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An Art Walk Downtown, near Siouxland, Sioux Falls, SD

12 Oct

A sculpted piece of art by Lee Leuning and Sherri Treeby in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A number of communities in Siouxland now have sidewalk adorning their downtown area as does neighboring communities of Siouxland. Sioux Falls is one such place and has had a sculpture walk for a few years. It certainly makes a community come alive with pieces of art sprinkled about. And the community is easily navigated on foot and with space for those who linger to look at the art and those who need to hustle and make their destination.

 

A closeup view and reflection in a sculpted piece by Bruce Stillman in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sculpted piece of art by Peter Vogelaar in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I personally like smaller communities that bustle but one doesn’t feel like you are in a bowling lane like in a larger metropolis and getting jostled about while trying to enjoy the views around you. Some of us are just born tourists and look the part. The downtown area of the community has a nice urban feel and is a nice way to spend a day before going off to see other attractions and just enjoying the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Plants dot some area in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A sculpted piece of art sits between two buildings sharing a patio walk-in area in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Hanging plants add some ambience to downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Plant decorated orbs dot some streets in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An Orpheum Theatre redone with a more modern look in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

On a chilly fall day three women are dressed for the weather as they walk in downtown Sioux Falls, SD Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Labor in Siouxland, Calliope Historical Village, Hawarden

6 Oct

Siouxland is home to a number of a number of historical significance to the region, much like many early settlements in many locations around the country. Calliope Village, according to an official listing at the site of the city of Hawarden where the village is located, came into existence in 1860. “History reports that Sioux County, Iowa was founded January 20, 1860, on the banks of the Big Sioux River on the north edge of what is now Hawarden. Our “founding fathers” were Frederick Hubbell, W.H. Frame, Joseph Bell, and E.L. Stone who founded the settlement of Calliope (Kal’ e ope) for the express purpose of receiving a regulation count salary for organizing a county in Iowa.

In 1869, Calliope consisted of a courthouse, three log homes and about 10 residents. The infant town was driven back to the safety of Sioux City by Indian uprisings. In 1871, the Indians calmed down and the few rugged individuals who were willing to brave the wilderness returned to the settlement to find the original courthouse standing. By 1872 Moses Lewis bought out the remaining initial investors and used the office to issue fraudulent bonds. It wasn’t until 1874 that the settlement of Calliope was actually home to the earliest settlers. Progress came with a hotel, cabins and finally viability was enhanced greatly by the formation of a stage coach line to transport people to and from Sioux City.”

Calliope Historical Village open Labor Day in Hawarden, Iowa Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

That history and the historical village is all that remains of that early settlement. Fundraising and area residents made the village possible to remind current and future residents of the community’s historical background.

So it’s nice to visit the village on a holiday and see people stroll the grounds and check it out. Or relax and enjoy some music provided by a washtub band whose creation was musician’s Jerry Toft.

People celebrate Labor Day visiting the Calliope Historical Village in Hawarden, Iowa Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Musician Jerry Toft plays a washtub bass and performs standards for visitors along with his friends at the Calliope Historical Village during Labor Day in Hawarden, Iowa Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People celebrate Labor Day visiting the Calliope Historical Village and listening to a washtub band in Hawarden, Iowa Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©

I visit the place from time to time. Sometimes with a class I teach and other times during the holidays or when I am passing through the area. The days are always different and so is the light. The village isn’t always open but it’s still nice to stop by and see. Of course the side attractions that come during days like Labor Day are not always present, and are a look back into time itself, and just fun to photograph.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Antique tractors carry a shine while on show at the Calliope Historical Village during Labor Day in Hawarden, Iowa Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Collectible farm tractors for some, on display at the Calliope Historical Village during Labor Day in Hawarden, Iowa Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Someone with a bias toward red tractors as a number of
Allis-Chalmers are on display at the Calliope Historical Village during Labor Day in Hawarden, Iowa Monday, Sept. 3, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Siouxland’s County Fairs, Clay County, Spencer

30 Sep

Every summer I try to attend a couple county fairs. But haven’t been too successful the last couple of years because of conflicting schedules. This year though I did travel to Spencer to visit the Clay County Fair. It’s a rather large affair, bigger than some closer to my home but still encompassing those quintessential elements that all county fairs incorporate. One is 4-H and FFA where kids exhibit their projects for the year whether it’s agricultural in nature or another kind of project.

Controlled chaos as 4-H members show their sows during a competition at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And people stroll the midway and take in the sights that only fairs offer.

A scene at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mother takes a photo of her kids with her phone during the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A family enjoys the rides at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

One young boy was admiring his freshly painted “ghoulish” face in the reflection of a doorway, not noticing a photographer standing nearby. Another couple was immortalizing their visit to the fair together.

A young boy checks out his newly painted face in a reflection of a doorway at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Jayden Helbing, left center, an Bailey Houston, right center, and both of Sioux Rapids, get their caricature drawn by Rex Rubenzer of Wisconsin at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

County fairs are where people come for a little down home entertainment. Some may think it a relic of the past but for small communities it’s one of those passing seasonal venues that people look forward to, relaxing (unless you are a 4-H parent), the chance to eat “bad” fair food like Funnel Cakes and cotton candy, take in some wholesome entertainment and a chance to forget about day to day activities. And these days, hopefully no politicians stopping by to impress people. A place where sometimes families enjoy reunions.

A family finishing taking a reunion photo catches another photographer taking a picture as well at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

So fairs can wear one out walking about and taking in all the exhibits but people still do it and enjoy it and look forward again to next year to repeat the affair.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Sometimes too much fair time can take a toll on a person as a man catches a nap in the shade at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A scene at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

National Old Time Music Fest in Siouxland, Le Mars Part 1

10 Sep

Again this year the National Old Time Music Festival stopped by in Le Mars, Iowa for a week of traditional music that covers a lot or area. And of course people from all over attended both as musicians playing and people attending to listen. It’s a joy that such an event takes place in Siouxland and fun to hear the various styles of music performed by a variety of people.

 

The day I attended midweek saw fewer people attending than I remember when I last visited in 2015. But the audience still enjoyed what they saw and the performers who entertained them.

Laurie Miller, left, of Berkeley, CA, Cynthia DeMarco, center, of Boone, and Teressa Franklin of Wood River, NE performing at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Nancy and Allen Jenson of Heron Lake, MN, center left and right, perform and are accompanied by Mike Rysdal, seated left, Sioux City, Cozette Hemen, Alcester, SD, far right, and Terry Durr, Le Mars, seated back right at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors listen to Wee Willie, right, perform with some friends at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And I had heard that the entire production of the festival may make a permanent move to Fremont, NE. Bob and Sheila Everhart began the festival a couple of decades ago keeping alive the tradition of playing live old time music.

There were so many performers that I will visit some more of them in the next few days, enjoying hearing live music waft over an open area on a nice summer’s day with some good folk who sat back and enjoyed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating Art in Siouxland, Art Splash in Sioux City

6 Sep

Each fall around Labor Day the Sioux City Art Center puts on an art celebration in Siouxland known as Art Splash. A juried group of various types of artists from around the region set up booths to display their wares for people to buy. And most people, depending on the weather, come out to enjoy what’s there and some go home happier with newly acquired pieces of art.

Visitors browse the artists’ booths during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Joseph Murray of Jefferson, Iowa sits among his paintings during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The location of the event has changed over the years. Up until 2011 it was held in a park along the Missouri River, when during that year the hundred year flood forced a relocation. Then it was held in Grandview Park, where the hills may have presented a challenge for people to walk up and down to view the artists.

Now in its 25th year, the event is at Riverside Park, nestled among a flat woodland area that later hosts the community’s Riverssance Festival as well. I enjoy going each year just to see what people are doing. At this point in my life I have fewer needs for more things, and the ability to afford art now is prohibitive for me personally. But it doesn’t mean one can’t draw inspiration and enjoy a day out and see what creative people are doing. And the artists are not limited to just visual arts. One artist, Paul Imholte, bills himself as a stringman and plays a variety of instruments.

Artists’ booth sit among a grove of trees during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Stringman Paul Imholte performs on a hammer dulcimer during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And different people take away from the event different experiences that may be portraits or time spent with family. Even during those years of inclement weather, people can still enjoy what is offered.

Chun Wang of Shawnee KS works on a sketch of Ben Honomichl of Jefferson, SD during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mother and son enjoy a bit of lunch along with a number of their closest friends during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Art Splash makes for a nice Labor Day weekend activity both for the artists and area residents who are supporting people who also labor, but in a creative manner adding another oft times needed dimension to life.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Sioux CIty Growth Organization decorated their booth with balloons to draw attention to themselves during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Two young artists due their best to add to an already colorful pickup truck to make an overcast and rainy 25th anniversary of Art Splash more memorable which was held at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Vvian Miller of Akron, IA talks with a couple interested attendees during the 25th anniversary of Art Splash at Riverside Park in Sioux City, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 1, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Riverboat Days in Siouxland, Yankton

27 Aug

Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD is a celebration in a way of the community’s past history, and a way of remembering the nicer aspects of it. The Siouxland community was built with the help of river traffic flowing on the Missouri River which borders the community’s downtown area. There is a parade one of the days and a number of other activities as well as food vendors and artists’ booths that line Riverside Park which borders the Missouri River.

People walk along the riverfront in Riverside Park looking at artists’ booths during the Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People line the streets waiting for a parade to begin for the Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The parade in a way seems perfunctory or a prerequisite, although a lot of work goes into it and residents enjoy it, catcalling people they know in the parade and just enjoying the day as the community celebrates its history and way of life. Even a small kitten peeking out from a doorway seemed to be in the spirit.

Even a kitten inside of a store looks out to watch the parade for the Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Flags also wave at passing parade floats and agricultural items during the parade for the Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Always a hit during parades, antique tractor equipment roll along during the Riverboat Days Parade in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And on a nice day, looking at artist’s wares and having a selection of various foods, healthful or not, to choose to indulge or just enjoy a view of the river is a day well spent. And will continue to brings its residents and visitors together sharing a moment and having a nice time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

A variety of artist items tempts shoppers during the Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A young boy gets a painted face during the Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People mill about checking out artists’ booth in Riverside Park along the Missouri River during the Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Small Town parades in Siouxland, Ashton

21 Aug

I like visiting small communities throughout Siouxland. They are such a slice of small town America, at least what I remember as a child growing up in Illinois. Different people from different backgrounds and geographic locations recall different memories. But events here like the Town and Country Festival in Ashton is a community event for those specific people. And they enjoy themselves and seeing friends, family and whomever else might happen to stumble into the parade. And all take great pride.

Those who served still honor parades and their country as at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Small communities like these are still tied very much to the surrounding agriculture that occurs in places like Iowa. And so it figures that farming is part of an event or parade.

In small town parades farm equipment is part of the entourage like in the parade for the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Agriculture plays a large part in many small communities even during a parade such as at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the other part of any parade is candy that is tossed out to the kids, sometimes with parents helping, as they gather the treats that might see them through to the next holiday like Halloween or maybe just the next parade.

Kids with some assistance from parents and grandparents collecting candy during the parade at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Most everyone knows who is sitting on the sidelines watching or those in the parade itself. Enjoying a summer’s day, nice weather and a community celebration, until next year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A driver and “passenger” waving to the “crowd” attending the parade during the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Even in small towns people still line the street for parades such as at the Ashton, Iowa Town and Country Festival Saturday, Aug.4, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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