BY: RACHEL WUMKES
It’s no secret things are different this year. We all feel a little bit off, like something is just not right. COVID-19 knocked us sideways this spring, and while we all thought it would be over and life would be back to ‘normal’ by now, it appears we’ve got a way to go.
The traditions of this town run deep, embedded into the hearts and minds of anyone who has taken part our Independence Day festivities throughout the years. While most towns take the day to celebrate the patriotic holiday, we go a bit above and beyond, utilizing a full week filled with jam-packed lake-time fun!
The instant I heard we would have to cancel the Extravaganza events this year I thought, “What the heck are we going to do now?”
I guess you could say we’ve been a bit spoiled in recent years. The Chamber team, with the incredible support of many local businesses and city officials, have created all the fun for us in the past. The parade, the carnival, the live music in the park. It’s all packaged up into a nice little bundle, tied together with a beautiful bow and handed to us on a silver platter.
So, what do we do now? Well, chin up, friends. I’ve got a few ideas on how you can create lasting memories of 4th of July fun in Clear Lake… Pandemic style!
- Picnic in the Park!
- Bring a blanket or utilize one of the many picnic tables and benches throughout the park. You can pack a lunch or grab something from one of our many restaurants around town. For your culinary delight (and ease) many offer a ‘grab and go’ option to make picnics easy!
- Red, White & Blue Food
- The internet is littered with recipes altered to reflect Old Glory! Thankfully, there are simple options like the patriotic Rice Krispy bar or the more sophisticated baking delights complete will a fully decorated flag on top. Regardless of what you make, this is the year to get creative!
- Lake Time is the Best Time!
- People, we have one of the most awesome lakes in the Midwest right here in our backyard. Let’s use it! Whether you spend the day on a boat, flying across the water with the wind in your hair, or spend the day on State or City beach, taking a dip in the cool water or on a giant unicorn floating device – Clear Lake is for everyone!
- Retail Therapy
- Nothing puts a smile on my face more than an afternoon of shopping! Clear Lake offers an array of unique stores filled with interesting décor, bits and bobs of all kinds, or the exclusive trends in today’s clothing. Buy yourself something nice this holiday weekend – you deserve it!
- Eat your Feelings
- It’s okay, I promise. This is the one weekend where the calories don’t count. So go ahead and make that mayonnaise-based salad. In fact, whip up a double batch! Independence Day is meant to indulge in all the cookery pleasures we want, because we have the freedom to do so. Take a tour of our many fabulous restaurants and let the professionals do the cooking – and the cleaning up!
I know it’s not the same. Trust me, no one is more upset than the Chamber Team that we don’t get to enjoy the fruits of our labor this year with a fresh-squeezed lemonade while riding the Ferris Wheel overlooking our beautiful lake.
But, as I’ve said before, life is what you make it. So, lets make this a year to remember at the Lake. I mean, we’ve already secured a place in the record books considering it’s the first time we’ve had to cancel the event this century.
Happy Independence Day, Clear Lakers, and to all our guests. You have come together so beautifully as a community through this pandemic and we appreciate your endless support. With a surge of tourists over the weekend, we want to ensure our businesses get to remain open. Please follow social distancing guidelines, wear a mask, and use proper hand washing!