The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Opinion

May 28, 2012

SMITH: Busy summer ahead for CVB

CLINTON — At this writing, our Toot Your Own Horn event chaired by Tom Dithmart, of the Local Awareness Committee of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, and his small but mighty committee have put on another successful event to honor our local attractions and volunteers.  

Get ready for the tractors and the Tractorcade “parade” on our riverfront starting at about 3:30 on Monday, June 11. 

The drivers have so much fun with this and we hope the residents of Clinton will as well. 

We do want everyone to know that our riverfront will be closed from Sixth Avenue South to Sixth Avenue North and that barricades will be put up at the bottom of Fifth Avenue South, Sixth Avenue South and the bandshell from 7 a.m. on Monday morning until about 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 12. 

We understand that this is a 24-hour inconvenience, but the fact that we have all of these wonderful people in our city and bringing history for us to view is a small sacrifice.

Parking is available at the swimming pool lot, along Ballpark Drive and behind the ballpark and at the ballpark parking lot. 

We will have vendors and a beverage garden set up near the bandshell in Riverview Park and anticipate some kind of music as well, so come down to the riverfront with your lawnchairs,  see the tractors, grab a sandwich and enjoy a nice night in the park.

There are a lot of plans for another big event and that is RAGBRAI. 

Every meeting we have with our liaisons from Des Moines gets us more and more excited. We have had numerous meetings with the charter companies that come and collect these riders who stay with us on the 20th of July as well as the 28th when they all come back to dip their tires in the mighty Mississippi. 

In the meantime, these riders need places to stay. Some of them camp but many would like housing in private homes with beds, showers and bathroom facilities or to just use your yard for their tent. 

Please, if you are able to house a rider or two or three, call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 242-5702 and sign up. We already have some requests and I have been told that you will really enjoy these people who literally come from all over the United States.  

There will be volunteers on the 28th helping these out of town visitors find their way around town. 

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 chair.  

I have had numerous phone calls from people with ideas to make our city more inviting for the riders as they come into town to dip their tires.

One of the ideas was intriguing to me and I want to share it. Almost everyone has hanging baskets of flowers and just for the morning and early afternoon if we could hang those baskets or even set them on the curb in front of our houses, just to make a pretty entry into our town, I think that would be great and what a wonderful idea. 

As always, I will tell you that a clean city leaves a lasting impression with visitors and unfortunately, so does a city that doesn’t look very nice so let’s all pitch in and give visitors a good first impression of Clinton.

Once again, 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.

Calendar of Events

June 2012

• Present to Labor Day: Exploring Trees Exhibit, Sawmill Museum, 2231 Grant St., Clinton    

• June 1-4, 12-14, 22-27: LumberKing Baseball, Ashford University Field

• May 2-June 17: River Arts Center, Karen Vroman Art Exhibit, Wed.-Sun. 1-4 p.m.

• June 3: Riverfront Pops Concert, Riverview Park. Contact: whipple@essex1.com

• June 8: Finally Friday at the River, Riverview Park,  6-9 p.m. Contact: 243-6788

• June 10: Breakfast on the Porch at the Curtis Mansion from 8 a.m-1 p.m. Contact: jeanette637@msn.com.

• June 10: Master Gardeners Garden Walk, noon– 4 p.m. Contact: Kathy Sander, 357-2250

Bickelhaupt Arboretum:  

June 10: Faire Frolic, 2 p.m.

June 12: Arts at the Arb, Travis Hosette Sings Sinatra, 7 p.m.

June 30: Bus Trip, Information: Call 242-4771   

June 13: Chamber Night at the LumberKings, 242-5702 or jkrogman@clintonia.com

June 14-24: Clinton Area Showboat, Into the Woods, 242-6760; June 28-July 15 Bye-Bye Birdie

June 15: Juneteenth Celebration, 6-11p.m., Riverview Park, tiffanyharris@asac.us

June 16: Soaring Eagle Nature Center Volunteer Work Day, 9 a.m.- noon, 357-0759

June 30: Felix Adler Day, Children’s Discovery Center, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Contact: 243-3600, discoverycenter@qwestoffice.net.

Marsha Smith is the director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

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