Monday, September 1, 2008

The Clinton Jaycees Gondola

A postcard image of the Clinton Jaycees Gondola.

Shortly after the first Little Italy Festival in Clinton, Indiana, the Clinton Jaycees set out to acquire a gondola for the town and her festival.
Jaycees are a sort of "junior chamber of commerce", dedicated to helping and improving a community, and populated by young people.
Typically, they are non-profit.

After some research, the Clinton Jaycees decided to have one built in Venice.
In November of 1966, the order was placed.
The cost: $1,627.00

The gondola was delivered in time to be part of the 1967 Festival.
For the first twelve years, festival-goers could take a gondola ride on the Wabash River.
After that, the gondola remained on her trailer and has been a part of the parade that kicks off the festival each year.

That festival is going on even as I write this - always taking place over the Labor Day weekend.

The Jaycees gondola afloat on the Wabash River shortly after her arrival in Clinton.

I spoke with a member of the board there in 1999 and again in 2001. So far I've had no luck discovering the name of the squero where the gondola was built.
I guess the next time I'm in the area, I'll just have to stop by and take a close look.
If I do, I promise to post photos.

The Clinton Jaycees Gondola today.

If any of you get to Clinton before I do, please let me know...and please take pictures.

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