Tag Archives: marcus iowa

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©)

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

 

Honoring those who serve in Siouxland, Marcus

29 May

I went for a drive Sunday afternoon to get out and look around as spring moves into summer and the lure of bright, puffy clouds in a blue sky was also alluring. I drove a ways and ended up in Marcus, Iowa. I had visited this small community once before during a summer fair. The community was quiet, but decorated for honoring those who serve on Memorial Day. And these folks will honor those from their community and surrounding area who answered a call to serve their country. Every year, and other times throughout the year these people are honored. But sometimes on wonders if that is enough in recognizing their service.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Community parade in Siouxland, Marcus

20 Aug

I mentioned in an earlier post about the small Iowa community, Marcus, in the Siouxland area. For the last 31 years it has had its own summertime fair with all the trappings. It has its own parade as well. One of the fun things I like about a small town parade, which is hard to put into print, is that you have much banter going on between the people in the parade as well as those watching. Some are hellos, some are wisecracks, and other endearments. Everyone knows everyone else, practically. And so the camaraderie is nice. In the community’s parade this year were a number of floats with former school graduates from the area, over a period of time. And to hear their comments and watch them, one can almost guess the era they were in school.

It was a fun day to see Americana in action and people truly enjoying themselves.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Fair time in Siouxland, Marcus

16 Aug

Summertime in the Midwest and Iowa in particular for county fairs. I grew up in Illinois and every county had a fair. Those kids who lived on farms were also members of 4-H or FFA and exhibited their animals and other projects at the fair. In Siouxland each and every county has its fair. They all have similar trappings, which is nice. And each have their own niche aspects. I have lived in the area a little over 12 years and just this year learned that the small town of Marcus, Iowa, has its own fair. A community fair, which celebrated its 31st year of existence.

It is what I like about living in areas, more rural areas than large cities, is that there are still those “hidden” gems you never know exist but occasionally run across that you can explore. Not to say large cities don’t have these. I am sure they have more, but small towns are right there in the open but are somewhat invisible. And it had all the trappings of your county fairs, but smaller, with a parade, which will come later in another post. A three-day affair for locals and visitors to enjoy the charms of a small community and to take their minds off whatever political or world event du jour. And enjoy their life there in their community.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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