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Zoey Haywood, 7, right, and her cousin, Daxtyn Haywood, 2, wave U.S. flags on South Main Street during the annual Celebrate CB parade on Saturday.

Celebrate CB 2019 was a success for Council Bluffs and its residents. The theme — “Rolling Along” — celebrated Council Bluffs’ diverse transportation system — including the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad, new interstates and RAGBRAI. It was also the annual celebration of the people of Council Bluffs and their love and dedication to this ever-growing community.

The annual week-long festival featured the annual Clean Sweep — an event designed to not only beautify Council Bluffs, but to help the environment. More than 300 volunteers scattered and collected 3,920 pounds of litter during the event on May 14. The amount of garbage collected is more than 1,160 pounds over last year’s collection and the most collected in the history of the event.

“It’s a nice way to get out and clean up the areas we walk by every day,” Deb Kennebeck, mortgage loan officer at Availa Bank, said after the event.

After cleanup, participants reconvened at Bayliss Park for the award ceremony and announcement that longtime community activists and volunteers Bob and Elaine Fenner were chosen as this year’s Celebrate CB parade grand marshal. Given their long history of generosity to Council Bluffs and Pottawattamie County, the Fenners were a wonderful and more than appropriate choice for the honor.

The Fenners have devoted their love for “all things food” to more than 18 local organizations in the form of raising money through dinners, classes on gardening or cooking, and delivery of food or compost, Lynne Branigan, chair of the grand marshal selection committee, said.

“I cannot even imagine how many thousands of pounds of dough have been rolled over the years to support so many local charities,” Branigan said. “Serving our community without hesitation, the Celebrate CB Committee says thank you.”

In addition to the volunteer work the Fenners have done, they have also won countless volunteer awards with several organizations such as Red Cross, Visiting Nurses Association, Phoenix House and Red Cross.

“With years of service to numerous charities and local organizations, this year’s nominees have touched way too many lives to detail here this evening,” said Branigan said. “Giving generously from an extensive knowledge of all things food, the 2019 nominee clearly demonstrates a commitment to helping those in need.”

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The Fenners led the annual Celebrate CB parade on Saturday, which saw beautiful weather and Council Bluffs residents and visitors who lined Main and Pearl Streets as nearly 88 entry floats made their way through the course, showcasing creative versions of this year’s festival theme: “Rolling Along.”

After the parade, festivities — which were free to the public — continued in Bayliss Park including music and kids’ activities.

Council Bluffs is a community with much to be proud of. And while we can — and should — celebrate that pride year-round, Celebrate CB is a good time for the community to come together and appreciate the uniqueness and wonderful qualities of this city and its people.

We are grateful to those who volunteered their time to plan and execute such a wonderful event.

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