By: Carol Beck-Round | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: July 2013
Kids line up along the shores of Claremore Lake in last year’s annual Kids Fishing Derby. Prizes are awarded in each of three age divisions, including the smallest and largest fish. Six free bicycles will also be given away at the end of the event in a drawing of the derby registration tickets.
Fishing, fireworks, fun and music is on tap for the annual 4th of July celebration scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. that Thursday at Claremore Lake Park.
The day’s activities will begin with registration at 7 a.m. for the annual Kids Fishing Derby, according to Joe Kays, Director of Claremore’s Parks and Recreation. “We had over 435 children who participated in the event last year and we expect even more this year.”
The popular event has grown each year with the first 450 children to register receiving a free rod and reel, tackle box and bait. “It’s everything they need to fish that day,” says Kays. “Each tackle box also contains the hooks and sinkers.”
As soon as each participant registers and receives the free gear, fishing can begin. Weigh-in is at 10 a.m. Children in three age divisions will be competing to win a trophy for the smallest and the largest fish in each category. Ages by category include 4 – 6 year olds, 7 – 9 year olds and 10 – 12 year olds. Six new bicycles will also be given away—two in each age division—at the end of the fishing activities. When children register for the fishing derby, they receive a ticket for the drawing.
“A lot of these kids may have never been exposed to fishing,” says Kays, “so whether they win or not, they get to have fun and get a free rod and reel and tackle box.”
The fishing gear from Zebco is purchased at a discount. “They support family fishing,” he adds. “We also provide the fishing worms, which are donated by Natatak Outdoors.”
The park will close at noon and reopen at 6 p.m. so families can attend the free entertainment featuring a variety of musicians from the area. Family entertainment will include country band Southern Highway, returning favorites Heartland Xpress—featuring bluegrass and acoustic—and rounding out the evening will be the Ben Neikirk Band with a variety of pop, classic and light rock. Along with the live entertainment, inflatable bounce houses will be offered for a fee.
The annual aerial fireworks show, set for 9:40 p.m., is once again under the professional guidance of Western Enterprises. The company, from Carrier, Oklahoma, “produces a very quality show,” says Kays.
Free parking will be available at the Rogers County Roundup Club. People may then walk into the park or ride the Pelivan shuttle free. Troop 88 Boy Scouts will be helping with parking and providing a limited concession stand.
No one will be allowed to drive into the park except for handicap and motorcycle parking. “No pets are allowed in the park that day either,” says Kays.
“It’s a great day for families to come out for the free entertainment and celebrate the 4th of July,” says David Daniel, park ranger, who is in charge of this year’s fishing derby. “We want everyone to come out and enjoy.”
Through support from area businesses and the community, the city is able to sponsor the fishing derby and the fireworks display at no charge to the public. “We couldn’t do it without the donations from the community and businesses,” says Kays. “We and the participants appreciate their continued support because it wouldn’t happen without them.”
After 30 years in public school education, Carol Round retired and moved from Grand Lake to Claremore, Oklahoma in 2005, where she writes a weekly faith-based column which runs in 14 Oklahoma newspapers as well as several national and international publications. Three volumes of her columns have been compiled into collections: A Matter of Faith, Faith Matters and by FAITH alone. She has also written Journaling with Jesus: How to Draw Closer to God and a companion workbook, The 40-Day Challenge. This past year she has written three children’s books, a series called Nana’s 3 Jars, to teach children about the value of giving, saving and spending money. All of Carol’s books are available through Amazon. In addition to writing her weekly column, authoring books and speaking to women’s groups, she writes for Value News. She also blogs regularly at www.carolaround.com. When she is not writing or speaking, she loves spending time with her three grandchildren, working in her flowerbeds, shooting photos, volunteering at her church or going on mission trips overseas, and hiking. She is also an avid reader and loves working crosswords and trying to solve Sudoku puzzles.