Celebrating Independence Day begins this evening, July 4th, with the lighting of luminaries.  Every year, the Raft-O-Rama Committee creates and distributes the luminaries.  A luminary is a small candle in a paper bag, weighted by sand.  The idea is to line them along the shoreline so that Clark Lake will be bathed with their soft glow.

Two versions of the luminaries are available for purchase at Doyle’s Market.  A bag of ten ready-made luminaries is $15; a DIY version, $10. Proceeds benefit Raft-O-Rama.

Photo: Diane Deming

The Menard’s fireworks have become an annual Independence Day event at Clark Lake, and is planned for Saturday, July 6th this year.

Evelyn Menard, now 95, is the inspiration for this extravaganza.  She comments “Fourth of July is my favorite” and she adds at “a place I love, Clark Lake.” The whole family takes on roles to put the show together from their dock at the east end of the lake. Each member of the Menard fireworks team has a role to play.  Reveille and the National Anthem signal the beginning of the show as all voices join in with the patriotic soundtrack.

On the visit to Phantom Fireworks this year, Karen Menard says her mom had “such a good day when she picked out her favorites.”  She was accompanied by ten family members, including two new relatives who “wanted in on the fun.”  Included were her great-grandsons Brendan, Rylan, and Brody.  Also part of the group was one of her grandson’s, Shane, who was in the Air Force for 15 years, nephew Jim Thibert, and great-nephew Jeff Thibert. 

To preview this year’s fireworks, check out this video from last year.

Where is the Menard’s cottage?  Look for this fellow along Ocean Beach Road.  Karen Menard says that he is “Travis Menard, world class cyclist…or at least at Clark Lake.”  Karen adds “he has a look of determination to celebrate the 4th of July with fireworks in his basket.”

Clark Lake is blessed.  Not only will the Menard’s put on their awesome annual display, but it doesn’t stop there. The Mahalak family is treating Clark Lake to a display on Saturday, July 13th.  More on that celebration is on the way on this website.  Stay tuned.

And given this is Independence Day, why join in and say the Pledge of Allegiance?