Kids lurch forward during the start of the children’s 1-mile race, part  of Clawson’s Fourth of July festivities, at Clawson City Park last year.

Kids lurch forward during the start of the children’s 1-mile race, part of Clawson’s Fourth of July festivities, at Clawson City Park last year.

File photo by Donna Dalziel


Clawson gears up for annual Fourth of July extravaganza

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published June 25, 2019

 Alexander Geier, of Clawson, rides in Clawson’s 2018 Fourth of July parade.

Alexander Geier, of Clawson, rides in Clawson’s 2018 Fourth of July parade.

File photo by Donna Agusti

 A float carrying veterans makes its way down Main Street during Clawson’s Fourth of July parade last year.

A float carrying veterans makes its way down Main Street during Clawson’s Fourth of July parade last year.

File photo by Donna Agusti

 Ava McCliment, a seventh grader at Clawson Middle School, holds up her winning design for the 2019 Fourth of July button contest. The theme was “Red, White and Boom.”

Ava McCliment, a seventh grader at Clawson Middle School, holds up her winning design for the 2019 Fourth of July button contest. The theme was “Red, White and Boom.”

Photo provided by Karen Abdella

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CLAWSON — Since the 1930s, the city of Clawson has hosted an all-American summer celebration to commemorate the country’s independence.

A committee of volunteers has worked year-round to provide the ultimate bash with activities for all ages and interests June 26-30 and July 3-4.

“We are quite excited for our signature event,” said Oakland County Commissioner Penny Luebs, D-Clawson. 

The festivities will kick off at 6 p.m. July 26 with a free bike tour of the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Inside|Out art installations throughout the city’s downtown. Led by two DIA guides, the ride will start at Old Port Restaurant and will conclude at Clawson City Park. At 7 p.m., the city will host an ice cream social and the Royal Oak Concert Band will perform in the park.

On June 28, the popular Mack firetruck rides will begin. A historic firetruck will cruise the streets of the city, picking up children and giving them free rides around the block.

“My kids used to love to do that when they were little,” said Karen Abdella, co-chair of the Fourth of July Committee.

On June 29, the Kiddie Parade will take place at 10:30 a.m., beginning at Clawson High School and ending at the park, followed by food in the park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On June 30, the city will sponsor a free fun run at 7 p.m., followed by the 5K Freedom Run at 7:30 p.m., both at the park.

“Then, of course, we’ll have the full gamut of everything starting on July 3,” Abdella said. 

That will include Little League All-Star Games at 3 p.m. in the park, an arts and crafts fair and midway games and rides at the park from 3 to 9 p.m., and Shell Camino monster truck rides at Schalm Elementary from 3 to 9 p.m.

On July 4, the morning will kick off at 8:30 a.m. with an opening ceremony at Blair Memorial Library, followed by the Fourth of July parade at 9 a.m. from Crooks and 14 Mile roads to the park.

At 10 a.m., the arts and crafts fair, as well as the midway games and rides, will kick off at the park. At 11 a.m., live music will begin. At 1 p.m., the Clawson and Troy fire departments will embark on their annual water battle. And at 3 p.m., a hot dog eating contest will take place.

The evening will conclude with the city’s much-anticipated fireworks show at dusk. Although the fireworks will be set off from the park’s baseball diamond, Abdella said they are visible from nearly everywhere in the city.

“It’s so much fun if you live in Clawson,” Abdella said. “Everyone who lives in Clawson has people over. It’s great for kids.”

Each year, the Fourth of July Committee holds a button design contest open to local students. The first-place winner receives $50, and local businesses sell the buttons as a fundraiser for the event.

This year, seventh grader Ava McCliment, of Clawson Middle School, submitted the winning design out of 179 entries from students at Schalm and Kenwood elementary schools, Clawson Middle School and Clawson High School. The theme was “Red, White and Boom.”

The buttons are on sale for $1 at Leon and Lulu, Kahve Coffee House, Hair Razors, Blair Memorial Library, Clawson City Hall and the Hunter Community Center. They will also be for sale during the events on June 26 and 29.

For more information, visit www.clawson4thofjuly.org.

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