By Sylvia Stevens
The Shamrock Park Summerfest Picnic held June 26 was quite a hit with families from around the area. Children had the chance to make crafts, listen to music and compete in the annual teddy bear race.
The picnic sponsored by Witbeck’s Family Foods had long lines throughout the event as did The Midmichigan Community Action Agency’s craft area. The craft area as well as the popular photobooth and chicken poop bingo activity were brand new this year and were quite a hit with everyone. The fireworks display given at the end of the evening has garnered a lot of compliments for the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce, organizers of Summerfest.
“I thought there was great attendance and we had a lot of people involved with our new activities,” Leane Strouse of the Chamber said. “We have had a lot of good feedback about the fireworks display as well.”
The kid’s crafts included decorating drum noise makers, sun visors; creating a windcatcher and a plant box for growing their own flowers. The craft area was so popular that families were showing up early just so their kids could get the chance to make all the crafts. By the middle of the event two of the craft tables were out of supplies and the other two were beginning to run low.
“I thought that (activity center) was a great thing. When I went over there they were super busy,” Strouse said.
Children 3 to 5 years old also got to participate in the annual State Farm Teddy Bear Race held by Maury Irwin and his staff at State Farm Insurance. Children also got to have their picture taken with the State Farm Neigh-Bear mascot. He gave out lots of high fives and hugs to children all over the park before and after the teddy bear races.
“We didn’t have the numbers that we wanted, but you can always ask for more,” Maury Irwin said. “It went well though and it was great having the bear there.”
Irwin loves having the event for the kids especially since it gives the parents a chance to take a break while the kids burn off some energy. Irwin has held the event for over 15 years now, but says the kids were particularly quick this year.
“Parents always like to have their kids in the race,” Irwin said. “Every year I think I should extend the lanes and make the race a little longer.”