• Winter Exercising – Part Two

    December 15, 2015

    By: Nancy B.


    Exercising outside in the winter can be a daunting idea but it shouldn’t be – the key is to make it fun!

    Years ago when my kids were young we started a winter tradition of taking night hikes. On snowy nights around 9:00 p.m. we would get all bundled up and take the dogs out for a walk/hike. The kids would get a big kick out of it because it was so late to be out and everyone enjoyed the starry night filled with crisp, fresh air. We would keep to the quiet residential streets so we could “hike” right down the middle of the road. Still to this day my kids talk about our night hikes in the wintertime.

    One just needs to be a little creative when it comes to outdoor exercising in the winter. There are the typical winter sports such as skiing and sledding which are great fun and also good exercise but there are a lot of other fun things that you can do.

    I highly recommend night hikes especially during the holidays with all of the festive lights and decorations. There are also great places to hike or walk that are “in the woods” – the cross-country course at the Ericksen Center or Eagle Point Park would be great places for this. If you haven’t been to the cross-country course at the Ericksen Center, it is a super little place for a hike that can be customized to be family friendly or a little bit more strenuous if you would like. You simply follow the perimeter of the park but can cut it short at any time plus there is the beautiful pond to see. If you are lucky you might see some deer or other critters along your way.

    Another idea would be to meet a group of friends downtown and map out a walk of a couple of blocks or so to create a loop. Everyone can walk as far as they would like but you are always close by to your car. At the end of your walk you can stop in to one of the coffee shops downtown. It’s amazing how the time can fly when you are on a brisk walk, chatting with friends.

    If the traditional type of winter exercise is more your thing, or would  like to try cross country skiing – the Ericksen Center will be hosting a clinic and outing on Saturday, January 16th from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. followed by an open ski from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

    As always – there is a little common sense involved. Remember to bundle up or better yet dress in layers. Always take a cell phone with you and always let someone know where you will be and if you are going on a night hike it’s a good idea to take a flashlight.

    So whether you are visiting the Clinton area or you call it home, get outside this winter and be sure to make it fun!



  • Winter Exercising – Part One
    By Guest Blogger: Charlie

    Look Dave, it’s snowing! Exclaimed Alvin the Chipmunk.      

    Dave proceeded to wallow in shame knowing that he could no longer exercise outdoors to help burn off the excess calories from the Holidays – except he’s wrong! Winter is a great time to get a good burn in, so Dave doesn’t need to worry about putting on extra pounds. With proper preparation, exercising in the colder months can be a satisfying experience with a plethora of benefits you may not know about and here in Clinton we have many great outdoor spaces to explore in the winter months.

    Did you know that Vitamin D is generated in your skin simply by being exposed to the sun? Without this essential nutrient, a person can start to feel down. Luckily your skin continues to produce this critical nutrient even in the winter when warmed by the sun.  Additionally, you burn more calories while exercising in the cold, since your body is working harder to keep you warm. Workouts are more effective in the winter, you say? Now that’s a morale booster!

    A great place to run or walk is along the riverfront, The Riverfront Running Gang meets at 5th Avenue and the riverfront on Saturday mornings to run and walk – check out their Facebook page for more information – this group is a lot of fun and are always looking to meet new friends! One of the best reasons to walk or run along the riverfront during the winter months is that you are nearly guaranteed to see a bald eagle or two hanging out in the large trees along the river.

    Preparing for the elements is important during the winter months. Once you start exercising, your core temperature is going to go way up, so you need to plan ahead. A good rule of thumb is to add 20° to the current temperature because that is what it will feel like once you get going. So, for example, if the current temperature is 25° and you add 20° to it – it is going to feel like 45° once you get warmed up so if you are undertaking moderate-intense exercise, a lighter jacket would feel appropriate. If you’re just walking the dog, a heavier coat would be a better choice. Plus, it’s always a good idea to dress in multiple layers, so you can remove some clothing if you get overheated and tie it around your waist. It really is not fun when you are a mile into your run, and you realize your heavy fleece coat is making you sweat like a sauna.

    Equally important is to remember to stay hydrated. The cold, dry air will evaporate your sweat faster, but you’re still sweating! Heck, even if you’re not exercising, stay hydrated. Your body is a machine, and water is our oil, and we all know what happens to machines that aren’t regularly lubricated. You don’t know? Well, they break, and then you have to pay money for a fix!

    So, all you Dave’s out there, go outside and enjoy our wonderful town – it will do you good!



    HOLIDAY TRADITIONS - Symphony of Lights

    Nancy B. - November 12, 2015


    Can you feel it - that sense of excitement that starts to build this time of year?


    It’s time to start making plans as this year’s holiday season is just around the corner! Whether you have a large family or it’s just you and the dogs, our fine city of Clinton has much to offer when it comes to holiday fun!


    One of the best holiday events and a family tradition for many is the Symphony of Lights Display at the Eagle Point Park. This annual event kicks off with a Family Fun Walk on Thanksgiving Eve and also hosts a 5K run on the first Saturday of the event.  Start your holiday off with this unique holiday event and begin some family traditions of your own.


    If you have never been to the Symphony of Lights display or to Eagle Point Park, it is a delightful excursion that has been called the modern day sleigh ride. Winding through the hilly, wooded lanes of beautiful Eagle Point Park the visitor will find over 40 lighted, whimsical holiday displays with over 500,000 lights.  1.1 miles of wonderful holiday memories! Pack the car full of family and friends and don’t forget to bring Fido – everyone will enjoy the bright festival displays and the brisk air.



    The Symphony of Lights event dates back to 1996 when two non-profit organizations (the Clinton Jaycee Foundation and the Clinton Symphony Orchestra) started it as a fundraiser, over the years it has become so much more with over 400 volunteers working together to make it happen. 


    Today, the Clinton Jaycee Foundation is the sole organizer of the Symphony of Lights and many community members volunteer to help make it happen – Symphony of Lights has become a source of great community pride in Clinton.


    This year pack a thermos of hot chocolate and venture out on a chilly, starry night to take in all the sights at the Clinton Symphony of Lights – nestled in the hills and bluffs along the Mississippi River in Clinton’s Eagle Point Park.



  • The Evolution of Chicken George

    Nancy B. - October 20, 2015


    Prior to relocating to Clinton two years ago, I had never heard of such a thing as Chicken George!  Clinton’s dining establishments have embraced this dish --of course I had to look into it!  Although you can find this at several places in the area, I went to the home of the original Chicken George to learn the story behind the legend.


    The Candlelight Inn Restaurant has a long history in the eastern Iowa/western Illinois area. The original Sterling, Illinois, restaurant was opened in 1967 by Jan and Bob Prescott, who later added restaurants in Rock Falls, Illinois, and Clinton, Iowa. Their signature dish is Chicken George. 


    The story goes that back in the early days of the Candlelight Inn, the restaurant employees were allowed to have a cheeseburger or something of equivalent value for their employee meal.  One cook used to make a special dish for himself by cutting the meat off the bone of a chicken breast, battered with the Candlelight’s special batter and then deep fried.


    One day, a good friend of Bob Prescott’s was at the bar and Bob asked this cook to prepare the chicken for the customer as he did for himself. The customer loved it and wanted to know what to ask for the next time he came in since this wasn’t an item on the menu at that time. The cook’s name was George Rose and so Bob replied “ask for Chicken George.”

    Now, for 44 years, the Candlelight Inn’s Chicken George has inspired customers to return again and again to enjoy the dish. Over the years, Chicken George with Jan’s now-famous sauce has evolved into so much more.


    The number and types of Chicken George offerings that now can be found on the Candlelight Inn’s menu are really something to behold and a true Chicken George connoisseur really should try them all!


    Grilled Prime George

    Sweet and Sour George – my personal favorite

    Parmesan George

    Porky George

    Buffalo George

    Just to name a few – next thing you know they will have a Chicken George dessert!


    Chicken George in any form has become a family favorite and a great local food to introduce to out of town guests!   




    Think that there is NO WHERE to go shopping in town?


    By Nancy B. - October 7, 2015


    Right before our eyes, Clinton has seemingly overnight became a mecca of shopping venues that offer vintage, recycled, up-cycled or consignment merchandise.


    What is all of this “vintage, recycle, up-cycle, consignment” business all about you may be wondering, well I believe it’s more than just the latest trend or shopping experience for the environmental conscious consumer. Shopping at vintage, recycle, up-cycle or consignment stores is like revisiting days gone by – and I’m not talking about dusty old antiques that you can get anywhere, I’m talking about products that were made with quality in mind.


    How many times have you found yourself saying, “They just don’t make things like they used to.”

    I know I’ve said it too many times to count. It seems that in this day and age – you get what you pay for and that is if you want quality you are definitely going to pay for it.




    I remember of few years back when it hit me that so many more things seemed to be “disposable.” For me it was the revelation that I had began to treat white t-shirts as disposable and why not when you could buy them for $7.99.


    I like to buy quality but my pocketbook doesn’t always agree and this is where Clinton’s “vintage, recycle, up-cycle, consignment” businesses becomes a highly valued commodity to me. I can find clothes, furniture, household items, gifts, and so much more that are not only of higher quality at a price that I can live with, I can also find unique, one of a kind items. The Renaissance Resale Boutique in Clinton has designer clothes, hand bags and shoes and many of their items still have the original tag on them – essentially brand new at a price that allows me to buy more! Looking for that unique piece for your home or for a gift for the person that has everything? Check out A Place in Time in Clinton – there you will find unique items that have been up-cycled and created by local artists. Decorate your home with original artwork and give that hard to buy for friend or family member a hand crafted messenger bag created out of up-cycled canvas.




    This year as we begin to approach the holiday season – I think I’m going to start to look for those unique, one of a kind items to give as gifts – and the first places I’ll look is at the local vintage, recycle, up-cycle and consignment stores right here in Clinton, Iowa!




  • This week is the inaugural Clinton Fashion Week in Clinton, Iowa. Numerous events are planned during the week with the Main Event being a Fashion Show at the Curtis Mansion on Saturday evening. As part of Clinton Fashion Week, the final show will highlight local fashion designers including Leslie Friedman from the Leslie Buchanan Label and three up and coming student fashion designers.

    We sat down with Leslie and asked her these questions:

    1. How would you describe the current fashion climate in the Clinton area?

      1. Willing and receptive! There’s a widespread assumption that if you don’t live in a big city then you don’t care about fashion, and it’s simply not true. There are so many people here locally that really care about how they look and how they present themselves. In the world of fashion, smaller towns and cities are too often overlooked, and because of that, this community is really embracing fashion related events. The receptiveness of the community became very clear to us as we started asking businesses and individuals to participate in Clinton Fashion Week and we were answered with a resounding ‘Yes!’


    2. What was your inspiration in bringing “Fashion Week” to the Clinton area? Can you elaborate on your vision for Clinton Fashion Week?

      1.  Last October we held a fashion show as a fundraiser for the Curtis Mansion and, after that was successful, we decided to hold another. The question that kept popping up as we discussed the possibility of fashion week was ‘why not?’  Never happy with the status quo, we immediately started brainstorming how we could make the event bigger and better- which led to question: Why not create a whole fashion week? We knew businesses that would like to get involved; why not ask them to host a night of fashion week? I knew students who would love the chance to see their designs on a runway; why not add an emerging student designer component to the final fashion show? It just goes to show that when you question and push the limits of a generally accepted notion- smaller cities don’t care about fashion- you end up finding out the exact opposite is true.

    1. What are your hopes for Clinton Fashion Week as it moves forward to next year? How do you see Clinton Fashion Week growing in the future?

      1.  It’s been said that if you’re not changing you’re dying, and I think that applies to Clinton Fashion Week. In an attempt to stay small and under control the first year, we only reached out to two boutiques to host events. There are several retail outlets in the area, however, that would be great assets to Clinton Fashion Week. Most likely, growth will look like the addition of events during the week and an expansion of CFW involvement throughout the year.

    2. What do you hope that the community members of the Clinton area get out of this first Clinton Fashion Week? 

      1. My hope is that Clinton Fashion Week is an exciting reprieve from the monotony of the workweek where people can dress up and have fun. We tried to host events that would appeal to a variety of people, no matter how fashionable you consider yourself, so that everyone could get involved in some capacity. It’s our hope that people will embrace all the talent and uniqueness our town has to offer and have a great time.



  • CVB Celebrates Tourism!

    By CarrieD
    April 30, 2015 at 11:03am

    On April 29, 2015, the Convention & Visitors Bureau celebrated the 2015 Annual Tourism Awards with its board of directors, committee volunteers and partners in tourism.  The event was hosted at the Tuscany Special Events Center at Rastrelli’s.

    The CVB and guests welcomed Joe Taylor, Executive Director of the Quad Cities CVB, to the podium. Joe shared his thoughts on community – CVB partnerships and his remarks were well received by the attendees. 

    The guests celebrated their long-standing tradition of talking about their respective attractions and events, with the challenge of keeping their comments to 60 seconds or less!  This “toot your own horn” portion of the night is a known and loved aspect of the Clinton tourism community.  From year to year, the events change and grow.  It’s important to celebrate what’s new and what has changed to keep visitors coming back to enjoy themselves at our festivals and attractions.  The CVB also recognized outgoing directors P.C. Desai, Gary Determan and Chris Streets for their service to the organization.

    The night concluded with awards being given as follows:

    2015 Clinton Annual Tourism Awards Winners:

    Champion of Tourism: Iowa Great River Road

    Community Attraction: Bickelhaupt Arboretum

    Community Event: Canadian Pacific Holiday Train

    Diversity Celebration: Vinson H. Jetter Annual Back to School Event 

    Project in Progress: Lyons Streetscape Project

    Special Recognition: Sue Raaymakers

    Mary Jo Kinkaid Volunteer of the Year: Andy Sokolovich

    Exceptional Board Member: Sara Misiewicz

    Growing Attraction: The Sawmill Museum

    The Clinton Annual Tourism Awards is celebrated to kick off National Travel & Tourism Week, which is observed during the first week of May.  National Travel and Tourism Week is May 2-10, 2015. It’s an annual tradition that was established by a congressional resolution in 1983 and first celebrated the following year. 

    This nationwide week of events serves to champion the power of the travel & tourism industry. A wide cross section of travel and tourism professionals work throughout the week to promote the impactful contributions their travel markets and organizations make to the U.S. economy.

    The travel community typically marks the event in a number of creative ways, from staging local rallies and conducting media outreach to securing proclamations and resolutions from local governments.  Clinton’s Annual Tourism Awards is a great kick-off to this national event.

    Women’s Bowling Update

    By CarrieD
    March 26, 2015 at 10:12am

    Since the announcement last year that Clinton & Camanche will be hosting the Iowa Women’s State Bowling Tournament in 2016, we have been fairly quiet on the subject.  The work has been ongoing, however, and the local bowling associations have moved forward to organize the local tournament for next year. 

    Work has included: continued fundraising, coordination with the state bowling authorities, inspections of the bowling centers in Clinton & Camanche, preliminary arrangements for hospitality, discussions about transportation options for the tournament participants, as well as brainstorming for how to best market our area to the bowling teams from around the state.  Phew!  It’s been a lot of work, but all very exciting and fun to know that Clinton & Camanche will have the opportunity to host the tournament for the first time in 65 years!

    This year’s tournament is currently underway in Cedar Rapids.  The convention weekend took place from March 20 – 22 at the Cedar Rapids Marriott.  The Clinton & Camanche Women’s Bowling Associations, along with the Convention & Visitors Bureau took special measures to reach out to the bowlers to invite them to the 2016 tournament.

    We gave away promotional  items to encourage registrations next year – including bowling ball towels that use the tournament logo, “Clinton & Camanche – we’re right up your alley!”  The ladies also gave out caramel corn, visitor information and a variety of door prizes.  It was a fun way to promote the community and show our potential guests that we are making preparations to host them next year.  We are confident that we’ll have a great turnout for the state bowling tournament in 2016! 

    As the date approaches, the Convention & Visitors Bureau will be reaching out to area businesses with more information. Stay tuned for how you and your business can get involved and help us welcome the Iowa State USBC Women’s Bowling Association to Clinton & Camanche!