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Influencer Opportunities for 2018

The Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce values our partnership with influencers! We are excited to announce several opportunities to visit Clear Lake, Iowa in 2018. Building Community Conference: May 9-11, 2018 A partnership with the Midwest Travel Bloggers This exciting conference will bridge the gap between travel writers/bloggers and…

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Ask The Locals – Best Of Clear Lake

BY: RACHEL SMITH We are working on the 2018 issue of the award-winning visitor guide, Destination Clear Lake, and we need your help.  As in years past, YOUR opinion is what counts as we compile the incredible list for ‘best of Clear Lake.’ Every year, Clear Lake is flooded with…

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Did You Know???

photocredit: collegeheightsumc.org BY: RACHEL SMITH Since I started this writing gig at the Chamber, it’s funny how people’s perception of me have changed.  Instantaneously, they think I’ve become this mecca of knowledge about all the events and activities happening around town.  I’m constantly asked, ‘when is that?’ or ‘what is…

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Rah, Rah, Sis-Boom-Bah!

photocredit:  contagiouscompanies.com BY: RACHEL SMITH   Rachel’s tired, folks.  This time of the year is a doozy.  The darkness, the cold, the fact that Old Man Winter has begun his journey to our area and will be arriving soon.  It’s all rather depressing. And don't even get me started on…

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Clear Lake Chamber Award Nominations

Chamber Members: We want to hear from you! Click this link to make your nominations for our 2017 Chamber Annual Awards. Categories include Business of the Year, Education Partner of the Year, North Iowa Service Award, and the Larry Luker Volunteer of the Year Award. Business of the Year Award…

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If I Only Had a Brain….

photo credit:  www.clipart.com BY: RACHEL SMITH   Unless you’ve been living under a rock for your entire existence, the origin of that popular phrase should be easy to identify.  I mean, it’s a line from pretty much the all-time best movie in cinema history! That’s not an actual fact… but…

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Destination Clear Lake 2018 Edition

Chamber Members: Don’t miss your chance!  The Official Clear Lake Visitor Guide is a full color, glossy magazine consisting of page after page about all things Clear Lake.  Jam-packed with inspiring content, fresh feature articles, trip ideas and local picks, you don’t want to miss being a part of such…

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The Long and Winding Road

photocredit:  legacy.pitchegine.com BY: RACHEL SMITH The pathway to success is rarely a straight shot to the finish line.  Instead, it’s similar to a winding country road, full of challenges and obstacles as you travel along its path.  Getting to the top, reaching that glorified goal of “success” is something many…

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When All Else Fails… Drink Wine!

photocredit:  winemag.com BY: RACHEL SMITH Well, folks, it’s finally that time.  Time for the big bad blog post about the very heart and soul of Harvest Festival. It’s time to talk wine. I began today's blog journey with a little research on the eleven fabulous wine stations.  It’s almost hard…

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You can Shop til you Drop

photocredit: hayesmansion.com BY: RACHEL SMITH Yes, yes, it’s another post about Harvest Festival today.  But seriously, it’s such an amazing event in Clear Lake that it’s deserving of so many posts. So we’ve covered the bands, the Iowa Distilling Company, the amazing prizes, the spectacular gift certificates.  But we haven’t…

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Gifts Galore!

photocredit:  dreamatico.com BY: RACHEL SMITH The act of gift giving elicits a feeling of satisfaction to the giver.  Seeing the person’s reaction to your gift results in a sense of euphoria; you’ve made another human happy and it’s thrilling. Being on the receiving end of the gift, however, is equally…

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Trust me, you’re a GREAT dancer!!!

photocreidt:  www.winedigs.com BY: RACHEL SMITH Okay, that might be the wine talking.  But usually by mid-afternoon during Harvest Fest, one or all of my girlfriends decide that we are great dancers. I mean, last year I watched a woman pick up this giant gourd outside of Larsen’s Mercantile and play…

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On the Street Where I Live

BY: RACHEL SMITH Sometimes when the seasons change, I tend to get a bit sentimental.  Nostalgia kicks in and I begin to realize yet another year has passed.  Time is a fickle creature, always moving forward.  It doesn’t matter if we want it to slow down or speed up, it…

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Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

BY: RACHEL SMTIH It’s a fact of life, really:  Everyone loves free stuff, and everyone loves to win. The Harvest Festival bags have always been awesome.  It’s kind of like Christmas when you stop in to the Chamber that week to pick up your bag.  Someone always grabs the whole…

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Once in a Lifetime

**photo credit: wtvq.com** BY: RACHEL SMITH The media has been flooded lately with talks of the upcoming solar eclipse.  Apparently, as this happens every so often around the world, it is the first time to cross the entire continental United States in almost a century.  They’re saying it will be…

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Baby… you can drive my car!

BY: RACHEL SMITH   The evolution of cars throughout the years is a progression like no other.  And to think, you can see said evolution this weekend right here in Clear Lake! It’s the largest event of the season for the Clear Lake Auto Social Society.  The C.L.A.S.S. car cruise…

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Random Summer Ramblings….

BY: RACHEL SMITH   You know… I had grand plans for what to post this week on the blog.  I thought maybe a RAGBRAI recap, or the fact that there is live music EVERYWHERE this weekend.  As usual, it'll be another weekend of fun events with the Evening Lions hamburger…

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Join us for a Taste of Tuscany

Join us for a Taste of Tuscany By: Rachel Smith Rough Guides describe Tuscany as “the epitome of everything that is beautiful in Italy.”  I’m guessing this is one of the main reasons why over ten million tourists flock to the west central region and surrounding areas each year.  The…

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You Just Have To TRI

Swim, Bike, Run.  You can do it… you just have to TRI. By: Rachel Smith For some people, the word Triathlon is not part of their vocabulary.  I think it’s safe to assume that the majority of people would look at it as impossible.  An unattainable activity for only the…

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Communications Coordinator (applications closed)

Now Hiring - Communications Coordinator (Applications are closed) Scope of Work: To coordinate messaging and materials that align with the content plans focused on Tourism, Membership, Advocacy, and Business Resources and deliver those messages to the public, membership, and media. Position is part-time, an average of 10-15 hours/week. Candidate will…

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Gift Local with Chamber Bucks

Show your support for Clear Lake by choosing to Gift Local this year! In addition to purchasing gifts directly from retailers, consider purchasing Clear Lake Chamber Bucks for your family, friends, and even employees this holiday giving season. Clear Lake Bank and Trust recently purchased $13,000.00 worth of Chamber Bucks for…

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Five Questions for: Mark Hewitt, President & CEO, Clear Lake Bank & Trust Company

As a prelude to our Chamber’s 75th anniversary in 2018, wewill highlight the original charter members who have been chamber members since 1943.  Click here for the full Charter Member Revisited article. Five Questions for….Mark Hewitt           Mark is the President and CEO for Clear Lake Bank & Trust. Both he…

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Chamber Coffee – Something New!

The Chamber Quarterly Coffee is a new networking program that will bring the Chamber members and the community together for updates on all major happenings in Clear Lake, to include the following:  business & city updates; new employees/advancement & promotions; honors, awards & grants by companies & organizations; new Chamber…

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Chamber Business Expo 2016

  The Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce presents its Business Expo on Thursday, May 19, 2016. You are invited to attend and meet the business people who have products and services that are right in your backyard. Admission is free when you present your business card. This year’s Business Expo, the only…

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Tips for the Camping Newbie

By: Jody Halsted, FamilyRambling.com So you’re ready to do it. Really jump in and do it right. You’re ready to take your family camping! Congratulations! Camping is an incredible family activity filled with fresh air, exciting explorations, outdoor cooking, and (kids’ favorites) dirt, sticks & rocks! It’s an adventure designed…

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Camping Tips

By: Jody Halsted, FamilyRambling.com Ready to plan your family’s camping adventure? A few handy tips: Check your bedding. An inexpensive ‘egg crate’ mattress cover can make a thin mattress or air mattress much more comfortable. Bring outdoor lighting. Solar powered ground stakes are easy and inexpensive or make your items…

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5 Selfies You Need to Take for Your Business

Guest blogger Christina R. Green teaches small businesses, chambers and associations how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and Socialfish. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com and Memberclicks. She’s just a bookish writer on a quest to bring great…

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Holiday Open House Winners

Once again the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce teamed up with businesses to host an Old Fashioned Holiday Open House promotion. Folks entered to win chamber bucks at participating businesses. Each week from November 16-December 14, one winner was chosen to win $100 in Chamber Bucks. A grand prize…

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Education Day 2015 – Lake Leadership

Lake Leadership took to the classroom on November 18th for Education Day. Here’s what they learned: The Lake Leadership class started their day with the Clear Lake Community School District, meeting the school principals Mike Barkley (Clear Creek grades K-5), Steve Kwikkel (Clear Lake Middle School grades 6-8), Chris Murphy (Clear Lake High…

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Polar Bear Club

The Annual Polar Bear Club celebrates it's 18th year raising money for Make-a-Wish North Iowa and Toys for Tots!  Take a brisk dip in Clear Lake on Sunday, December 6th at 12:30pm to join the club. The fundraiser also offers these challenges: a traveling trophy to the business who collects…

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Clear Lake Signature Drink Results

The Clear Lake Signature Cocktail contest was held in August, 2015. The winning drink was created by Diana Symonds, realtor with McQuaid Agency.  Her cocktail, the "Clear Lake Breezer," was voted the winner by a panel of 5 judges.  Scoring was based on appearance, creativity of drink name, taste, representation…

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Clear Lake Wins Iowa Tourism Award

The Iowa Tourism Office and the Travel Federation of Iowa presented 27 awards recognizing excellence in the tourism industry in 2015 at the Iowa Tourism Conference. “Iowa is fortunate to have passionate people working hard every day to advance the tourism industry and grow the state’s economy,” said Shawna Lode,…

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Trish Celebrates 20 Years With The Chamber

1995 was a special year in Chamber history. On November 16, 1995, Trish Fundermann Bridges Pletcher Fundermann was hired!  On her 20th Anniversary, we asked her a few questions about her tenure at the world’s greatest job. What is one thing you’ll never forget? First and foremost, I will never forget…

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Name our Elf!

We have an office Elf! Help us name him.  Follow his silly antics on Facebook & Twitter from November 27-December 24th! Elf on the Shelf official rules: To enter, comment on the Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce’s facebook post(s) with the official contest image. Each comment equals one entry.…

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Harvest Festival

Clear Lake's 11th annual Harvest Festival will be held October 3rd, 2015 and combines a full scale wine and beer sampling with a downtown street festival.  Ticket holders will be able to sample wine & beer at over 10 different locations downtown.  All festival goers will enjoy the expanded farmer's…

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July 4th Celebration

Clear Lake has the longest consecutive running July 4th Celebration in the State of Iowa. Each year, we host over 50,000 visitors to our festival, which is known throughout the midwest. The event kicks off on Wednesday, July 1st at 5pm when the Carnival, Evans United Shows, returns to town…

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Clear Lake Fishing Success

Bob Jensen is a syndicated columnist and hosts the popular "Fishing the Midwest" television show. He has won numerous awards, and provides information and entertainment regarding fishing opportunities in the Midwest. “Too much of the time we hear about bodies of water or fish species that are experiencing problems, and…

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Planting Your Dream 2015

The Gardener’s of North Iowa are hosting the Gardener’s of America/Men’s Garden Club National Convention in Clear Lake, Iowa June 24-27, 2015. The theme is Planting Your Dream in 2015.   The event will be based at the Best Western, where nationally known speakers will address attendees.  Garden tours are…

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Administrative Professionals Day Giveaway

To celebrate national Administrative Professional’s Day on April 22nd, we have partnered with several Chamber members to put together a special prize package for one lucky admin. Nominate your favorite Administrative Professional by telling us why they’re the best! Drop off your nomination letter in person to our awesome Administrative…

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Earth Day in Clear Lake

Healthy and green lifestyles are becoming more mainstream than they were 19 years ago when Clear Lake organized their first Earth Day celebration.  Each year, our Earth Day committee encourages our community to refresh ourselves and our home by offering fun, educational, and camaraderie with several programs planned for the…

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Clear Lake Pie Day

Our Administrative Assistant, Patsy, loves pie, so we decided to celebrate Pi Day (March 14th, 3.14) with a tour d'pie around Clear Lake.  Here's what we found: Back Yard Deli 300 Main Avenue (641) 357-2234 backyarddeli.com Scott bakes from scratch homemade pies daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day at the…

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An Ice-Fishing Buffet

Bob Jensen, Fishing the Midwest I went ice-fishing last week and had a wonderful time on two levels.  First of all, we caught lots of fish, big and small, and of several different species. Secondly, it was encouraging and exciting to be on a lake that has become an outstanding…

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Top 10 March Events

Top 10 March Events! For more info (and more events!) visit our online calendar. March 1: Harmonious Wail @ EB Stillman Auditorium, 7pm.  With smoldering vocals laced among the jazzy mandolin and guitar, and an infectious blend of continental jazz, swing, gypsy music and melodic vocals, Harmonious Wail has caught…

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Valentine’s Giveaway!

We're giving away a Clear Lake Valentine's Date Night! Your February 13th Clear Lake date night includes: 2 Round-trip, first class airline tickets on Air Choice One* 2 Tickets to Kip Moore at the Surf Ballroom on February 13th, 2015 1 Suite at the Best Western on February 13th, 2015…

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Iowa Lemans Championship Snowmobile Event

2015 Iowa Lemans Championship Fifth Annual Jack Helgren Memorial Race Friday, January 16 - Saturday, January 17, 2015 On Clear Lake, Iowa This event is a memorial to Jack Helgren, an area businessman, avid snowmobiler, former dealer/racer, and promoter of the sport in the area. Bring the family and enjoy the best of…

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Winter Dance Party 2015

Since 1979, the Surf Ballroom has honored the musical legacies of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, & JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson.  Scheduled to appear at the Surf Ballroom during the event include: Frankie Avalon, Lou Christie, Bill Haley Jr. and the Comets, Tommy Allsup, The Whitesidewalls, Big Sandy and his…

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Holiday Madrigal Banquet

North Iowa Civic Theater presents a Holiday Madrigal Banquet December 6th! To celebrate St. Nicholas Day (Dec. 6th) and the 20th anniversary of Christmas by the Lake, the Best Western Holiday Lodge in association with North Iowa Civic Theater will present the first 'Holiday Madrigal Banquet'. This Christmas themed feast…

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Top Events this Holiday Season

To say we have Holiday Spirit would be putting it lightly! There is a tremendous amount of activities planned during this festive season, so we will get right to our holiday picks. For details go to our Events Calendar. Nov 6. Holiday Candlelight Preview: See what several retailers have in…

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Fall Fun

Fall is harvest time, football, warm drinks and cool evening walks along Lakeview Drive. 1) Harvest Festival, the quintessential fall celebration enjoying it's 10th year in Clear Lake. Features include a huge Farmer's Market with craft, artisan, and over 90 vendors, wine samples in our downtown stores and attractions, fun…

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Farm to Table Progressive Dinner

Clear Lake's first ever Farm to Table Progressive Dinner is a delightful three-stop culinary experience involving some highly rated Clear Lake restaurants.  Their chefs will present diners with the best, freshest in-season, locally produced food, provided by area producers, (many of whom you may have met at the local farmers…

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Surf District: An Iowa Great Place

Clear Lake’s Surf District, a cultural and entertainment zone surrounding the historic Surf Ballroom, was designated an Iowa Great Place in 2014 by the Department of Cultural Affairs. The anticipated outcomes of the projects include promoting the historic, artistic, educational and cultural qualities of the Surf District; enhancing the built…

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Clear Lake: A Great American Beach

Clear Lake has top beaches according to USA Today clear lake, ia, May 25, 2012:  Clear Lake is home to two top beaches according to USA Today.  Clear Lake’s City Beach and Clear Lake State Park Beach were both mentioned in the publication’s Memorial Day weekend Travel feature, “51 Great…

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Cool Waters

Cool: Driving down Main Avenue, and coming over the slight hill and seeing Clear Lake appear right in front of you. Cooler: Walking along the seawall, dipping your toe in the water off a dock on "Lay Out Lane" (aka Lakeview Drive) Coolest: Riding the waves! It is true. To…

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August 2014 Event Picks

Hot off of a busy July, Clear Lake still doesn't show any signs of slowing down.  If you can't find something to do around here in August, you're not trying hard enough. Click the links for details, or visit our events calendar. Our picks: 1) CLASS Car Club Summer Dance…

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