Festivities abound at Platt Park tonight as the annual Camanche Days events commence. This year’s festival features several new events to complement the old traditions.

“We’ve made some changes, we’ve added events and new coordinators and have the new teen board getting right into the action of planning Camanche Days for the community,” Camanche Days Board Member Brenda Larkey said.

The group of teens has been able to bring some much-needed fresh ideas to the small dedicated group that has been running the event for decades. New events this year include a bench press competition, bowling tournament, teen wiffleball tournament and teen sand volleyball tournament. Festival goers can also expect the usual line-up of events including the parade, pedal pull, arts and crafts fair, boat parade, book sale, car show, carnival, entertainment and more.

Despite the dry weather, the Sunday night fireworks display is expected to go as planned. Camanche Days President Ron Johnston is taking extra precautions to ensure a safe and fun event for all with help from the fire department.

There will be extra volunteers and water tanks on hand in preparation for the dry conditions.

“We will do whatever it takes to make sure it’s a safe event,” Fire Chief Dave Schutte said.

Camanche Days kicks off tonight starting at 6:30 p.m. with the opening ceremonies. This year’s ceremonies include a presentation of the colors by Camanche VFW, a recognition of the 1987 state championship baseball team in honor of the 25th anniversary, presentation of the fireworks check, little cuties contest winners, coronation of the king, queen, prince and princess and more.

“Speaking for the board, it’s a privilege to organize Camanche Days every year for our old and new friends and families that participate and make it the successful and popular event that it has become in eastern Iowa,” Larkey said.