Summer time is the season for sunburn, watermelon and showing hometown pride.
I had the opportunity to attend the Albert City Summerfest on Saturday, where life is "So Swede!"
The parade route was filled with lawn chairs and kids with bags to carry the candy being handed out by many. The American flag was displayed often but the most unique flags were the American and Swedish HUMAN flags. (Four Albert Citians were dressed in a sort of sack which made up part of each of these flags; when they walked together, they made a great flag.)
The citizen of the year and firefighter of the year are named during this parade.
This year, the entire Albert City-Truesdale staff and teachers received the award. "Through their hard work, examples of character and caring hearts, these people have helped our children grow and have touched the rest of us well," the announcer, Randy Bobolz, said of the group. "The teachers and staff of AC-T exemplify what community is all about."
And Luke Ehlers was named as firefighter of the year for dedicating over seven years to the department and community.
In keeping with their Swedish traditions, the Swedish Midsummer Pole Dance was held, complete with Swedish music.
The over-sized grills were sizzling with fresh Iowa turkey, beef and pork and the ice cream churns were churning, all for the hungry crowd gathered under the shade trees in the city park for a picnic.
There was even music to enjoy while eating and talking with family and friends. The community band, made up of was not only Albert City folks, but many avid musicians who want to share their sounds. As warm as it was, the dedicated musicians of all ages provided music for a full hour while sitting in the gazebo in the center of the park. Completing their session, they played the National Anthem. Everyone present gave their utmost attention to the song and at the precise moment, faced the musicians, removed hats, placed hands on hearts and showed their pride for the nation. Applause followed.
The museum was open, the library housed a handmade quilt show, and tours of the new ethanol plant - a proud example of progress of the community - were held.
This was one fine celebration.
There will be other communities in the area showing pride - Laurens and Early celebrate their 125th birthdays in July and Schaller will host their annual Popcorn Days soon.
Sioux Rapids has Tall Corn Days and of course, Storm Lake's Star Spangeld Spectacular is the largest party of all.
I hope I will have the chance to take in some of these events as well.
I like the smiles, I like the pride, and I like even getting a couple pieces of candy thrown to me at the parade, too!
* Reach reporter Lorri Glawe at firstname.lastname@example.org