The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

June 1, 2012

LEVINE: Community support vital in Fourth of July festivities

CLINTON — The official end of Riverboat Days is bittersweet.

It’s unfortunate that a long-standing tradition will disappear this year.

Organizers with the Riverboat Days Board tried to keep some of the entertainment alive last summer by providing a parade and fireworks, while the Clinton Jaycees took over the festival. Things didn’t turn out well, and the writing was on the wall for this year’s event.

Despite those entities backing out, some residents in Clinton weren’t ready for the activities to stop.

Sisters Erin George and Emily Steenhard didn’t want the city’s youth to miss out on Fourth of July festivities that they were accustomed to when growing up.

So they decided to start a fundraising campaign that has already netted $3,000 for a celebration in Clinton on the Fourth.

Thanks to these two women and the Clinton LumberKings, which are planning to host a car show, concert and fireworks, residents likely won’t miss out on time-honored Independence Day traditions like a parade and fireworks.

This support, which has been lacking in recent years for Riverboat Days, is nice to see, especially when so many negative headlines splash across the newspaper about city business.

People don’t always have to agree on issues. But citizens should come together and try to make Clinton a better place, and in no way is the city better without Fourth of July events.

Becoming more involved in the community is something I’ve stressed in this column since I started writing in this spot almost three years ago. One of my first columns dealt with Riverboat Days.

I was amazed at some of the pessimistic perceptions regarding Clinton’s main attraction. Coming from a small town in Iowa, we didn’t have a festival with multiple concerts, vendors, activities and more. My wife and I enjoyed the first Riverboat Days that we attended in 2008, but in the years since, support has noticeably dwindled and the festival didn’t measure up to its past precedence.

Now that there’s a new direction and likely increased support, I hope organizers don’t go overboard with festivities.

This doesn’t have to be exactly like Riverboat Days. Making sure the parade runs smoothly will create a much better perception from the community than a large festival with major mistakes.

If this year’s event takes off and goes better than expected, then an entire year lies ahead for a bigger and better event.

Organizers don’t have much time to plan since a little more than month remains before the event kicks off, but with the help of citizens and local businesses, the tradition of a festival in Clinton can remain alive.

But regardless of the event’s success this year, it’s nice to see the community rally together to keep the Riverboat Days memory from dying.

Scott Levine is the Associate Editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at scottlevine@clintonherald.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Stand up against child abuse April is National Child Abuse Month and I would like to take a moment to share that our children are precious and Clinton County has one of the highest in the state when it comes to children who have been abused. You are able to check the statistics

    April 19, 2014

  • Bills to move quickly in final days Tuesday marks the 100th and last day of this scheduled session. After Tuesday, clerks will be sent home and legislators driving and living expenses will no longer be paid by the state. That usually means remaining legislation and Fiscal Year 2015 bu

    April 19, 2014

  • Reducing money's influence in politics The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald There's no doubt that money influences politics -- in big ways. Big money influences politics in even bigger ways, sometimes leading to corruption. That's why there are federal caps on the amount of money someone c

    April 19, 2014

  • Looking for love in all the wrong places This classic Dear Margo column was published in April 2008. DEAR MARGO: I'm 30 years old and have been married to an incredible, loving, caring man for 10 years. We have a beautiful family and we adore our children. Our sex life was pretty boring at

    April 19, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract

    Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton:
    The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled “‘Fair offer’ differences” in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate statements regarding our negotiated contract proposal with the city. These incorrect statements could impact the use of your city funds negatively and unduly influence our elected representatives. So, we would like to address these points, as follows:

    April 18, 2014

  • Local firefighters' union speaks out on proposed contract Dear citizens/taxpayers of Clinton: The members of Local 609 feel that it is our duty to inform the citizens of Clinton that the article titled "'Fair offer' differences" in the April 9, 2014 edition of the Clinton Herald was full of inaccurate state

    April 18, 2014

  • The lesson of 'Camp David' The line between determination and delusion can be obscure. Sometimes, the distinction emerges only in retrospect, like a Polaroid image slowly appearing. In other instances, the difference between productive grit and self-defeating obsession is an a

    April 18, 2014

  • Wild Rose avoids another distraction Several casino operators in the state of Iowa breathed a sigh of relief Thursday when the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission voted 4-1 to reject a casino in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids is close enough to have a possible effect on Wild Rose Casino and R

    April 18, 2014

  • Youngquist photo World Book Night celebrated April 23 The Clinton Public Library children's department plans to start a Legos club this June. We would appreciate donations of new or used Legos bricks. Please, no Duplo bricks. Drop donations at the children's desk on the second floor of the library. Root

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walter Williams mug Equality in discipline George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook