By Liam Tiernan
Clinton County Chatter Staff Reporter
The Springtime Festival has been a staple of Clinton County living for over 50 years. Each year on the second Saturday in May, the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce opens the CCRESA building to over 50 local craftsmen looking to show the community their craft.
In addition to the building full of local vendors, Clinton County’s emergency response vehicles flood the parking lot during each Springtime Festival for a hands-on education experience.
“I’ve had a booth at every Springtime Festival since I started selling my carvings,” said Bill Klaus, a Bath Township retiree who’s been honing his craft since 1988. “It’s one of the things I look forward to most each year. It helps me pad my wallet a little for the summer and I meet new people, crafty people and otherwise, every single year.”
Community objectives are among the top priorities of the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce. The expansion of the budget for the Springtime Festival that the board received in 2005 is only one of many ways the board is attempting to improve the community.”
“Improve has such a bad connotation, but even our tightly-knit little communities can be worked on,” said Emily Kendall, not only a member of the board of directors of the Chamber of Commerce but also a local business owner, managing Iryshe Photography in Elsie. “The Chamber of Commerce is also working on expanding several parks and recreational programs throughout the County. A lot of those projects are looking at boots on the ground in 2016 and 2017.”
Events like the Springtime Festival are just what communities like Clinton County need. According to Boston College professor of social sciences Thomas Whalen, studies conducted by Whalen and his department indicate higher general happiness, less crime, and even better health in communities with social recreation events.
“Social interaction through recreation breaks down unfamiliarity, fear, isolation, and prejudice, and promotes experiences between different ethnic groups and everyone in a community,” said Whalen. “Simply put, when communities offer a lot of public events people tend to be happier and more comfortable than in communities where there aren’t a lot of public events.”
Clinton County’s Springtime Festival is expected to see a bigger turnout than ever this year, and their accommodations have expanded as well, with over 60 vendors registered for booths in this year’s festival.
“The Springtime Festival is growing every year, and our other events planned for this year also promise bigger turnouts than we’ve ever seen,” said Kendall. “The community is growing, and our first priority is helping it grow a little bit closer.”