Car tour, street fair bring crowds to Clare, Harrison

August 30, 2019

Vehicles roll on into Clare Thursday evening for an overnight stop.

By Steve Landon

The summer of 2019 got off to a slow start this year but once it got going it looked like it would never end. From Memorial Weekend on Clare County was busy with festivals, parades, county fair, car, motorcycle shows and more. From lakes to wooded trails the area was hopping every weekend.

Last week the final major events of the season, the Historic Old US 27 Motor Tour and the Harrison Street Fair drove home the reality that summer was coming to a close.

On late Thursday afternoon a portion McEwan St in downtown Clare was decked in orange cones, barricades and detour signs from the railroad tracks to Chemical Bank awaiting the arrival of the 13th Annual Michigan Historic Old US 27 Motor Tour. In the early evening light hundreds of motor enthusiasts packed the sidewalks and looked southward anxiously awaiting over 275 vehicles to make their way down the hill into town. The wait was well worth it when a line of some of the most interesting, unique, historic and modern wheeled gems cruised on by. For the next couple of hours drivers chatted with visitors, posed for pictures and visited fellow members of the tour.

Rested and ready to roll on the tour headed northward Friday morning passing picturesque scenery bound for a four-hour stop at the annual Harrison Street Fair. During their visit vehicle owners and visitors checked out a huge selection of street vendors selling clothing, handmade items, baked goods etc. There was even a veterans display of historical items. Live music with performances by Larry Stevens, The Grand Ledge Bums and Helen DeBaker-Vorce added to an already perfect day.

Fun in Harrison didn’t end when the U.S. 27 tour left – it picked up and got even better Saturday. Second Street, the heart of downtown was again packed the full length with booths offering crafts, services, food and great products. A kid’s carnival, historic walk around Budd Lake, motorcycle fun run, demonstrations by the Harrison Robotics Team and live music featuring the Sunshine String Band, Stix & Stone and The Reliks kept folks busy all day. On the ball diamond TV 9/10 and the Clare County Sheriff’s department battled it out in a softball game.

Perhaps the most entertaining event of the day Saturday was the outstanding performance by “Clark the Juggler “. The hyperactive Clark had fans glued to their seats with his incredible skills. In addition to juggling he balanced several folding chairs on his chin, swallowed knives and a sword.

Snowmobile season is coming up fast so to get folks in the mood Chuck Ulch and others brought out another nice display of antique and vintage snowmobiles. The display that included some rare wooden ski ski-doo models caught the attention of a lot of past and current snowmobilers.

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