the longest event of the weekend, but not the only highlight to enjoy.
Aug. 10, especially, will be filled with a variety of fun, family events for everyone to take part in and it all begins with a parade at 11 a.m. honoring Grand Marshals George and Donna Current.
“We try to do as much for the city as possible,” George said. “Evidently someone appreciates that.”
Whether it’s the volleyball tournament or the barbecue cook-off getting the attention, Larkey said she feels this year all the hard work the committee put in is sure to pay off.
“This has been a big year for us. I am so proud of this committee and all the work they have put into planning this celebration,” Larkey said.