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Crowing about the Scarecrow Festival in Siouxland, Akron

9 Oct

I made my first visit to the Akron Scarecrow Festival this year. I am always amazed at finding new events and places to check out in Siouxland. A family-friendly event with some art booths and food and a competition with the best Scarecrow figure.

A scarecrow helps hold up a tree in the park at the 17th annual Scarecrow Festival in Akron, Iowa Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Visitors could wander around and vote on their favorite one to help judges select an overall winner and runners-up.

Scarecrows of various kinds adorned the park at the 17th annual Scarecrow Festival in Akron, Iowa Saturday Sept. 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always fun to see community’s supporting their own events and enjoying the end of one season and the beginning of another. Although I hope Christmas is a way off yet.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Seeing History in Siouxland, Marcus Historical Center

3 Oct

When I attended a fair earlier this summer at Marcus, Iowa I also stopped in at the Marcus Historical Center.

The Marcus Historical Center sits across from the Marcus Community Fairgrounds in Marcus, Iowa Saturday Aug. 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Most small communities have their own museum, or at least a place that is a repository of historical information about the community. It’s a great place when visiting somewhere new to learn more about the history of that place and get a better understanding of the community and area. At the time I was in the museum there were more older people looking and reminiscing about the “good old days”. Which to me always seems to be a matter of perspective and what side of the divide you happened to be on during that earlier period.

But there were some families there with children in tow. Taking a break from the fair and “seeing” some history. And every place has different items and events to tell. Many have yearbook photos from early and later days as well as newspaper clippings depicting certain memorable events that took place.

Visitors of the Marcus Historical Center look over exhibits in Marcus, Iowa Saturday Aug. 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The old saying of “If you don’t know where you’ve been so how do you know where you are going?” always comes to mind when I visit these museums. A lot of smaller communities were more robust in their early years when the railroad was first making its way across the nation. Communities sprang up, thrived, and then began to scale back a bit as businesses ceased and residents left and larger communities started attracting younger people who moved for opportunity. And in some cases, the railroad left as well, leaving behind memories but no clear direction of where the community would be headed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Small town Siouxland fairs, Marcus

21 Sep

In August I spent part of a day at a small community fair in Marcus, Iowa. The community has about 1,000 residents give or take. But it prides itself on providing this summer time venue along with a parade that runs through the downtown area of the community.

A bright sunny day for the Marcus Community Fair in Marcus, Iowa Saturday Aug. 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Emergency vehicles and local school students are part of the Marcus Community Fair parade in Marcus, Iowa Saturday Aug. 12, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Residents, present and former come out to enjoy the day and spend time with family and friends. I missed the earlier activities involving 4-H and the showing and exhibiting of animals and crafts. Fairs in small towns these days seem a lot smaller to me now that I am older than when I was a kid. Remembering trying not to get lost at the fairgrounds my parents took us and during the 4-H events that were held there.

It’s just time nicely spent. No hurry and enjoying the memories from my youth and seeing others enjoy their day and making memories as well.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Celebrating History in Siouxland, Yankton, SD

17 Sep

As I mentioned previously a number of communities have community celebrations toward the end of summer which then leads them into the fall season. Yankton, SD recently celebrated its Riverboat Days with a parade and art fair.

Color guard at the Riverboat Days parade in Yankton, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Like most parades everything was patriotic. Flags were flying everywhere and for this particular parade I focused my photography on that aspect of it.

Antique cars drive through the Riverboat Days parade in Yankton, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is nothing wrong in showing one’s allegiance through flying your country’s flag. I found it interesting how some parade participants accomplished that. It challenges one to carry a theme through a shoot sometimes, although I may have broken that theme by including a band’s cheer squad’s flags, but sometimes a little contrast is needed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the Light in Siouxland, Sioux City

13 Sep

I attended a community gathering near where I live at a place called Peters Park. When Sioux City was first established in the late 1800’s the park was an actual park with grass and trees and a place for residents to stroll. A trolley car even ran from the Morningside area to downtown Sioux City. But that was another century or two ago and for the most part forgotten history. But businesses in the vicinity of the park, now parking lot next to a city library branch, hosted a little meet.

Pinnacle bank offered a sandwich, chips and a drink to community member during a night out at Peters Park area in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday Sept. 5, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A local bank provided sandwiches and chip and drink while others provided DQ Dilly bars and soda and water and a local car club showed off some of its members’ rides. Classic cars some, others just gleaming with a great deal of care.

Classic cars had peoples’ attention during a night out at Peters Park area in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday Sept. 5, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

What I like about these events is the time of day and the light. Early evening, a strong summer light still and amazing colors of the various cars. I just find it a great combination and sometimes a challenge to really show off the subject matter in what most times might not be the most flattering light. So it puts one’s skills to the test and helps to make these beauties pop.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Last Summer Fling in Siouxland, Orange City

11 Sep

Recently the Siouxland community of Orange City hosted its last city-wide celebration for the summer, its Arts on Central street fair. A family event that drew out the many inner artists, adults and kids alike, as well as local college students and some others dressed as Disney Princes and Princesses.

Sarah Weber and daughter Emma leave their (chalk) mark on the street at the Arts on Central arts street fair in Orange City, Iowa August 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Princess from “Shrek” takes photos with some eager fans at the Arts on Central arts street fair in Orange City, Iowa August 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Local artists of all stripes presented some wares and bands performed as various venues around the downtown area. Orange City sponsors many events the middle of the week throughout the summer months as well as its annual Tulip Festival and this year it was the starting point for the RAGBRAI bike ride.

A music group sings acappella at the Arts on Central arts street fair in Orange City, Iowa August 23, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s nice that the community offers events for its residents to enjoy and equally nice that the residents take advantage of the events creating a special circle that hopefully will remain unbroken. It makes for a fun evening strolling the streets, talking with friends and enjoying the last fleeting days of summer before fall starts and eventually, winter.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Annual Festival closes out Siouxland Summer, Riverboat Days Yankton, SD

9 Sep

As the summer months draw to a close I always enjoy the end of the season festivals many smaller communities hold annually. One of those is Riverboat Days in Yankton, SD. Besides the parade through the downtown area, the park along the Missouri River is filled with arts and crafts booths, music venues and food booths. Packed into a small area, one can get lost wandering among the many attractions, which on a warm but breezy day is not a bad thing.

People browse the many art booths at the Riverboat Days Festival in Yankton, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is always a diversity in the artists participating as well as musicians performing and the food offered. It’s nice to grab a seat and replenish oneself after walking a bit and to stop and enjoy whatever music you happen by as well.

A cutout for the ultimate selfie for those budding artists at the Riverboat Days Festival in Yankton, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Artwork from the whimsical to more serious and utilitarian pieces as well as wall art could be found at the Riverboat Days Festival in Yankton, South Dakota, August 19, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When the festivals roll around one knows summer is coming to an end. But for me, I am ready for fall, probably my favorite season. Plus it’s nice to be able to wander and look at all the artwork people are producing as well as sit and enjoy the river flowing by, part of the roadway the Lewis and Clark and company followed. To sit and enjoy the end of a season and look forward to another beginning shortly.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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