Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Clarence Iowa events tied to Lincoln Highway

January 16, 2008

Clarence Iowa has found that the Lincoln Highway is a route to getting things done. The Clarence Lincoln Highway Committee was founded in 1997 by local businesses and citizens to organize a fun summer fund-raiser for community projects. Their efforts have expanded to many other projects, and this year, the group took over the town’s Christmas festival.

Bad weather delayed the fun one day to December 2, but it was well attended. Businesses contributed generously, such as Kelly Tree Farm, which gave evergreens to line the streets, and individuals baked lots of desserts for a Cookie Walk, with all proceeds benefiting the 2009 Clarence Sesquicentennial Community Projects. The Tipton Conservative covered the event in advance.

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A portion of the Festival of Trees display from Christmas in Clarence.

The summer event, the Clarence Lincoln Highway Festival, is still their major effort, which we’ll report on separately. Jen VanOort, editor/designer of the Clarence Community Newsletter and webmaster for, says, “The festival went along at a quiet but profitable pace for many years until two years ago when new leadership was established and the festival really blossomed into an exciting, fun, well-attended event for the entire area, and was even mentioned in the Chicago Tribune.”

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Clarence children enjoying a movie before Santa arrives.

Other plans for the future include a farmers’ market, downtown streetscaping, façade improvements, and concerts and ice cream socials in the downtown park. Jen says, “Keep your eye on Clarence! We have big plans! The funny thing is, our leader, Jamie Wilhau is not native to Clarence or even Iowa, but she feels so passionately about this town, its history, and its potential that she is infectious! Together, we dream up a lot of ideas!”

Jen adds that Clarence is special to highway fans too. “We have the distinction of being one of the only communities left in Iowa with the Lincoln Highway as our main street! No bypass yet … although they are threatening that in the future”

Christmas display in Marshalltown, Iowa – 2

December 25, 2007

As described yesterday, here’s last year’s Christmas light display at the home of Eric Rodemeyer in Marshalltown, Iowa, synchronized to the tune of fast-paced rock version of “Joy to the World”:

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This year, the display was moved to the Marshall County Courthouse as a fundraiser for the Marshalltown Optimist Club. Here’s a story about it from Radio Iowa. The song is “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” (an instrumental of “Carol of the Bells” with a bit of a bit of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”) performed by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

Christmas display in Marshalltown, Iowa – 1

December 24, 2007

Marshalltown, Iowa, has a Christmas display in front of its courthouse—with lights timed to rockin’ versions of holiday tunes—as a fundraiser for the Marshalltown Optimist Club. The display began last year at the 7th Avenue residence of Eric Rodemeyer: 14,500 lights controlled by 96 computer channels timed to 7 repeating songs, each requiring up to 150 hours of programming, then were broadcast on 96.3 FM in front of his house. This video from last year features a serene version of “Silent Night” at his house.

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This year’s display at the Marshall County Courthouse includes 21,620 lights controlled by 176 computer channels set to 8 repeating songs likewise on 96.3 FM. Lights are strung on eight 20-foot-tall trees, thirty 4-foot-tall spiral trees, plus strobes and a snow flake arch. Check the Marshalltown CVB web site for hours. Here’s the opening night introduction followed by a hard-rockin’ version of “Sleigh Ride,” then some views from a street cam.

We’ll check out more tunes tomorrow.