Festival in the Park 2014 preview

It’s less than two weeks away: June 13-15, Clarion will host its annual, ever-expanding weekend of fun, food, entertainment, cars, activities, and sports at “Festival in the Park.” True to its name – in use for the last time – the weekend will feature parks a-plenty, with events planned throughout the grasslands of Gazebo, Aquatic Center, Shoreline, and Lions, as well as the streets and buildings in between.

Next week the Monitor will publish a final list of events: for now, here’s a general outline (subject to change) of what’s in store.

Theme: This year’s theme is “Cowboy Pride.” Kim Heller, director of Clarion’s Chamber and Development, said the theme was chosen “to highlight that the community is proud of what we do. We’re hard-working and diligent. We depend on each other, we do whatever it takes.” In a show of Cowboy pride, the Clarion-Goldfield High School’s State Dual Tournament champion wrestling team will collectively serve as Grand Marshalls of Saturday’s parade, which begins at 10:00 a.m. Parade entrants do not need to register beforehand.

Food and Drink: Thursday night, Fuel will be celebrating its first year in business with a beer tasting with representatives from Deschutes Brewery, the Mississippi River Distilling Company, and others. Friday afternoon and evening, That Iowa Girl will celebrate one year of business with a barbecue at the store. Saturday morning, Clarion’s Fire Department will hold a breakfast at the Station. 8:00 – 10:00 the regular Farmer’s Market will set up on 1st Street SW. Throughout Saturday, local groups will sell food near Gazebo Park. At 11:30 p.m., the Depot will hold a midnight omelet breakfast. On Sunday, the outdoor shelter house at Lake Cornelia will hold a ‘Dad’s Eat Free’ brunch in celebration of the Festival and Father’s Day.

Entertainment: Nationally-travelled, Clarion-raised musician Clayton Severson will play Fuel on Thursday and Friday. Vic Ferrari will play Chappy’s on Main on Saturday for the third year in a row, the first time their Clarion show is all-ages. “They get the crowd involved and make sure everyone has a good time,” said Nick Darretts, owner of Chappy’s.Various acts will perform 11:30 to 4:00 Saturday at the Gazebo Park bandstand, with a nearby antique tractor exhibit nearby, craft vendors, and a quilt show at the Presbyterian Church. Main stage highlights include Sheltered Reality, Hiz Kidz, a CG-HS Homecoming Queen revue, a Texas Style Jam, and the CG-HS dance team. The Clarion Theater will be showing the romantic comedy “Blended” at its normal showtimes.  On Sunday, cars will “Cruise to Clarion” in the afternoon.

Sporting Events:  On Friday the general Aquatic Center Park area will host a swim party, a basketball shootout, and a flag football game between teams from local gridiron and/or industry titans SportsGraphics and Hagie Manufacturing. Saturday morning at 7:00 a.m. sharp, a 5K walk-run begins at the Depot. Sunday at 11:00 is check-in for the cardboard boat regatta at Quiet Water. Sunday afternoon, there will be a co-ed “slowpitch” softball tournament at Lions Park.

Kids: Friday night – amid the sporting events – is a ‘kiddie parade’ through Aquatic Center Park. Throughout Saturday, the kids’ entertainment zone will be set up at Gazebo Park along 1st Ave NW.  Saturday night, Spinning Wheels will host a skating party followed by a teen dance. Sunday, there will be children’s educational nature programs at Shoreline Park at Lake Cornelia.

Read more in the Monitor’s June 5 issue and beyond!