Anytime a town festival bills itself as a “best of” it is always a toss up of how things play out. But as promised, Best of Clinton County Summer Festival& Parade gives a little bit of its everything best, and the overall result is refreshingly on queue. Like a one stop department store, the festival’s host town of Lock Haven is divvied into compartments of fun and excitement. Various foods are available, while a great parade that showcases the area, and regional crafters all do their part to highlight just why Clinton County is, well, the best.
Early in the morning sidewalk vendors begin their sales along Main Street while an Arts and Craft show crowds the central Triangle Park. Both offer great shopping to visitors which lasts through the day. For foods there are lots of festival favorites including kettle corn, sausage sandwiches, and delicious strawberry shortcake. In conjunction with the Summer Festival is the Strawberry Festival hosted by St. Pauls. It is a perfect opportunity to indulge in delicious strawberry treats and pints or quarts of fresh picked fruit. Also during the festival is the local farmers market located behind the courthouse which showcases what other than the best local produce around.
It should be said that a festival of this brand is never complete without feats of impressive endurance. The Great Island Triathlon fits that role and it starts first thing in the morning before the festivals official start time. The race launches off with a 3.5 mile kayak paddle followed by a 15.5 mile bike race, and finally a 4 mile run. It usually wraps by late morning. During the day there are plenty of children’s activities such as fun games, contests like a Hula Hoop competition, and activities like street art with chalk. However, the marquee event of the day is undoubtedly the parade down Main Street. In a scene of pure Americana jubilation, dozens of floats, classic cars, marching bands, street dancers, and the ever present Shriners march through town to the delight of thousands of onlookers of down the Main Street, of towards a day of bests.
Admission is free and parking is downtown.