It sure seems like May 2011 was only yesterday and here we are planning this year’s “Toot Your Own Horn” event.
The Convention & Visitors Bureau holds this event every year in May during Tourism Month to celebrate our attractions and give them the chance to toot their horns and let everyone know what is happening at their attraction as well as recognizing all of our volunteers.
In June and July, Clinton will be buzzing with a lot of out of town guests. Once again I am making a plea to put Clinton’s best foot forward. I cannot stress enough the importance of making our city look neat and clean and this means picking up refuse that you see along the streets as you are on your evening walk, maybe when you see trash in the store parking lot, even in front of your own house. Every person picking up a little bit makes a big difference and soon our city will be spotless. Let’s celebrate Keep Iowa Beautiful month every month.
We will soon be welcoming Tractorcade. The public is welcome to come and see the tractors that range from antique to the very modern. This is a four-day tractor ride that is sponsored by WMT600 out of Cedar Rapids and they will be stopping overnight in Clinton on June 11.
We will have vendors and music in the bandshell area at the riverfront and breakfast for the drivers under the Candlelight on the morning of the 12th.
In July we will be very busy hosting the RAGBRAI event. Riders will be coming in on July 20 and parking their cars long term while they are on the ride.
The Finally Friday at the River event will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on the night of the 20th as entertainment for the riders as well as the people of our city.
Charter buses will come in very early on the 21st to pick the riders up and take them to the start in Sioux Center. On the 28th 15,000 to 20,000 riders will come into Clinton and dip their tires at the Ninth Avenue boat ramp. What a sight this will be and everyone is invited to come and watch and to enjoy the riverfront that day with food and beverage vendors located in part of the campground area.
Their will be volunteers on the 28th letting the visitors know where to find things. If you would like to be a volunteer for any of the committees for RAGBRAI, please go online to clintonragbrai.com and fill out the volunteer form. If you do not have access to a computer, please feel free to call the Clinton Convention & Visitors Bureau at 242-5702 and we will direct you to the proper committee chairman.
If you feel that you would like to house a bike rider or two on either weekend, the 20th or the 28th of July, or let them camp in a space around your home, you can call the CVB and we will match you up with riders. This could be quite an experience because these riders come from all over the country and have interesting stories to tell.
Lastly, I will mention that for the two big events this summer, both Tractorcade and RAGBRAI, there will be many people visiting here who will be driving around our city and in need of directions in some cases and I ask that you please help them in any way you can and show them the friendly city that I know Clinton is.
Anytime you have questions about events — either the ones that are coming to Clinton or an event that you may be planning, whether it be a class or family reunion, meeting or convention, please call us at the CVB at 242-5702 and let us assist you with your plans.
Marsha Smith is the director of the Clinton Convention and Visitors Bureau.