Tag Archives: summer

Summer Concerts in the Park in Siouxland, Sioux City Municipal Band

13 Aug

Summer is that season everywhere and here in Siouxland as well when all want a chance to relax and enjoy local festivities and other forms of entertainment. The local Sioux City Municipal Band has been playing summer concerts for a number of years. It’s a free event and people can bring lawn chairs, pack a snack or summer and sit back and enjoy the sounds which can include patriotic tunes, show tunes, movie tunes and classical tunes. Although I am sure music aficionados would not refer to the music as tunes.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The musicians themselves spend the time to practice and then play these summer evenings which occasionally can include thunderstorms and most likely hot and humid nights towards the end of July. But they persevere as well as perspire like the rest of us, they just don’t show it. But it’s a nice event for local residents and those visiting family over the summer months. The 8-week long series varies with the music selection year to year. But their performance never varies, always enjoyable.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Something residents can look forward too again next year now that the last performance has come and gone and as parent’s thoughts return to the coming school year and others to autumn season which is just around the corner. Instead of hearing the municipal band’s music wafting over the neighborhood Sunday nights, some will begin hearing marching band music Friday nights as the local high school football season kicks off and a different kind of entertainment marks another season of its own.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summertime in Siouxland, Nature in rural Nebraska

7 Aug

Summertime can be a cornucopia of critters, both large and mostly small. Insects blossom during this time of warmer temperatures and humid days. But what can a person do? When driving about in Siouxland I do stop my car and get out and take a look around. Sometimes a closer look, which makes it all the better when one is pleasantly surprised in nature.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A butterfly lands on a thistle in a field at Winnebago, NE August 3, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A butterfly finds a landing spot in a field at Winnebago, NE August 3, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer Means Siouxland Fair Time, Le Mars

5 Aug

Quilting samples and one fair-themed quilt showing at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A mother takes photos of her daughters at a cutout at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Growing up on a farm in Illinois now makes me a little wistful when I visit county fairs in Siouxland. I tend to go a little earlier than then and spend time watching 4-H and FFA kids exhibiting their animals and realize the amount of work they have put into such projects. One needed to care for an animal as well as log information about it’s feeding and care. A daunting task for 8-14 years old kids. Now there is even more competition for their time than when I was a child.

4-H competitors trying “guiding” their charges during a competition at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

It’s not all glamour for the Pork Queen as she hands out ribbons at the conclusion of a 4-H showing competition during the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But that part of the fair still generates interest among those who participate and their families and friends. Competition and winning and losing is all part of the “building character” schtick that comes with participating. And rarely do I stay later when the fair’s rides begin and those other activities come to life. Especially when it’s hot. I tend to bail. Find a food stand or someplace in the shade and a tad cooler. But walking around the animals barns one can find all sorts of interesting scenes. Those members intent on preparing their animal or following the latest development elsewhere.

A young 4-H member tries to brush her steers while also keeping up on social media during the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A steer gets a soap bath before competing during 4-H competition at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But most members of these organizations take their competition to heart. I never really cared if I got a blue, red or white ribbon. It was being there and seeing friends or neighbor kids one probably wouldn’t see for another month until school started. And of course taking in the Midway where the carnival barkers try to entice one to spend a little money or ride the ferris wheel and other rides. So I can only smile when I see someone enjoying them self and think back to my time spent of the fair, participating in 4-H for 9-10 years until I aged out and left for college. And for these young members hopefully this will be a time they too can look back on and cherish or at least fondly remember the better times as they grow and become interested in other activities which may entice them away from these organizations.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Young 4-H members wait to show their chicken projects at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A chicken rests contently in the arms of its owner as she waits to compete at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Photography exhibit at the Plymouth County Fair in Le Mars, Iowa Saturday, July 27, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Patchwork Boat Dock Design in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

3 Aug

New boards on a pier give a checkered board effect at West Lake in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

On a recent visit to the Lake Region in Iowa I saw some rebuilt docks around Arnolds Park and Okoboji, probably due to age and recent storms. The old and new gave me the impression of a patchwork quilt I see in museums and from what I remember seeing in relatives’ homes growing up as a child. Unlike the museum and wall hanging pieces, these are real life and oft used “quilts” that add a visual element if one is keen to observe.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Fish are a Jumpin’ in Siouxland, Okoboji

24 Jul

Young anglers try their luck fishing near the dock in East Lake in Okoboji, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Whenever I visit the lakes region in Siouxland and walk along the “beach” areas around Arnolds Park and Okoboji I always find people trying their luck fishing. One particular day while visiting four young lads were having fairly good luck in catching blue gills near a dock area.

Young boys hoping for a bite while fishing in East Lake from a dock in Okoboji, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Toss the hook and bait into the water and soon one of them was reeling in a hungry and now sorrowful fish. Although one of the four enjoyed casting enough and playing the fish and reeling it in, but  could not bring himself to touch one. So he would let it dangle on the line out of the water until one of his friends took pity on the poor fish back into the water. I couldn’t make up my mind who might be more stressed, the fish which couldn’t breathe, the young man who couldn’t bring himself to touch it or his friends who seemed to be tiring of the repeated scenario. Summertime fun, or a variation thereof, casts its own fascination over those who pursue their interests.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Cruising the Countryside in Siouxland, Winnebago, NE

18 Jul

A country road and knee high corn near Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Sometimes a drive in the country can be a simple retreat from an otherwise hectic pace of the day to day. Some people might think a drive in the country is cruising on an interstate and occasionally looking over to see the “countryside”. Personally, living in a predominantly agricultural area and having grown up on a farm, I like driving those back roads and seeing what’s there. Summer time on the farm meant baling hay at some point. And when driving about I can smell the hay field before I see it, something I can’t share on a page but which brings back childhood memories of stacking bales, lunch in the field, sunshine, hot days and learning about hard work. So drives become a bit of a trip down memory lane as well as curiosity to see what is around the next bend.

A hay field drying in the sun near Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Also stopping anywhere along my slow cruise and sitting quiet, I can hear nature entertain those who take the time and spend a moment to listen and appreciate what lies in view because tomorrow will be a different day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Summer scenics of a sparrow sitting a wire fence in Winnebago, NE Wednesday, July 10, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Summer in Siouxland, Arnolds Park

14 Jul

A worker at a coffee shop prepares for the day in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

“Summertime, and the living is easy……..” are lyrics that perfectly embody taking a day off and enjoying oneself in Arnolds Park. A slight breeze off West Lake is a respite from days of heat and humidity, and so simple pleasures can feel luxurious.

Visitors enjoying a ride in the morning on the oldest wooden roller coaster in Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

It was morning hours and during the week so people traffic was still a little light. But people were still out and about enjoying the Arnolds Park Amusement Park rides and walking along the lake area. I am certain on the weekend this is a hoppin’, happenin’ place to be. Although at this point in my life I like the slower, quieter time to walk about and take in sites or revisiting places I have previously seen.

Visitors enjoy a ride on the ferris wheel just after opening at the Arnolds Park Amusement Park in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

An obelisk designating a memorial to victims of an Indian attack early in the history of settlers living around the Arnolds Park, Iowa area seen Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Also, when visiting places in off peak hours one gets to see local people working, opening up a business in the  morning, making rounds and collecting receipts. It’s the offbeat pieces of life that I find fascinating and sometimes photographic.

Employees, possibly with the city, remove coins from a coin-operated view glass pointed toward West Lake from a viewing area in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Former ride seats sit outside the Arnolds Park Amusement Park area in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

But any trip, whether it’s close to home or in lands far away is only as good as one makes it. You can either enjoy yourself and those moments you are in, or not. And I prefer to enjoy myself, simple pleasures maybe to some, but satisfying to me.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An American flag flies over docks in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A worker at a coffee shop prepares for the day in Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Queen II cruise ship waits for its first outing in West Lake at Arnolds Park, Iowa Tuesday, June 25, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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