Archive | Holidays RSS feed for this section

Celebrating Christmas in Siouxland, Durham Museum, Omaha, NE

29 Dec
People pose for a family snap shot in front of the Christmas tree at the Durham Museum Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Christmas in and around Siouxland is always fun to experience. I have attended a variety of Christmas celebrations in small towns held by communities throughout the years. And since Siuoxland is comprised of three different states, it’s been fun attending Christmas celebrations in South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa.

In recent years I have had work commitments which have curtailed my opportunity to visit various communities and the celebrations each hold ringing in the the Christmas holiday. Which is okay, work helps fund those other explorations of Siouxland when time permits and at some point I might be able to attend some of these again. Almost too many it seems to be able to post, but am happy so many communities and residents celebrate Christmas in one way or another.

A display of Christmas trees celebrating various cultures seen at the Durham Museum Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
The Christmas tree at the Durham Museum Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas time is for rejoicing and celebrating and it’s always nice that it is possible to get out and attend the various activities that are available. Lucky this country is not experiencing the woes and ills that other nations currently are. For all of the problems in the world, it would be nice for the mean ones to take a break from being mean and let people celebrate the season in peace.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A group of friends admire the Christmas tree at the Durham Museum Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Various forms of entertainment takes place leading up to Christmas Day at the Durham Museum Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Christmas in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, South Dakota

25 Dec
A holiday greeting inside a building at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve seen Sunday, Dec.5, 2021 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas comes but once a year, every year, reminding folk the “reason for the season” as the clever phrase or jingle is oft used. Even in Siouxland the Christmas spirit emanates everywhere. And depending on one’s bent, happy holidays, merry Christmas, happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or other faith-based or not celebratory greetings are used.

And it’s not a bad thing to wish another person a joyous day or year. All people deserve kindness and respect although the world is filled with haters. Black and white, no shades of grey or reference to race, but just to good and evil. Life is filled with shades of grey but for one day it would be nice if folk were rise above the pettiness and loathing they may feel or desire to just let life be. And if people can, enjoy the day however and in whatever way it means to them. Some are more lucky than others in doing this, but a sense of peace is something everything should be entitled to.

Citing another oft used sentence: Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A holiday sign spreading the faith at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, Dec. 05, 2021 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Holiday Lights in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

23 Dec

Holiday lights at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

For the last couple of years the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve has been putting up Christmas lights around the homestead that folk can visit each of the four weekends in December, with Christmas Day not included should it fall on the weekend. When the pandemic hit a couple years ago the Adams’ parks manager, Jody Moats, wanted a destination place for people to get outside and enjoy some festive sights as most churches and other organizations were being cautious in having large crowds in small rooms adding to the chance of viral infections. The popularity of the Christmas lights was overwhelming embraced by locals as they can walk through the homestead and meet Santa before his big day.

Santa poses for a photo with fans at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa greets visitors at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Holiday lights at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I find it challenging to photographer as the blue goes fairly fast and the homestead is in a small wooded area, so trying to balance an exposure and still so activity tests one’s skill as a photographer. Some photos I made handheld with the help of a study tree while others were done on a tripod. In situations like this I mostly find the people as props to the Christmas lights rather than the other way around. For the brave folk who brave the chill a little popcorn, candy cane or coffee and hot chocolate brace them until they walk about and for a short time just enjoy the Christmas season.

Jerry Mennnega

Sioux City, Iowa

Holiday lights at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Holiday lights at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Holiday lights at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Candy cane decorations light up the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Holiday lights at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Holiday lights at the Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022 in North Sioux City, SD. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas Light Display in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

19 Dec
Christmas lights on display at the statue garden Wednesday, Dec. 07, 2022 in Winnebago, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

During the Christmas holiday season many people put up Christmas light displays throughout the Siouxland region, as do others through the U.S. and the world. It’s fun to see the displays and enjoy the festive lights cheering up dark nights.

And sometimes those displays juxtapose themselves with nature that adds another dimension to the idea of a light display and makes a photographer feel lucky to capture such an image. During this time of year the blue hour is within a very short window of time. And trying to balance man-made lights with nature is not always easy. Seeing the moon rising brightly I was still a bit late in capturing it with a dark blue night sky. But I still enjoyed the light display and fun imagery it produced.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Celebrating Christmas displays history, Santa’s Castle, Storm Lake

15 Dec
Santa waits patiently for a young girl to stop crying and talk with him at Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop. Santa’s Castle opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People enter Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, as it opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When it’s Christmas time in Siouxland, a favorite place to visit is Santa’s Castle in Storm Lake. It had been a few years since I was last there and always enjoy it because it’s the kind of place that celebrates the kids in all of us. There are so many various types of animatronics on display collected in the last few decades that are still functioning and brings smiles to all who pass through.

This year the Castle was reorganized and displays apparently were grouped by decades of when they first appeared and people come in the front door and then snake around the area until at last they meet the. Big Guy himself, and kids get to ask their favor of Santa.

Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A large contingent of parents and grandparents with children in tow meander through looking for answers to a handout fact sheet they receive when entering. The various displays are mesmerizing and one could stand more minutes at a time to watch the animation unfolding in front of them. Sadder still, maybe, in that some of these animations I recognized seeing as a child myself. Which I hope I still am in spirit if not in flesh.

A family tries to engage a young boy for a photographer as Santa also tries to coach the boy’s attention Santa at Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop. Santa’s Castle opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa and a young boy try to coach the boy’s sister to talk with Santa at Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop. Santa’s Castle opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Walking through Santa’s Castle is a bit of a sensory overload but in a nice way. In the building’s basement is a large scale model train setup that still captivates and holds everyone’s attention, possibly letting them relive those former childhood memories. Memories one may hope that more folk can enjoy in a positive way and find a continuing of the Christmas spirit through the next year.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Children and those young at heart watch a train display as Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop. Santa’s Castle opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa’s Castle, originally Santa’s Workshop, opens its doors for visitors Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 and will run run through Dec. 26 where a collection of animatronic Christmas decorations collected over the years beginning in the 1960’s will be on display seen in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Santa’s Castle Board president Ron Hott, left, talks with electrician Ray Delp, right, about some glitches Friday, Nov. 25, 2022 as Santa’s Castle opens for the holiday season running through Dec. 26 in Storm Lake, Iowa. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying the Holiday Spirit in Siouxland, Christmas Decorations, Gene Leahy Mall, Omaha, NE

9 Dec
After a 3-year renovation project the Gene Leahy Mall shows off Christmas decorations around which families photograph themselves seen Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

With Thanksgiving past along with Black Friday, the Christmas holiday is beginning and many places are already decorating for the upcoming day. Recently I visited a newly renovated park in Omaha, NE, the Gene Leahy Mall. Formerly the place had a few lagoons, but those have been filled in with new landscaping and different design and now sports and Christmas decorations and other accoutrements for the upcoming holiday.

After a 3-year renovation project the Gene Leahy Mall shows off Christmas decorations around which families photograph themselves seen Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

After a 3-year renovation project the Gene Leahy Mall shows off Christmas decorations around which families photograph themselves seen Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The park is much more family friendly these days with many folk coming out to view the decorations and take photos, either by themselves or with a professional photographer in tow to capture this year’s memories to cherish later. And the magical effect of the decorations as the sun began to set made the area almost magical.

After a 3-year renovation project the Gene Leahy Mall shows off Christmas decorations around which families photograph themselves seen Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
Visitors enter the Gene Leahy Mall Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And it’s always challenging to photograph the fading light and the Christmas light together, trying to find that fight balance of ambient and artificial light to create a photo that has a little impact and hopefully catches a viewer’s eye.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

After a 3-year renovation project the Gene Leahy Mall shows off Christmas decorations around which families photograph themselves seen Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
After a 3-year renovation project the Gene Leahy Mall shows off Christmas decorations around which families photograph themselves seen Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
After a 3-year renovation project the Gene Leahy Mall shows off Christmas decorations around which families photograph themselves seen Saturday, Nov. 26, 2022 in Omaha, NE. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An Early Christmas Celebration in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve, North Sioux City, SD

25 Nov

A young boy gets his photo taken during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes Christmas is celebrated a little early in Siouxland as various places and organizations host events and get togethers before the onslaught of family and other activities become overwhelming with too many choices. The Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve held its Christmas at the Homestead which is always early November although this year with the current cold weather that has come early it felt like winter, minus the snow.

Wearing elves hats to get in the mood during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Carolers sing in a former church now located on the grounds during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There is always Santa to greet kids at the welcome center and carolers in the church and activities for children to create crafts in the former one-room school house. And even though it was unseasonably cold this year, many people attended and crisscrossed the grounds to peek inside the various buildings, grab a treat and some hot chocolate getting them in the mood for the upcoming holiday.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A child creates a Christmas ornament with the help of a parent during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People line up to take a Christmas photo looking through a cutout during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Even the sheep are sporting Christmas attire during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Taking a photo with the Christmas sheep during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A decorated Christmas tree inside Mary Adams house during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A line to see Santa next to the Christmas tree in the welcome center during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Children making Christmas ornaments in the one-room school house during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Making their way to the various buildings for different activities during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Christmas lights are strung from the trees are see during Christmas at the Homestead at Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022 in North Sioux City, South Dakota. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Inspiring Art in Siouxland, Art Splash, Sioux City

28 Sep

Artist Maria Loh creates an image on the sidewalk at Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Artist Maria Loh creates an image on the sidewalk at Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Annually in Siouxland a local Art Center in Sioux City holds an “Art Splash” where juried artists can exhibit their wares or creations along with music and activities for children. Artistic endeavors by various artists range from paintings and photography, jewelry, ceramics, wood carving, textiles and fabrics and more.

Jonathan Metzger and his wife, Allison, work collaboratively to create art at Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Jeremy Hansen poses on a sunny day in front of one of his art pieces at Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Todd does some finish work for his paramour Kiara Linda at Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It’s always fun and educational walking about the many artists, seeing the work they have done and feeling inspired and sometimes lazy as one sees the amount of art and effort that goes into some of the items created, whether two or three dimensional. If tired from walking about one can always grab a bit to eat and listen to whatever entertainment is happening at the time. The 2-day event gives one a chance to explore and for many an opportunity to add to their own individual collections be it for indoor or outdoor settings.

Art inspires as do the artists who create it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Sidewalk art created by locals at Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People fill a blocked off downtown street to look at various artists’ booths during Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People fill a blocked off downtown street to look at various artists’ booths during Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Children create art on the sidewalk at Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People fill a blocked off downtown street to look at various artists’ booths during Art Slash, a project of the Sioux City Art Center Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Labor Day in Siouxland, Hawarden

26 Sep

An Iowa Army National Guard Honor Flag unit lead as residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Labor Day in Siouxland and the rest of the U.S. is the holiday that basically says summer is over and fall is beginning with everything else to follow. It’s the time to celebrate the working men and women that make an economy thrive. Most small towns celebrate Labor Day in one way or another. Hawarden does so each year with a parade.

A grain elevator anchors one end of down town as residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The West Sioux High School football team rides in the parade and is a combination of Hawarden, Ireton and Chatsworth communities that consolidated their school resources. Residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Members of the West Sioux High School cheer team rides in the parade and is a combination of Hawarden, Ireton and Chatsworth communities that consolidated their school resources. Residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The small town community celebrates its small town atmosphere. A number of floats contain local town folk, young and older. And the streets are lined from downtown out to a city park with food booths and other entertainment. Probably mild by larger city standards, the parade is enjoyed by the community residents and a chance to relax before life becomes more hectic as schools once again are up and running after the summer break and farmers anticipate their fall crop harvest normally started in October and November, depending on the crop growing season.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Sioux County Youth Fair royalty, princess KAIE PLENDL, left, queen OLIVIA FEDDERS, center and Little Miss Sioux County BREA LEUSINK, ride a float as residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Always a favorite as small town parades the Abu Bekr Shrine Rat Patrol perform precision driving along the parade route as residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A young boys points out the large tractor and grain wagon as residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Mariachi band performs along the parade route as residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Graduating class members of 1972 from West Sioux High School participate in the parade as residents and guests line the street to watch the 2022 Big Sioux River Labor Day Parade, Monday, Sept. 5, 2022 in downtown Hawarden, Iowa. The small western Iowa community is home to roughly 2,500 people and while the celebration’s name and homage has morphed over the 60 decades the parade has been in existence, area locals and former residents still return to partake and visit with old friends. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Remembering on Memorial Day in Siouxland, Ireton

30 May

Organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 community volunteers assist in putting out flags alongside 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28, 2022, prior to Monday’s Memorial Day service. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Memorial Day in Siouxland is remembered by a large majority of folk. It always seems a bittersweet kind of memory. And with the recent spate of mass murder shootings the remembrance is not going to get any easier.

Originally designed to remember those who had fought during the Civil War, Memorial Day today seems to embrace remembering those who served their country and also for the loved ones who are no longer with us.

Organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 community volunteers erected 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28, 2022, prior to Monday’s Memorial Day service. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 community volunteers erected 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28, 2022, prior to Monday’s Memorial Day service. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

An organizer for the white cross and flag display explained this was something new this year for the community, in most part sponsored by the American Legion Bertram Post #276. The 197 with crosses represent those veterans buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery who served between WWI to the present.

Community volunteers came out early on a Saturday morning to add the flags to the crosses as well as putting up larger flags that would line a drive into the cemetery. And weather permitting, a service will be held Monday morning.

Organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 community volunteers erected 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28, 2022, prior to Monday’s Memorial Day service. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 community volunteers assist in putting out flags alongside 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

JIM HUENINK places a flag near a white cross prior to Memorial Day. Organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 community volunteers assist in putting out flags alongside 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28, 2022, prior to Monday’s Memorial Day service. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Ireton is a small northwest Iowa community with a population approaching 600. Memories in small towns are usually taken seriously by community members. Whether it be a remembrance like Memorial Day or when the high school (if there is one these days, and even if there isn’t anymore) won a state championship in whatever sport. All holidays are somehow noted and shared before folk move on to their own sharing with family and friends for that particular day. A time for thought and a silent prayer that maybe life can be better for those who remain.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Members of the Ireton Cadet Club, under the leadership of the Ireton Christian Reformed church, volunteer to place flags alongside 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present, an event organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28, 2022, prior to Monday’s Memorial Day service. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Organized by the American Legion Bertram Post #276 community volunteers erected 197 white crosses that represent all of the veterans buried since WWI to present at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Ireton, Iowa Saturday, May 28, 2022, prior to Monday’s Memorial Day service. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)
%d bloggers like this: