Tag Archives: Community celebration

Enjoying a Town Fair in Siouxland, Marcus

19 Aug

Many of the floats seen during the at the Marcus Town Fair parade contained graduating classes and families celebrating in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

Bigger isn’t always better. And sometimes the smaller events have that small town feel, where practically everyone knows everyone else. Visiting the community of Marcus this year during its annual town fair is always fun. I arrived later than I wanted though, and while I got to see the parade, I missed earlier events at the fair but didn’t stay long enough to see any of the rides in action.

Still a little early in the day for rides to begin at the Marcus Town Fair in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

A wood pile for possible use by a chainsaw artist createing his pieces during the Marcus Town Fair in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

A chainsaw artist creates his pieces during a demonstration at the Marcus Town Fair in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

There is animal judging for the 4-H kids and exhibit halls with a variety of items to check out and always a delicious noon meal for which was over by the time the parade started which was later in the afternoon. Parades are always highlights of community celebrations. The kids don’t go home empty handed, no matter what the age. And the floats in the Marcus parade generally included high school graduating classes from years’ past and families having one big reunion and a reason for those who have left to return, if just to see their relatives.

Kids scramble to collect candy tossed by passing “floats” during the Marcus Town Fair parade in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

It’s not just youngsters who should be able to catch and gather treats during the Marcus Town Fair parade in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

One can possibly expect too much when visiting these events. Having worked for various newspapers over the years I learned to take in all in stride, each one being unique in and of itself if one just enjoys what is before you, rather than wishing for something that isn’t, or will not be there. It’s a slice of Americana nestled in flyover country which doesn’t disappoint those who participate and attend. Life is, and you make the best of it.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An older parade watcher, possibly a farmer, checks out the farm equipment as it passes by during the Marcus Town Fair parade in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

A number of “antique” and collectible farm tractors on display at the Marcus Town Fair in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

 

An exhibit with a sense of humor on display at the Marcus Town Fair in Marcus, Iowa Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019 . (photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

Celebrating Dutch Heritage in Siouxland, Orange City

4 Jun

A young boy rests in his father’s arms as his mom explains he needs a nap during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Catching every corner of the street these two ladies leave no inch untouched during the street scrubbing at the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The annual Siouxland Tulip Festival recently once again allowed the community of Orange City to exhibit its Dutch roots and heritage and program a nice day for those attending for a pleasant day trip and a community celebrating. There are some tasty treats both in seeing costumes depicting various regions of the Netherlands as well as food items. Many people participating in the festivities have been doing so for years, maybe decades, beginning when they were students in the schools and later as adults.

There is always time during the Straat Feest to take time and say hello to friends as participants “model” authentic, distinct and varied Dutch attire from the Netherlands during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Local high school students perform traditional Dutch dances at the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Civilians “hoof it” across the street as local high school students hoof it as they perform traditional Dutch dances during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I always fascinated watching people and while it shouldn’t I am still surprised  that with so much activity going on around one that some folk, while possibly sharing the day, seem more likely disconnected from what is actually happening.

With a lot of Tulip Festival activity going on around them, two young ladies still find time to possibly do social media while in Orange City, Iowa, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But it’s fun to see folk sharing their heritage and for some school children, especially those involved in the street cleaning, there may be a little more going on. One young man this year seemed to get caught between his many friends while preparing the streets for the parade.

Participants chat as they await the start of the the Straat Feest where they “model” authentic, distinct and varied Dutch attire from the Netherlands during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The amount of fun that school children (boys) have when cleaning the “dirty” streets is not lost on them, especially on a warm day during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The amount of fun that school children (boys) have when cleaning the “dirty” streets is not lost on them, especially on a warm day during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The amount of fun that school children (boys) have when cleaning the “dirty” streets is not lost on them, especially on a warm day during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Ah, what are friends for anyway but to share experiences they can look back on in years to come. And possibly have families that remain in the area and see their children partaking of the same experiences and making their own memories with their friends and sharing a pride of community and heritage that defines a special time and place.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The bristles on the broom look well worn away as a mother also pulls a wagon with her daughters “resting” during the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A display of wooden shoes at the Orange City, Iowa Tulip Festival, Thursday, May 16 2019. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A Lighted Parade in Siouxland, Le Mars

26 Dec

Santa and Mrs. Claus wave to those attending the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People bundled up against the cold attending the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Despite the cold people lined the streets to watch the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The Lighted Parade that is an annual event in Le Mars was postponed a week because of a snow storm that basically brought the area, and actually most of the country, to a stand still. The storm basically shut down I-29 and many secondary county and state roads. A lot of events were cancelled. However, the parade happened the following week. There was less snow, but the cold and a crisp wind made for a very chilly night as people bundled up to watch those parade floats that participated in the second attempt.

Parade participants grab for more candy to pass out during the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Everyone bundled up for the cold to watch and ride in the Christmas Lighted Parade in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And later there is always the visiting of the Pioneer Christmas Village at the Plymouth County Fairground. A brisk walk and ride for those so inclined to sit behind chilled horses giving “sleigh rides”. And a few watch fires to roast marshmallows and warm hands and feet.

Christmas lights lit up the Pioneer Village Christmas at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An attendant feeds a fire at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds Pioneer Village Christmas in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

When thoroughly chilled, I ducked inside a couple of places to view Christmas decorations and to see decorated Christmas trees. But inside where the trees and a few dozens other people kept fogging my camera lens which gave a hazy appearance that was not really the case indoors. But still a delight to see many happy people anticipating the day, and especially kids, whose eyes still grow wide seeing Santa decorations in the Round Barn and also in person, granting those last timed wishes for Christmas morning.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A variety Christmas decorations greeted people inside the Round Barn at the Plymouth County Fairground’s Pioneer Village Christmas in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Camera lenses fogged up inside a pavilion where decorated Christmas trees were located for the Pioneer Village Christmas in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

 

Enjoying a Community Christmas Celebration in Siouxland, Remsen

20 Dec

Most small communities in Siouxland enjoy a collective Christmas celebration before retreating into homes or churches to celebrate the holiday with family and friends. Visiting the small community of Remsen and seeing the fun people have just gives one a little more faith in humanity and people’s shared bonds.

The community of Remsen, Iowa celebrates Christmas a little early, Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The downtown area is decked out with decorations during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Community residents got together in the downtown area to revel in the upcoming holiday celebration with stores open and serving hot drinks and cookies while others stayed outside and snag carols and enjoyed the chill in the air along with a few well positioned watch fires.

Watch fires keep residents warm during a chilly evening as they have a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Local fire department members roast marshmallows for the kids during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Local school children sing carols during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Some well-meaning firemen who kept the fires burning were a little too over-enthusiastic in providing roasted marshmallows, trying to mitigate the effect of the fires before handing them off to recipients.

One local fire fighter, center, was having a little too much success roasting marshmallows as he blows out the flaming pair during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And then the moment arrives when the Big Guy, Santa, arrives, the downtown Christmas tree is lit and admirers rush to see the jolly elf.

After santa’s arrival and with the watch fires lit, the community Christmas tree lights up the night during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Santa greets some admirers after being dropped off downtown by the local fire department during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

After that it’s a trip to the local museum where St. Nick sits and poses for photos with a never ending supply of fans waiting their turn to ask for special gifts and savor a moment that most every child in Siouxland has probably experienced once, if not more, in their lifetime.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Parents juggle jackets and phone cameras as Santa juggles kids for pictures during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Parents and grandparents and children crowd into the local museum to see Santa during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The local museum was full to capacity as parents and children waited their turn to see the Big Guy in Red during a Christmas community celebration in Remsen, Iowa Monday Dec. 3, 2018. (Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Celebrating Apple Fest in Siouxland, Woodbine

26 Oct

A good crowd braved a soggy day to attend the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

This Siouxland fall has been a bit trying for people. For farmers, some have only started getting their crops out of the field. For others, community celebrations and other events held in the fall have seen cool, wet weather. This was true of Woodbine’s Apple Fest this year.

Enjoying a wet day and checking out the vendors during the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A bit of rain all day long was the order for the day at the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I did find it interesting for an apple festival there was only one vendor actually selling the fruit, and a church organization selling carmel covered apples. The festival mostly seemed to revolve around the cars people brought to display. A local sheriff’s deputy explained to me on those festival days in past years with sunshine and better weather, they could have been an additional 250 cars sitting around town for people to enjoy.

Checking out the classic cars downtown during the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

During a soggy day, people tried to keep dry while downtown with the classic car display during the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Street art on display as well as classic cars at the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Of course it wasn’t only the traditional four wheel vehicles that got judged for competition. Being an agricultural area, it was nice to see some tractors and admirers taking in the scene.

Some people were not just only enjoying classic cars downtown at the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The judges seemed to do their best to work with the wet conditions, although I thought wet paper and a bleeding pen would give them “cover” if someone one and someone else complained about it. “I was sure I had written these numbers, but with the wet paper I must have read it wrong.”

Judges try to keeping from getting wet along with their judging sheets during the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And people did their best to stay dry and enjoy the festivities and walk about the downtown area enjoying themselves on a fall weekend.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Trying to keep dry during a soggy day at the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A vendor works at keeping rain out of her display area during a soggy day at the Apple Festival in Woodbine, Iowa Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

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