Here is my response to concerns regarding Clawson’s Independence Day Parade:
First, I would like to apologize for the “float” that was disrespectful to President Obama. It was not approved to participate, nor did I see it. While we live in a country based on freedom of speech, Clawson’s Independence Day Parade is a celebration of this country, not a protest march. I do not censor our parade participants, but I do insist on family appropriate and family friendly content.
Regarding political entries in the parade; Our Nation is based on “We the People” electing individuals to represent us and we expect those individuals to be visible in our communities. While there is no cost to other participants, political candidates are charged $125 to participate.
The Fourth of July Committee is a non-profit 501(c) organization. Previous year's gate receipts and political contributions fund the celebration. Approximately $18,000 is paid for the fireworks. The parade budget averages $6,000 with all musical entries being paid.
Being a Clawson Marching Band alumnus, I remember the Drum and Bugle Corps competition held the night before the parade. I contacted every Corps in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, some in Illinois and two from Canada. None were willing to participate. The Clawson Marching band has been offered a fee, but at this time, chooses not to participate.
Nothing would make me happier than to have more community groups and businesses participate, build a float, sing a song, or be a clown. Unfortunately, most individuals have become apathetic and do not put time aside for volunteering and community involvement. The same faces are out there getting things done. Remember the fond memories we had building floats? I encourage you to get a group together, barbeque, get to know each other, let creative thoughts flow, build a float.
Many enjoyed the addition of the two balloons this year. Each balloon costs $800 to rent requiring 22 individuals to escort them. Past stilt walkers have charged approximately $1,000. Each year careful consideration has to be given on how to spend the parade budget. Costumes and candy for the clowns are provided. I AM ALWAYS LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS.
The tradition of enjoying the Clawson 4th of July festivities since my childhood is what motivates me to volunteer. So that my children, all children can have those fond memories.
The Clawson 4th of July Committee is a volunteer group that meets the 2nd Wednesday of every month to plan the following years' events. I personally extend a heart-felt invitation to all of you to come join us. There are lots of opportunities. Do as much, or as little as you can. Bring your fresh ideas, spirit and run with them. Interested in becoming involved with a long standing Clawson tradition? Please call, we would LOVE to have you join in planning Clawson’s 80th Celebration.
Having been asked why I chair the parade – I ALWAYS say, "if everybody just does a little bit, as a team we can make great things happen."
Clawson Parade Chair