Clare, the “City of Festivals,” has festivals and events happening throughout the year. The town turns green for the annual 4-day Irish Festival in March, which is one of the city’s most known and well-loved events. Enjoy a host of Irish traditions including parades, bed races, kids’ fun run, craft show, musical performances, and even a Leprechaun contest!
As summer heats up, so do the festivals. The Summerfest Celebration provides old fashioned fun for all ages with children’s games, a picnic in the park and fireworks over Shamrock Lake to end the day. During June and July the Summer Concert Series provides free musical entertainment in the City Park. The annual Street Faire event also includes the Main Street Car & Bike Show and Street Faire Craft Show. The grand finale to summer events is the Old 27 Motor Tour Overnight Stop in downtown Clare and the Clare Brewfest, “A sampling of Michigan’s finest craft beers.” As summer turns to fall, the town prepares for two fun events: the annual Main Street Spook-Tacular. Pumpkin painting, carnival games, hayrides, kids’ costume parade are just some of the activities that take place. And new in 2012 is the addition of a fun Clare 5K Pumpkin Run! The beginning of the holiday season is celebrated in Clare with a Christmas Celebration each December.
The downtown district of Clare offers shopping at its best! Recall a time when you could stroll a brick-lined sidewalk with trees draped in white lights, where each store is unique. Proprietors treat you as a special guest as you discover items ranging from clothing and collectibles to home decorating, biking gear, hardware, and of course, Celtic treasures. When you need a break from shopping, stop and enjoy a cup of coffee and lunch or dinner in a relaxed atmosphere. And, for a special treat, visit the world-famous Cops & Doughnuts Bakery. In addition to the wonderful stores downtown, many stores in the Clare area feature items from sporting goods to Amish crafted goods. Visit the Amish Quilt Auction, Craft Show, and Flea Market the third weekend in May and the Friday and Saturday of the Labor Day holiday.
Biking and hiking enthusiasts will welcome touring the picturesque Pere-Marquette Rail Trail, a 30-mile paved trail from downtown Clare to Midland. This portion of the Rails to Trails system is perfect for biking, hiking or skating as no motorized vehicles are allowed. In 2009, another section of this trail was paved from just west of Clare through Evart, and there are plans to pave more of this trail through Reed City and beyond. This route has been designated as US Route 20 which extends west to the Pacific coast! In addition, the Harrison campus of Mid Michigan Community College contains a public trail system that is open for the public to enjoy. These trails open year-round and are perfect for walking, running, biking, snow shoeing, and cross country skiing. See trail maps.