CLINTON — A sunny, 70-degree day welcomed guests Friday as more than 5,000 of them flooded Riverview Park for the third annual Fourth of July Festival in Clinton.
Topping last year's participation numbers by nearly 1,000 people, event organizers were astonished by the support from the community and everyone who assisted with the one-day, family event.
"I was shocked by how many people were on the parade route today," Fourth of July Festival treasurer Angie Gabel said. "And I'm always in awe by how many people come out to enjoy the day. The community has been fantastic."
It is exactly that kind of reaction for which sisters Erin George and Emily Steenhard created the Clinton Fourth of July Festival two years ago, and why they believe it continues to grow each year.
That and a cooperative effort between the festival planners and a number of other Clinton entertainment groups, including the Recreation Department, Clinton Area Showboat Theatre and the Clinton LumberKings.
"One thing that Emily and Erin do so well is that on our board we work with the showboat, with the LumberKings, with all of these groups who make this day so much more than just the festival," Gabel said. "We're able to put all these things together to make it such a special day for people."
"We really wanted to keep it community driven," added Steenhard.
But with so much to look after, organize and keep in line, not everything stays as ironed out as they would like, but George says they deal with those things as they come.
And despite the overwhelming crowd, she added that Friday's festival remained mostly positive.
"Everything's going really fine," George said. "Of course there are little things that happen but we just deal with it and keep going. It's not always perfect but everyone does a great job of putting things back together."