Clinton Fall Festival bumped back to 2021The Daily Telegram, Adrian, Mich. — The Daily Telegram, Adrian, Mich.
May 23-- May 23--CLINTON -- Forty-seven years young.
For nearly 50 years, the Clinton Fall Festival has been a seasonal staple each year in the Lenawee County community. Now, for the first time in the history of the festival, it will not take place this year, due to concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.
It is a pretty common story these days to hear about annual events and happenings that have been -- or will be sidelined -- due to the COVID-19 outbreak. But for organizers of the Clinton Fall Festival, it was a tough decision to make. This is the first time in the history of the local festival that it will not be held annually.
"After much consideration and thought, and with great sadness, the Board of Directors of the Clinton Fall Festival are announcing that we have canceled the 2020 Clinton Fall Festival, which was due to be held on September 25, 26 and 27, 2020," a new release from the board of directors stated. "This is due to the unprecedented times all of us are facing with the uncertainty regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19)."
Reason number one of canceling this year's festival, which is still four months away, was of course the health and safety of all individuals who are a part of what makes the annual fall festival so special.
"When putting on the festival, one of our greatest concerns is for the safety of all the 10,000 plus people who attend each and ever day, and for all the many volunteers who work diligently to put on this great festival," the news release added. "At this time we feel canceling is the best course of action to take. We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause for all of our valued vendors, entertainers, businesses, non-profit organizations, churches, sponsors and our community as a whole."
Admission to the Clinton Fall Festival each and every year is free. Most of the parking is free, and shuttle buses and golf carts are available at no charge for transportation around the festival grounds. Not only does the festival celebrate the Village of Clinton, and its community, it also raises funds for Clinton High School graduates. Since 1999, the fall festival has provided more than $100,000 in scholarship money to its graduating seniors.
Activities of the festival cover at least 10 blocks in the village limits of Clinton, as well as Tate Park at the west end of the village. This year's festival was to feature two stages of entertainment, a carnival, a car show, silent auction, historic displays, a book sale, softball tournament and a Fall Festival Ambassador contest. The festival weekend was to have concluded with a one-hour grand parade Sunday afternoon, Sept. 27.
The Board of Directors of the festival, which consists of Chairpersons Carl and Doris Kemner, as well as board members Rich Maki, Pat Sturk, Jeff Herington, Carl Habrick, Melissa Owen, John Valenti and Tonya Couture, are formulating a plan to hold the fall festival during the fall of 2021. The 47th anniversary of the Clinton Fall Festival will be celebrated during the dates of Sept. 24, 25 and 26, 2021.
In 1973, the Clinton Fall Festival began with just a small group of citizens and business owners in the Clinton-area, who wanted to celebrate the good things about living in a small, Lenawee County village. A focal point of the festival was that it was celebrated along the River Raisin and along U.S. Highway 12. Sidewalk sales were the main reason people were drawn to the festival.
Today, a committee of more than 30 people gather together monthly to coordinate the festival, while answering to the above-mentioned Board of Directors. The festival continues to celebrate its small-town Michigan-based roots, but has expanded in quite a few ways.
Vendors that participate annually in the festival include food trucks, non-profit groups, including many local churches, arts and craft-makers, vintage wares, merchants and lost arts.
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