Fourth of July extravaganza underway in Clawson

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published June 30, 2022

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CLAWSON — The Clawson Fourth of July Committee recently expanded its Independence Day celebrations to include a third day and a full carnival.

The celebrations will take place Saturday, July 2; Sunday, July 3; and Monday, July 4.

Despite objections from police regarding security at the carnival, as other local cities have imposed curfews on minors without parents or legal guardians and increased police presence to stave off potential public safety threats, the carnival will take place at Clawson City Park all three days.

Some estimates put the total attendance for the event at 40,000 people.

Before the main three days, at 7 p.m. June 29, an ice cream social and music in the park will help kick off the celebrations. A free fun run and 5K Freedom Run also took place at the park June 26.

At 11 a.m. July 2, the kiddie parade will take place from the Clawson Middle School parking lot to Clawson City Park.

The carnival will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. July 2, from noon to 9 p.m. July 3, and from noon to dusk July 4. A $2 gate fee for the carnival will be collected July 3-4. Single-day unlimited ride wristbands cost $25 if purchased before noon July 2, and they will cost $30 after noon July 2.

An arts and crafts fair will take place at the park from 3 to 9 p.m. July 3, and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 4.

At 9 a.m. July 4, the Firecracker Mile will precede the parade from the shopping center at 14 Mile and Crooks roads to the park; a water battle will take place at the Clawson Fire Department at 1 p.m.; hot dog and cupcake eating contests will take place at 1 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., respectively; the freedom festival, including music in the park and food trucks, will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the park; and the fireworks will kick off at dusk — around 10 p.m.

According to the city, the Fourth of July in Clawson tradition began in 1933.

“Some would say Clawson has the best fireworks in Oakland County,” said Bonnie Swope, of the Fourth of July Committee. “(The carnival is) great for the city, it’s great for the revenue and it’s great for the community in general.”

She said the committee faced many hurdles this year.

“There’s a lot that we had to overcome, from preparing the things we could normally get very easily, like the fireworks themselves, to volunteers, balloons, floats, people and the carnival, was such a big boost for our event,” Swope said. “It’s going to take a lot to continue, and we’re going to have to support that if we want to continue this tradition.”

Swope said the cost of the fireworks, which is funded by the committee, is $30,000, and the committee uses revenue from the carnival to fund future fireworks at the festival.

“We thank (the Fourth of July Committee) for all the hard work that you do all year long,” Mayor Paula Millan said. “It always happens and it’s always great when it’s over.”

Clawson City Park is located at 935 Custer Ave., near Main and Maple streets.

For more information, to apply to be in the parade or sign up to volunteer, visit or