By Natalie Conrad
Herald Staff Writer
Having a safe and fire-free fireworks display for Camanche Days is a major priority with the dry conditions.
Event organizers and the fire department plan to work together to provide a safe event for the community. Camanche Days President Ron Johnson has added more volunteers to make sure all safety measures are met during the annual festival in August.
Despite the dry conditions, Clinton County is not under a burn ban. Currently, 39 of the 99 Iowa counties are under a burn ban, according to the Iowa Department of Public Safety. This includes surrounding Scott, Jackson, Cedar and Muscatine counties.
Burn bans are primarily call-driven and the area has not received very many calls, according to Camanche Fire Chief Dave Schutte.
“There is still green in the fields,” Schutte said. “Once that green goes away it creates more of a hazard.”
The amount of grass fires is also a key factor in determining a burn ban. So far there has not been a significant amount of grass fires in the county, according to Schutte. Burn bans are decided by a consensus of chiefs throughout the county that is then brought forward to emergency management.
With one of the driest Camanche Days in history, more volunteers and firefighters will be available than ever before.
“We will have extra manpower for this event and more preparation to accommodate for the dry conditions,” Schutte said.
Two tankers of water will be on hand in case a blaze starts. Officials may also wet the bean field near school facilities where the display will take place.
“We will do whatever it takes to make sure it’s a safe event,” Schutte said.
Various fireworks displays in the Midwest have been canceled because of dry weather, including eight displays in Chicago over the July Fourth holiday. The Camanche Days fireworks display is planned for Aug. 12 around 9 p.m.
New events at Camanche Days
• Teen Wiffleball tournament, Aug. 9 — Camanche teens ages 13-18. There must be 12 players per coed team with a cost of $5 per player. Contact Brandon Brown at 321-2492 or Chadd Weller at 321-1525 for more information.
• Bench press competition, Aug. 11 at 1 p.m. — There will be men and women age categories. Entry fee is $5. Weigh in will be at Lyons Tap, Aug. 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. There will be a second chance to weigh in, two hours prior to competition. Contact Steve at 249-5998 or Jeff at 249-3249.
• Teen sand volleyball tournament, Aug. 11 at noon, at Platt Park — Cost is $50 per team. Coed teams of six can compete in one of two age brackets: 13-15 years or 16-18 years. Teams must have two to three girls in play at all times. Deadline is Aug. 7. Contact Alexis Shepherd at 249-8707.
• Auction, Aug. 10, 5 to 8 p.m. — Call Ron at 249-1523 or David at 259-1080 if you have items to donate. Accepted donations are new or gently used items. No clothes, pets, food, electronics, tires, air conditioners or microwaves.
• 9-Pin Bowling tournament, Aug. 8, Imperial Lanes — First shift begins at 6:30 p.m., and will add 8:30 p.m. shift if needed. Five person teams (men, women, or mixed). Bowlers do not need to be sanctioned. Scratch, no handicap, $90 team entry fee. Contact Jay Garvey at 259-1411.
• Suicide Awareness Kickoff — In light of the rash of suicides that has plagued Camanche in recent years, there will be a suicide awareness presentation on Aug. 9, 7:30 p.m., at the tennis court main stage. Speakers will be present and several teens will speak.