New and old attractions make Clinton Fall Festival a must-go destination

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Vendors attract crowds along E. Church Street during the 2011 Clinton Fall Festival. Herald file photo by Mickey Alvarado.

There are a few new attractions this year at the Clinton Fall Festival along with all the yearly favorites and all the great food from area churches and organizations. The fun begins on Friday, Sept. 28 and runs through Sunday, Sept. 30.

This is the first year for the Clinton Fall Festival Queen contest. Contestants will perform from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday. The contest begins with an opening dance number, and then the young women are judged in the areas of interview, talent, evening gown, and on-stage questions.

The Queen candidates are all fans of Clinton and the Clinton Fall Festival. Kathryn Crumb, 15, enjoys the craft booths and all the shows at the Festival. Juliana Lancaster, 16, is a big fan of elephant ears and shopping at the Festival.

The rodeo and the car show are the favorite events of Tenerra Ayling, 17. Katelyn McDermott, 15, enjoys the family aspect of the Festival. Courtni Minghine, 17, likes hanging with friends, shopping and sampling Festival food. The shows and shopping are Lexie Oliver’s, 16, favorite parts of the Festival.
The winner of the Fall Festival Queen contest will receive a queen's tiara and sash, a trophy, and a Clinton gift package. For the remainder of the Clinton Fall Festival the winner will represent Clinton by appearing in the parade, performing in the Variety Show, and crowning the 2013 Clinton Fall Festival Queen winner next year.

A carnival is planned for Tate Park on Friday and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Families can enjoy a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round and other fun rides. This is a new activity for the Clinton Fall Festival in 2012.

Parking during the weekend can be a challenge, but the festival has two shuttle buses that make navigating all the activities easier. Festival-goers can park in the parking lots of the United Methodist Church or Family Tire and Auto on Tecumseh-Clinton Road on Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Every 15 minutes a shuttle will transport people into the heart of the festival and return visitors to their cars. Parking is also available at Clinton High School. The shuttle from the high school lot will take people out to Tate Park from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Tate Park activities include the rodeo on Saturday beginning at 4:30 p.m. Rodeo admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages six through 13. Children age five and under are free, and veterans and senior citizens pay the special price of $5.

A softball tournament is planned on the ball fields. The car show is Sunday, and children can compete in the mini-pedal tractor pull on Saturday, as well.
Food highlights include the United Church of Christ roast beef dinner on Friday night as well as their sandwich booth on Saturday. The church will also sell German pretzels and cookies for as long as the items last.

The Clinton United Methodist Church has a pie sale on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as well as rummage sale. Kemner said there will be lots of wonderful food vendors on the street with carts and wagons. Visitors are also encouraged to visit one of the local restaurants to take a break.

An ecumenical worship service is Sunday at 10 a.m. on the middle school stage. Following the Sunday service, at 11 a.m. Sons of Thunder will bring their musical message and demonstrations of strength to the stage.

For those needing a Clinton Fall Festival break, a resting tent can be found at Church St. and Tecumseh-Clinton Rd. provided by Tecumseh Tent Rental. In addition to all the fun activities, the Clinton Fall Festival, the weekend provides money for Clinton student scholarships. Kemner said the non-profit organizations and churches also benefit from the financial support of visitors to the village for the festival.

“We just invite everybody to come over and have a great time at the Clinton Fall Festival,” Kemner said.

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