The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

June 6, 2014

Student's art will promote 4th of July

By Scott Levine Herald Associate Editor
The Clinton Herald

---- — CLINTON — Jocelyn Bielenberg knew someone was going to photograph her during the end-of-the-year assembly Thursday at Jefferson Elementary School.

When she found out why, she was as shocked as anyone.

Bielenberg won the 2014 coloring contest for the Fourth of July festivities in Clinton, and she was honored Thursday on the final day of school.

“My mom told me to wear something pretty to school today because someone was going to take my picture,” the 9-year-old elementary student said.

The prize for winning doesn’t only entail being recognized by her peers. Bielenberg’s design will now appear on promotional material for the upcoming Fourth of July event, including T-shirts, which she showed off Thursday.

Erin George, one of the organizers for the Fourth of July festivities, said Bielenberg’s design was relevant to pop culture and would translate well into a button.

“We had a good number of participants compared to years past,” George said. “They had to do it on their own time. It wasn’t a school project.”

The idea for the drawing, which resembles Captain America’s shield, came to Bielenberg when she was sketching and it reminded her of the American flag. With her mom’s help, the idea became a reality, and now she also will be in the parade on the Fourth of July.

Bielenberg’s drawing beat out 37 other competitors from area schools. The Fourth of July committee narrowed down the participants’ drawings to four, and then unanimously chose Bielenberg’s drawing.

This was the first time the vote had been unanimous in choosing the coloring contest winner.

The Clinton Fourth of July celebration started in 2012 when George and her sister Emily Steenhard organized the event after Riverboat Days ended its decades-long run during the Fourth of July.

The celebration will feature free food, parade, music, inflatables and more activities on the Fourth of July.

“Every year we learn a little more,” George said. “There are things you can better and every year we learn what we need to do a little differently. We’re excited for the things we’ve learned and we’ve ironed out the kinks.”

Digital Content Editor Rachel Fredericksen contributed to this story.