Longtime and novice volunteers for the Clive Festival on July 19 and 20 are eagerly anticipating the annual tradition, which is celebrating 38 years.
The family-friendly festival will feature several new additions and the return of some popular attractions.
This is Chris Murphy’s first year serving as festival president and his third year volunteering.
“I’m hoping to keep building on the momentum Clive Festival has had the past few years by adding new activities to the festival,” Murphy says.
They include the “Big Truck Show,” where attendees can get an up-close look at some of the City of Clive’s big vehicles, and the Lions Club pancake breakfast on Saturday morning. The dunk tank is also making a comeback.
Murphy enjoys collaborating with the committee members throughout the year to organize the event as well as working on the wide variety of activities offered.
Clive Mayor Scott Cirksena and his wife, Julie, began attending the festival back in 1993, volunteering with the Clive Jaycees, Scott Cirksena says. They later left the area, but upon their return, they again offered their help to the festival.
“It’s designed to get our families out and to celebrate our community and the things we’re doing,” he says. “It’s also an opportunity to create some funds to give back to the community.”
One thing he is looking forward to this year is the Mayor’s Bike Ride, which kicks off on Saturday at 8 a.m. at the Clive Aquatic Center.
The cost of the ride has been lowered to $5 this year, which he hopes will boost attendance. Riders of all ages are welcome.
“We don’t want the cost to be a deterrent to families,” he says. “The goal of the Mayor’s Bike Ride isn’t to make money; it’s to get families out and riding on the trails, and if we have money left over, to plant some trees in the city.”
Can’t wait until July to see what else is in store? Stay informed of the latest festival updates and information at www.clivefestival.com, and on Facebook and Twitter.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of this year’s highlights:
Kids for Art in Clive
Children’s artistic talent will be recognized at the third annual “Kids for Art in Clive” reception on Friday.
Kids for Art in Clive is a joint venture between the Clive Festival, Clive Public Arts Advisory Commission and the City of Clive, says Linda Shanks. Shanks sits on the commission and is a longtime festival volunteer.
Artwork from students of all grade levels attending private and public schools that serve Clive are submitted. A panel of judges chooses 18 winners whose art will be displayed in the foyer of City Hall for six months, Shanks says. Two will receive art scholarships from the Des Moines Art Center. The winners will receive their awards at the reception. All of the submissions will be on display during the festival at the Clive Aquatic Center’s special events building.
Mayor’s Bike Ride
There are two route optionsfor the Mayor’s Bike Ride, one geared toward families that is about 8 miles long, and the other is approximately 29 miles.
The cost is $5, which includes the registration fee, a free swim pass to the Clive Aquatic Center and one raffle ticket for a chance to win a bike provided by Barr Bike, says Julie Cirksena. Cirksena is on the Mayor’s Bike Ride subcommittee and on the festival’s marketing team.
This is the first year for the raffle. One adult and one child bike are being given away. To register for the ride, go to www.clivefestival.com, under the Mayor’s Bike Ride tab, which will direct you to the registration form. Print it out and bring it to the ride. Raffle tickets may be purchased in advance. Check www.clivefestival.com and the City of Clive website, www.cityofclive.com, for locations.
Also on Saturday will be storytelling, crafts, magic and more at the Kid’s Corner from 2 – 6 p.m.
Polk County Supervisor Robert Brownell is the featured speaker. He’ll be reading from his book, “Our Fathers Day: A Baseball Card from the Plains,” says Kennetha Klein, who oversees the Kid’s Corner with Shanks.
The crafts this year will feature an Americana theme, in keeping with Brownell’s book, Klein says. They plan to have projects for boys and girls that are age-specific at stations that are more streamlined.
Magician Kevin Weekley will be performing, as will The Baker’s Dozen Mime Troupe from Valley High School.
Get soaked on the giant slip-n-slides, try out some new water activities or take your best shot at the dunk tank once again this year at the festival.
Middendorf Insurance and the Clive Chamber of Commerce are once again partnering for the bags tournament to be held on Saturday.
The entry fee is $20 per team, and will be limited to 40 teams, says Marty Jones, with Middendorf Insurance. First place receives $100; second place, $50. All of the entry fees go to charity, with the Clive Historical Society being the recipient this year.
Teams can email their name, team members’ names and a contact phone number to email@example.com to register. A check payable to Middendorf Insurance for the entry fee can be mailed to: Clive Chamber, Bags Tournament, 1900 N.W. 114th St., Clive, IA 50325.
Deadline for email registration is the Friday before the event, Jones says, but walk-ups will be accepted if there are slots available.
Music and fireworks
Metro Arts Jazz in July performs on Friday, and Gruve and Gimikk perform Friday evening. Saturday evening, stay for Monkey Monkey Monkey and The Sons of Gladys Kravitz, along with fireworks.
Veteran organizers reflect
For the first time since 1978, Linda Shanks won’t be at the Clive Festival.
“I’m sad about it,” says Shanks, who has a church event to attend. “In my heart, I’ll be there.”
Shanks began volunteering with the festival as a member of The Good Idea Club, a women’s service organization in Clive. Since then, she has served as festival president for two, three-year stints, and has seen it evolve from the early days when it was held at Linnan Park.
They eventually outgrew that location and moved to Campbell Park, where they “had a really awesome peak,” she says, before arriving at the current location, the Clive Aquatic Center.
Over the years, she’s seen attractions such as a carnival and parade come and go. She introduced, and still helps with, the Kid’s Corner.
Childhood nostalgia lured her to assist with the festival. Shanks, who is from Murray, remembers her dad helping with their town’s annual jamboree.
“The Clive Festival reminded me very much of the Murray Jamboree,” she says. “It just felt right; it felt good to be a part of the Clive Festival.”
Her motivation for staying with it is simple: “I love it. I just want it to continue.”
Dave Ennen first got involved with the event in 1987 as a volunteer firefighter with the Clive Fire Department. Since then, he’s been the festival president and vice president.
He’s drawn back to the celebration each year because of what it represents — Clive’s strong sense of community and focus on families.
“Clive Festival has always been a family-oriented event, not only from the participation point of view, but the operations point of view,” says Ennen, whose own kids worked at some of the booths. “It’s just a fun family event from both sides, from families coming to enjoy themselves to families working together to enjoy the festival.”
It is hard work as well, and he admits he’s had thoughts of stepping back.
“I think almost every year I say it’s my last year because it’s a lot of work and some headache,” he says. “I’ve only missed a couple of them because of work conflicts or vacation. But I suspect I’ll keep doing it.”
This is John Klehn’s first year as a festival volunteer and attendee.
Klehn, who is assisting with marketing and communications, has 4-year-old twins and is looking forward to the attractions for younger kids.
“I hope to make the entire community aware of all the great events and activities Clive Festival offers,” says Klehn. “It’s really an event for the entire community, with something for the whole family.”
Lisa Corwin’s family initially got involved because one of her sons, Parker, needed to log some service hours for school. Her friend, Julie Cirksena, recommended they work at the festival.
The Corwins — which include Lisa’s husband, Bill Corwin, and younger son, Zach — have now made it a tradition to work at the food tent.
“We just love going back and doing that,” Lisa Corwin says. “We like the fact that we can walk over there, and we absolutely love listening to the music. Then, we walk back over to my in-laws’ house, and then we watch the Clive Festival fireworks.”
The experience has prompted them to look at other opportunities to give back.
“We definitely want to be examples for our kids to go out and volunteer, especially in their community,” she says. “It’s their town.”