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Clinton festival, show kicks off summer


Tate Park in Clinton will again host the Clinton Summerfest and Antique Tractor Show on Saturday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Twelve years ago, the village of Clinton wanted an event to kick off summer in the way that the Clinton Fall Festival celebrates fall, and the Clinton Summerfest and Antique Tractor Show began.

Organizer Basil Greenleaf, also a trustee for Clinton Township, has served as chair for the event each year, supervising the Antique Tractor Show. As with most activities in 2020, Summerfest was cancelled, but Greenleaf expects the event to grow the way it has every year since 2009.

“Everybody is anxious to get out and do something,” he said.

Each year, according to Greenleaf, there are more vendors and non-profit organizations who participate. The number of tractors entered in the antique tractor show also increases each year.

Focused on free family-friendly entertainment, the activities and music are designed for all-ages enjoyment. There are two tents and two pavilions set up in the park.

Hungry and thirsty visitors to Summerfest can find refreshment at the food trucks or at the Summerfest booth.

The West Pavilion of Tate Park features dancers and bands. The highlight for many people will be the country band Pickin’ Roots.

“All the people donate their time,” Greenleaf said.

A craft tent offers supervised activities for younger family members. There are a variety of different games geared for children.

The very popular money pit activity will not be offered this year due to safety restrictions, but there will be a similar activity. “We are going to have a box holding cups with tissue paper lids that kids will choose from,” said Greenleaf.

The annual kiddie tractor pull features three weight classes up to 30 pounds. Day Old Trophies donated trophies for the winners of each weight class.

A highlight of the yearly event is the money raised to provide scholarships for Clinton High School graduating seniors. The first scholarships were for $500.

“This year we are giving out four $1,500 scholarships,” Greenleaf said.

The scholarship money comes from donations made by Clinton and Tecumseh businesses, who are recognized on a flyer. “We also make money from all the vendors we get and all the food stands,” said Greenleaf. “All the money goes into the fund.”

The antique tractor show featured over 70 tractors in 2019 and Greenleaf expects at least that many this year. People bring tractors that go all the way back to the 1930s.

There is no fee to show a tractor and registration is the day of the event. Greenleaf will bring his tractor on Friday afternoon to Tate Park and encourages other tractor owners to do the same.

Security is provided Friday evening. There are also t-shirts, hats and keychains given to the tractor owners provided by Steiner Tractor Parts and Owosso Tractor Parts.

Vendors and tractor owners also receive watermelon on Saturday afternoon as a thank you from the Summerfest committee. Summerfest closes out the day with an antique tractor parade at 3:30.

The annual event to kick off summer usually draws 800-900 people throughout the day. “It’s pretty packed,” Greenleaf said. “It’s just a great free fun-filled day.”

Greenleaf is very appreciative of the committee of 11 people who help plan Summerfest. “We have a great committee,” he said. “I couldn’t ask for people to do a better job.”

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