North Iowa Bank Festival 2015

Hurrying and scurrying about this morning with tasks that needed attention caused me to be a little late for the marching bands. I hadn’t attended the Band Festival for a number of years until these past consecutive when I felt compelled to share photos and thoughts on my website. I’m really glad I had that initial selfish business reason which turned into a great personal delight. I forgot to wear a hat and got a little red from the sun. I know you’re all going to laugh when I say this but, I found a very nice spot on the route which I thought afforded very good views and considered it the hand of fate giving me such a great patch from which to view the floats and bands. After about 15 or 20 minutes I noticed an ant crawling on my hand so I waved it off with the thought it having dropped from the above tree. Then came more, and more, and even more. I looked down and noticed likely 50 ants making their way up my trousers. Ugh! I really do dislike having crawling insects making their way up my carriage. In shaking them all off and looking like I belonged in a padded room, I then noticed that I’d been standing on a very large nesting site of nasty big black ants. Even talking about it gives me goosebumps again knowing they were everywhere! Perhaps maybe two of them managed to bite my legs so I guess I should consider myself fortunate. I’ll know better next time to check the ground where I stand when a too free spot stands available.

The weather was great as well as the turnout. The two bands I considered to be the best were from Garner and Lake Mills. I was absolutely wowed by their abilities. I would say Clear Lake’s band had the most attractive uniforms. The choreography of some of the young ladies ahead of the bands were also well performed. There was one group in a particular band of which I cannot remember from which school they hailed.  Watching the old cars, the cleverly designed floats, and the endless smiles coming from the crowd caused me to be ever thankful for making another year’s return to the event.

In saying this, I hope everyone in North Iowa realize how important it is to have community events to help bring us all together as often as possible. It’s a great way to make new friends and re-establish old. It also helps to create incentive for the young to remain here after graduating from the area high schools. The more often we get high schoolers to come here for community events, the more likely they will want to call North Iowa their nesting place. If we want nesters to stay, we must create good and lasting reasons for them to remain and build their permanent nesting places.

I just happened to notice in the parade one of my cousins, who if she didn’t dye her hair would be a dead ringer for my grandmother on my father’s side. I felt as though I was watching my granny having come back to life sporting a new hair color. I rarely see my cousin and believe it would hurt her feelings if I mentioned my why she colors her hair since I knew her grandmother’s hair was nearly pure white at a relatively young age.

I had an opportunity to chat with some people I haven’t see for some time and still managed to make it to my public open house on time.  I give a great bravo to all who participated in the parade as well as all the back-end workers who too often get overlooked and unthanked.

Joe Chodur

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