The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

July 19, 2013

Don't let Clinton be a secret

By Scott Levine
Herald Associate Editor

---- — Gary Herrity’s article touched on a great subject today.

Partaking in the wonderful parks in this area is something my family often does. The ability to walk around outdoors in a great setting is something that many take advantage of in this town. And that’s just one of the many activities to do in Clinton.

Herrity’s column reminded me of a discussion our Editorial Board had recently about the city’s best-kept secrets. But a lot of the events or places mentioned in those secrets are in the open, for everyone to see.

Take for instance a recent story the Herald published about the Symphony of Lights. Anyone who has lived here for more than a year can tell you about this annual holiday-time attraction.

However, the board appears to be struggling for membership and volunteers, putting that annual event in the crosshairs in another few years if more volunteers don’t step up to assist.

The same could have been said about Riverboat Days a few years ago, until Erin George and Emily Steenhard stepped into the picture to save the Fourth of July festivities. They changed the festival, but kept a tradition of Fourth of July events alive.

Even with a 1-week-old son, we traveled to the riverfront again this year for the second installment of the new Fourth of July tradition and were pleasantly surprised with the amount of people and activities available. That truly is a special event and will need continued support from its residents.

So, those events aren’t so secret, but if they don’t have support, with volunteers and donors, they may be a thing of the past.

And that’s the major issue. Support is vital to making many of these events and places thrive.

With two children now, my wife and I are knowledgeable about the many youth-oriented activities in this town. We’re busy almost every day, with gymnastics, swim lessons, library and Discovery Center activities, and actually going outdoors to enjoy the summer.

Sure, it’s a little hectic at times, but it gets my daughter out of the house, and helps her socialize with other kids and teaches her valuable lessons of listening.

Then on the weekends, we can either go to events like the Lumberjack Festival, Clinton County Fair or National Night Out, or we can go fishing, swimming or go to the park and enjoy one of the many outdoor facilities in this area.

For families, the area has plenty to offer. You just have to make sure those events and places don’t become too much of a secret in your life.

Do you have a best-kept secret in Clinton or the surrounding area. We’d love to hear about it. Email us at with your secret.

Scott Levine is the associate editor of the Clinton Herald. He can be reached at