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Celebrate Clinton coordinating July 4 activities

Now in its 9th year, Celebrate Clinton Association members have been working to provide a great celebration on Thursday, July 4.

Events will begin early on July 4 with the American Legion walk/run for vets.  Registration will be on Mr. Lincoln’s Square beginning at 6 a.m., and the walk/run will begin at 7 a.m.  It will be a 2.2 mile-walk/run to benefit the needs of veterans.

The City of Clinton Police and Fire departments will serve their traditional July 4th free breakfast at 8 a.m.  A collaboration of the local AmVets, VFW and American Legion color guards will commence the flag raising ceremony and anthem, sung by local talent Marcia Wise at 9 a.m.

Kids of all ages through at 13 can parade their decorated bikes, trikes, wagons and strollers at 10 a.m.  Judges’ awards for best and most patriotic will be announced on stage shortly after.  All kids must register for the contest beginning at 9:30 a.m. in front of The Vault.

All food vendors will be ready to serve at 11 a.m.  The United Methodist will be on-site with homemade pie and ice cream.  The local AmVets volunteers will offer their usual festive fare, including snow cones.  Kettle Corn and great lemon shake-ups will be for sale by local Big R Concessions.  Celebrate Clinton will sell cold beverages at their information tent.

The “Zoo Lady & Crew” will do free face painting from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.  Also, at 11 a.m., Clinton Kiwanis will offer free hotdogs to the first 300 visitors to the Celebration.  Kiwanis members have offered the free treat since the first year of the Celebrate Clinton July 4th.

Local celebrities will be available for some target practice at the dunk tank, too.  The dunk tank will be located on the east side of the inner circle park and will host several local, well-known targets.  For $1, kids and adults can try their pitching skills.  The tank will open at 11 a.m.  It’s one of the most popular events, and the line is sometimes long.  Police Chief Ben Lower announced he will again join in to be one of those sitting above the tank.

For those who love to eat watermelon right off the rind, the watermelon-eating contest will commence at 11:30 a.m. and will be facilitated by volunteers from The Vault.  Contestants need to register at the information tent prior to 11:30 a.m. in order to participate.  Winners who can chow-down the fastest, not the most, will receive prizes in each age category.

Non-professional bakers can enter the homemade baked pie and cake contest.  Entries need to be dropped off at Snappers between 11 a.m.-noon.  Kids ages 5-12 can enter the decorated cupcake contest.  Pies, cakes or cupcakes that require refrigeration are not accepted for judging.  Judging will begin at noon and winner announced from the stage.

Homemade salsa made by non-professionals can be dropped off for judging at Snappers at 11 a.m. and will be tasted by a panel of judges.  Judging will begin at noon and winners will be announced from the stage.

Does you child or grandchild enjoy trying their strength in the kids’ pedal tractor pull?  Contestants ages 4-12 can register for an opportunity to pedal the farthest distance on Mr. Lincoln’s Square.  Registration will be all morning until 12:45 p.m. at the information tent.  Each participant will receive a medal, and trophies are awarded to the top two in each age division.  The overall distance winner also will receive special recognition.  Winners will be announced from the stage.  The pull will begin on the north side of the square at 1 p.m.  Pedal tractor contestants must be preregistered.

Special music entertainment this year will come to Mr. Lincoln’s Stage from Blacktop Audio from 9:30-11 a.m.  Their music, performed by “Old Friends Making New Music,” covers a range of blues rock Americana.  Their new album, titled No Going Back, is music from the heartland.  The members of Blacktop Audio are seasoned and road-tested, having performed in several groups in the Midwest and share a love for blues rock.

King Tz will return to the July 4th Celebration stage with performers Kent “Doc” Lecouris, Don Nelson, Cris Blood and Terry Hawkins.  Always a crowd favorite, their local roots blend brings “butt-shakin’” music to center stage beginning at 1 p.m.

Celebrate Clinton thanks the loyal sponsors and donors, who make it possible to bring an old-fashioned small town celebration to Mr. Lincoln’s Square on July 4th and the fireworks display on Friday, July 5.  Fireworks will start at about 9:15 p.m. near the intersection of Rt. 51 and Kleemann Drive.

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