Music festival headlines Clare weekend

June 29, 2018

By Pat Maurer

For more than 30 years, part of the annual Fourth of July celebrations has been Summerfest in Clare.

This year the 32nd annual event, scheduled on June 29th and 30th, has taken on a new name, Summer Music Fest, some brand new events and in some new locations.

A release from the Clare Chamber says, “Whether you’re just hanging out at the lake, hitting the greens or relaxing at home, take a break and join the free fun at Summer Music Fest!”

But the fun really begins on Thursday.

One event that is still going strong is the City-Wide Garage Sales which actually begin one day earlier on the 28th, and continue through the 30th. And don’t miss the music in the Clare City Park that evening, part of Clare’s Summer Concert series. Bring your lawn chairs!

The 6 to 8 p.m. Music Fest “kickoff” event will feature Keven Chamberlain (Country) as well as activities for the youngsters by “Ten 16 Network.

July 5th music in the park will be by The Real Deal (Blues) sponsored by Clare Auto, Jim’s Body Shop and Martin Heating and Cooling.

The concerts, held each summer for the past nine years, consist of a thirteen week outdoor concert series, which includes live music and fun for the whole family to enjoy every Thursday evening.

Of course Friday’s traditional events at Shamrock Park will still be there too. The free annual Family Picnic through the generosity of Witbeck’s Family Foods, will begin at 6 p.m. June 29th when Jerry and his volunteers will once again be grilling hot dogs for everyone to enjoy. Witbeck’s has hosted the picnic for over 30 years!

Maury Irwin (State Farm is another long-time supporter of the festival) will be there once again with his annual Teddy Bear Races, scheduled from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. The little ones will have a chance to race and maybe win their very own teddy bear if they win. The race is for three, four and five year olds. Winners get a teddy bear and all children participating will get a Teddy Bear Race T-Shirt.

For the youngsters, the Teddy Bear Races will be joined by “Knocker Ball” with a donation to participate. More kids’ activities are also in the works for Shamrock Park.
Music lovers will enjoy Mercy Quartet, performing there from 6 to 8 p.m. and the Gateway Community Band will follow with their annual performance at 8 p.m. This year’s presentation will be a “Salute to America,” held in the pavilion. GCB will be making music until “the fireworks light up the night sky over Shamrock Lake.”

The fireworks will start at dusk (around 10 p.m.) and will garner lots of 4th of July attention all over the City.

The fun continues Saturday June 30th when the Summer Music Fest moves downtown where on Fourth Street (just east of McEwan) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. there will be “Power on the Pavement,” power lifting with Clare Family Fitness “showing their strength,” according to the Chamber of Commerce news release.

“Then,” as they say, “Get your dancing shoes on from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. for ‘The Real Deal – Blues You Can’t Refuse’.” And from 8:30 to 10 p.m. you can enjoy the music of “Big Ray and the Motor City Kings.”

Sunday morning (July 1) there will be a Pancake Breakfast Fly In/Drive In at the Clare Municipal Airport from 7:30 to 11 a.m. The menu will include pancakes, eggs, ham, cheesy potatoes, coffee, orange juice and milk. Adults are $7 and Kids $3. Cops and Doughnuts will also be giving away free doughnuts while supplies last.

Sponsors of the Music Fest include Cops & Doughnuts, Sound Productions, Compass Drug Screening, Witbeck’s Family Foods and Fuel, Letherer Truss, Instant Cash Advance, Buccilli’s Pizza of Clare, Edward Jones – Justin Cole, Bolle Contracting, RB Harsh Construction, the Clare County Review, Kyle’s Mfg, Jim Colville Crop Insurance, the Heart of Michigan Café, The Vintage Type and Ruckle’s Pier.

On Sunday, July 1st, the Clare Area Pilots Association will host a Pancake Breakfast Fly/Drive In at the Clare Municipal from 7:30 to 11 a.m. The Breakfast menu will include pancakes, eggs, ham, cheesy potatoes and coffee, orange juice or milk. Adults are $7 and Kids $3 for the breakfast. And Cops and doughnuts will be giving away free donuts for the event!

It’s a great city-wide celebration for the 32nd year in Clare.

There’s still room for event sponsors to help with the cost of fireworks and kid’s activities. Contact the Clare Chamber, 386-2442, or email for details.

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