With the solar eclipse come and gone, event organizers and officials reflect on last weekend’s festivities.


St. Clair Park Board President Karen McGlenn said she received positive feedback from the community regarding the space themed parade last Friday evening.

“The park board was very pleased with the turnout both with participation and with the reaction from the community,” McGlenn said.

The community “really enjoyed the parade and the fireworks seemed to go off really well,” she said.

Approximately 20-25 different groups participated in the parade including the St. Clair High marching band, church groups, emergency personnel and multiple businesses.

“The most exciting thing for me I think was that this was the first time our high school marching band was able to participate in one of our parades,” McGlenn said.

“It was just wonderful, we love seeing them in it. We hope to have them in more parades for us.”

At the next park board meeting set for Monday, McGlenn said she will discuss the idea of having a parade during next year’s Freedom Fest.

“I think the town really likes it; the kids love it because they get candy of course, and I would like us to do a parade for that as well,” McGlenn said.

The reason for not having Freedom Fest this year was due to the variety of solar eclipse events. The annual Fourth of July celebration will return next year, she said.

She added that the annual Christmas parade still is in place for December.

Bluegrass Festival

With last Saturday’s nice weather, music, vendors, and many volunteers, Gary Land, president of Jump Start St. Clair, said the festival was a success.

The festival consisted of several performers including The Clay Hess Band, The Baker Family, The Sterlings, Spike and Janis Huff, Kelsey Brook and Highway 32. In addition to music, there were 30 vendors and two raffle drawings.

Land said the bluegrass festival was the organization’s first big fundraiser for a new community center. He estimated 275-350 people came out for the event.

As to how much money was raised for the new community center, Land said that is still being calculated.

“We definitely were able to pay all of our bills and have a profit for the Jump Start organization, so I was really pleased,” Land said.

The organization is in the process of getting a concept rendering of the community center and plans for future fundraisers are in the works.

“It’s going to be a big project; it’s going to be a first-class operation that we’re wanting to do.

“Budgetary numbers we’re still working on. Once we get the final drawings then we’ll seek estimate bids on it,” Land said.

Car Show

The “Cruisin’ the Eclipse on Route 66” car show last Sunday, put on by the St. Clair Area Chamber of Commerce, consisted of 200 antique cars along Main Street.

“It was absolutely fantastic. We got an estimate of 5,000 in attendance,” Chamber Executive Director Charlene Saling said.

The first-place modified winner was Kyle Wissmann with his 1969 Ford F100; stock class winner was Tom Bartolotta with his 1970 Plymouth AAR ’Cuda; and the winner of the burn-out contest was McKenzie Ruff.

Saling commended the Chamber board’s hard work and dedication throughout the event, as well as the many volunteers.

“There are people who volunteered for the car show who wouldn’t normally plug into other events, so it just opens another avenue for participation and growth and service for our community,” Saling said.

Saling added that she heard positive feedback from the downtown businesses.

“They appreciated the business that was brought into their stores,” she said.

The car show was the first of many, according to Saling, and a similar car show will be in the works for next year.

Visitor Center

The visitor center for locals and visitors to purchase glasses, T-shirts and more was also successful, Saling said.

She added that travelers from around the country and the world were courteous and complimentary of St. Clair.

“The most striking thing is the fact that it didn’t look like as many people had visited our community as had by the evidence. There was no trash, there was no destruction; there was no anything,” Saling said.

Those still wanting an eclipse T-shirt or car show shirt can email their shirt size and contact information to chamber@stclairmo.com.