An active Community Arts Program, the Clinton Arts Council, a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation brings in renowned artists for yearly performances for the Clinton Community and surrounding areas. Their partnership with the Clinton school district provides funds for art-related assemblies, field trips, and artist-in-residence programs. Two wonderful local theatre groups also provide entertaining productions utilizing local talent. The council’s support of the annual Ike Parker Fine Arts Show, held during Olde Glory Days, provides local visual artists with an opportunity to exhibit and compete their work. The funds from this show provide scholarship money for Clinton High School students interested in studying the arts. With help from the Missouri Arts Council, the Clinton Arts Council is improving the quality of life for the citizens of Clinton by making the arts more accessible to the citizens of Clinton and the surrounding areas. Working closely with the Henry County Museum and Cultural Arts Center and the Clinton School District, the Council presents both modern and contemporary theater productions and schedules events revolving around visiting artisans and craftsmen, brought into the community through state-funded programs.

graphicThe Henry County Library was established in 1946 by a vote of the county, and in 1956 moved to quarters at 123 East Franklin after a fire destroyed the previous location. In 1994, after citizens approved an increase in the library’s income, a new library was opened to the public. In addition to overseeing an ever-growing inventory of books, reference titles, periodicals, and audio-visual materials, the library offers its patrons a chance to surf the Internet with a state-of-the-art computer lab. Library staff organizes special events including youth and adult seminars and demonstrations, children’s winter and summer reading programs, and kids craft times. Circulation has increased more than 76 percent since 1993, and the main library serves, on an average, more than 400 patrons each day.

Events and Festivals

People come from far and wide to enjoy Clinton’s numerous festivals and celebrations. During almost every month of the year, special events keep things lively in Clinton.

Bluegrass festivals and jamborees, held the first weekend in May and October and during the second weekend in June, set toes to tapping with four days of tunes in the covered pavilion at Lester Foster’s Music Park. Nationally renowned and locally known bands take the stage, providing more than 30 hours of bluegrass rhythms.

Olde Glory Days, held over the Fourth of July weekend, has ongoing musical entertainment, kids activities, a carnival, teen dance, pet show, parade, fun runs, fine arts show, band concerts, and a mega-fireworks finale.

Later in July, the Henry County Fair supplies six days of livestock judging, 4-H exhibits, livestock sales, horse shows, kids games, musical entertainment, carnival rides, and rodeo action.

During the first weekend of August, the Black Heritage Group holds a three-day Emancipation Celebration at Hurt Park. The festival features a bake-off competition, a slam-dunk contest, cake walks, blues bands, lip synch contests, a street dance, and croquet and horseshoe tournaments.

The Northern Cherokee Nation Homecoming Pow Wow, held in September, showcases the tribe’s heritage with three days of tribal dances and song. Girls, boys, men, and women pay homage to their Native American roots, with gourd, round, and war dances and a number of intertribal dances.

Come late November and December, downtown Clinton celebrates the holidays with a Victorian Christmas. The lighting of the Downtown Historic Square, photos with Santa, a variety of seasonal events, extended shopping hours, and thousands of sparkling lights keep the season bright in Clinton.


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