RUSSELL - Wearing her pink cowgirl hat and boots, Ella Buysse of Marshall was all smiles as she rode a pony during the children's activities at Russell's Bandwagon Days.
Ella Buysse waved at her mother, Linda, who was holding a video camera, while her father, Tim, walked alongside her and the pony. Tim Buysse said Ella already had the boots and hat and riding a pony was just an excuse to wear them.
"Her day is satisfied," Tim Buysse said. "She got to ride some ponies."
Photo by Cindy Votruba
Ella Buysse, 3, of Marshall, waves as she rides on a pony while her father, Tim, looks on, during Russell’s Bandwagon Days Saturday.
The Buysses were among several families at Russell's Bandwagon Days Saturday who took in various events together, such as the kids pedal tractor pull, the kids games inside the Russell-Tyler-Ruthton Middle School, the ice cream social at the community center and the grand parade.
Linda Buysse said going to Bandwagon Days was a way to "just get out of the house" and see friends and watch the parade.
The pony rides that were outside the school held Shelby Korman's attention.
"I went twice," she said, as she watched the ponies go around the circle with a group of new riders.
Inside the RTR Middle School gymnasium was a flurry of activity. Kids were throwing darts at balloons, playing a game with an inflatable bowling ball and pins, shooting baskets, shooting hockey pucks toward a goal or playing a fish pond game. Pretty soon, the children had bulging bags of candy and other little prizes.
Brock and Angie Buchert cheered on their kids, Makenzie, Briella and Brezlyn as the girls played the various games. They also helped family friend, Olivia Deutz, take part.
Briella Buchert tried her hand at the hockey game.
"It's just like golfing," Brock Buchert told his daughter.
Angie Buchert said she sees a lot of families getting together during Bandwagon Days.
"Just getting the community out together and spending quality time," Angie Buchert said.
And the smiles on her girls' faces are worth it as well, Angie Buchert said. A few minutes later, Brezlyn's name was called as she won a door prize. The three sisters surveyed the choices, as Brezlyn decided on a "Create Your Own Friendship Stones" craft project.
Casey Williams, 3-1/2, also had won a door prize, Matchbox cars.
"Does grandma get one?" Melanie Williams asked her grandson. He smiled shyly.
Terri Williams, Casey's mom, said they like going to the parade and Casey "really likes the pony ride."
"He wanted to ride the ponies at the rodeo (Friday)," Terri Williams said.
Ashlyn Schouviller said she likes just about "everything" at Bandwagon Days.
"The parade and the pony rides," she said.
After the parade, several went down to the community center for pie, cake and ice cream and lemonade. Sisters Brenna and Emily Alexander looked at all the different choices of desserts, from strawberry or pumpkin pie, to cheesecake or angelfood cake.
Emily Alexander decided to have a vanilla ice cream cone, while Brenna Alexander opted for a piece of Reese's cream pie.
"It sounded good," Brenna Alexander said.