By Katie Dahlstrom Assistant Editor
The Clinton Herald
---- — CLINTON — For the second year in a row, Clinton will have an old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration designed for the whole family.
The sisters behind last year’s whirlwind Save the Fourth campaign and event have done it again, this time with the help of a committee and an entire year to plan.
With a little less than two weeks to go, Emily Steenhard and Erin George, of Clinton, continue to work with community members to make the second annual Clinton 4th of July Festival as much, if not more, of a success as it was last year.
“We welcome everyone,” Steenhard said. “Erin and I have such fond memories of the Fourth of July and we want the kids in this community to have that. This is a family oriented event; an old-fashioned Fourth of July.”
The festival will be held near the Clinton bandshell July 4.
As part of their efforts to make the Fourth of July event as community-oriented as they can, the festival committee held a contest for elementary school students to design the 2013 button.
Allison Spencer, 9, of Clinton, loves drawing. Now her art will be displayed on more than 2,500 buttons and forever be a piece of Clinton’s Fourth of July celebration.
“I’m happy,” she said.
Spencer was chosen out of about 20 entries from area students. Her design features an American flag surrounded by bursting, colorful fireworks. In addition to having her name and drawing featured on the button, Spencer will ride in a convertible near the front of the parade, which will happen at 1 p.m. July 4.
“We’re proud of her. We really wanted to honor her for doing this,” Steenhard said. “She will always be the first to design the Fourth of July button.”
The buttons are on sale for $1 with proceeds going toward the festival. They can be purchased at various locations throughout town, including the Painted Rooster, 212 Fifth Ave. South, the sisters’ store in downtown Clinton.
The parade will start at 1 p.m. along Riverview Drive. Anyone is invited to be a part of the parade, which is free to enter, but will need to submit a parade entry form. Those interested can pick up an entry form from the Painted Rooster or on the Clinton 4th of July Festival Facebook page.
“We want as many people in the parade as want to be,” Steenhard said. “Even if it’s kids who want to ride their bikes, Girl Scout, Boy Scout troops. Any veterans are welcome. All they need to do is fill out the entry form.”
Volleyball and bags tournaments are slated for the morning and a kids’ event at the Showboat Theater will take place at 11 a.m. Other park activities will start at 2 p.m. after the parade.
Attendees will find a number of inflatables such as an obstacle course, large slide, bounce house and jousting activity. There will also be a petting zoo and face painting. Like last year, the event is entirely free. Free food and drinks will be provided as long as they are available.
Thirty-five fire departments have been invited to take part in the water fights.
The Clinton Municipal Band, Slough Buoys and the Dani Lynn Howe Band will perform, with watermelon, hula hooping, balloon toss and other contests taking place between performances.
Clinton Junior Basball’s All Star game and home run hitting contest will be held at the Little League fields during the festival.
The park activities will end at 6 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., skydivers will descend into Ashford University Field.
After the events end, the Showboat Theater will put on the “Sound of Music” at 6:30 p.m. and the LumberKings will have a home game starting at 7 p.m. with fireworks to follow.
In order to make the free festival possible, the festival committee has been fundraising. So far, it has raised $12,000 and continues to seek donations in order to fund the day-long celebration.
Donation buckets are stationed in various businesses throughout town. Contributions can also be made by purchasing a star for $50 or a handprint for $10 to be placed on the “Families for the Fourth” flag that will commemorate the event.
Volunteers are still needed to help set up, staff children’s activities and clean up.
For more information on how to donate or volunteer, visit the Clinton 4th of July Festival on Facebook or call the Painted Rooster at 243-4000.