Dozens of communities statewide are holding Independence Day celebrations, but only one holds the distinction of being Iowa’s longest-running festival. Clear Lake leaders claim their red-white-and-blue bash is Iowa’s oldest successively held Fourth of July celebration. Alice Hanley is chairing this year’s fest by the lake, the town’s 152nd patriotic party. Clear Lake was settled in 1851 and from the time the first pioneer settlers arrived, Independence Day was a real reason for them to get together and celebrate. Hanley says the location of the community may’ve had something to do with the longevity of its celebration.Hanley says the ways people mark the national holiday in Clear Lake have changed dramatically in the last one-and-a-half centuries, but the spirit remains.Events today and through the weekend include a carnival, a craft show, concerts, free entertainment and fireworks over the lake.
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