MARSHALL - There are many summertime sounds, but perhaps the greatest of them all is laughter, and the sound of laughter could certainly be heard throughout the community of Marshall this past weekend during the Sounds of Summer (SOS) celebration.
With a 5K race, Shades of the Past cruise, children's activities, Nasty Habit concert, a "Hamlet" performance and a grand parade Saturday, there was something fun for everyone to do.
"It's a perfect way to end the summer," said Marshall resident Trish Paradis, who brought her two grandsons to the festivities Saturday.
Photo by Jenny Kirk
As Cody Greve, right, looks on and awaits his turn, fearless Isaac Laleman takes a high-flying leap forward on one of the inflatable play areas around Marshall Saturday for the 2012 Sounds of Summer celebration.
Lisa Myhrberg and her family not only took in a number of activities on Saturday but also enjoyed what SOS had to offer on Friday.
"It's great," she said of all the activities going on. "I like that there's activities for the kids and for the adults. I went to Smokefest (at Southwest Minnesota State University on Friday night) and enjoyed that. The parade was good, too."
Since her stepson, Ryne Myhrberg, plays for the Mustangs, Lisa Myhrberg said the SMSU football scrimmage was also a must-see event Friday.
Under an umbrella of sunshine, countless people of all ages were lined up and down Main Street for the grand parade, including Alexus Jones, 6, and her sister Ava, 3, who, with plastic bags in their hands, were both patiently waiting for the parade to begin.
Among the 20-plus Shades of the Past vehicles in the parade, only one didn't make it the entire route. Because of a previously-unknown but faulty gas gauge, SOS committee member Wayne Mack said, the car ran out of gas. Hours later, the unfortunate driver got plenty of razzing from fellow Shades members.
Like many of the parade-watchers, 1-year-olds Kira Hernandez and Prairie Wilson took time to interact with each other. Without saying a word, the new friends compared shoes and pumpkin candy holders while sharing sidewalk space.
Two-and-a-half-year-old Elsie Deutz dressed up like Snow White for the occasion. Along with 4-year-old siblings Samuel and Autumn, Elsie sat on the curb awaiting the next parade float with Dayna Wingert of Marshall.
Young siblings Maddy and Jackson Carrow were too excited to sit during the parade and kept edging closer to the action, as did Season Buchholz, 7, and Chloe Buchholz, 4.
"My grandkids (Carolyn Verschelde and Joe Verschelde) loved the parade," said Judy Hoffman of Marshall. "We went to the pancake breakfast, the parade and then over here (behind Caldo Italian Kitchen)."
After the parade, children had access to a variety of ever-popular inflatables in addition to a train ride, food, dancing and musical entertainment.
"I enjoyed the fancy cars, the bouncy things and the food," said Carolyn Verschelde of Minneota.
For Joe Verschelde, the best part of SOS was "going on these rides."
One of the most popular inflatables was the gladiator joust, where two friendly competitors tried to knock each other off a pedestal.
"My grandkids really like the joust," Hoffman said. "They've been on it three times already. I think they like to fight each other."
Marshall eighth-graders Payton Wellnitz, Samuel Dieken and Carson Douglas appeared to be having a blast running back and forth between the inflatables.
"I really like the bouncy houses," said Wellnitz, who also pointed out that he was in the parade, playing trumpet for the marching band.
For Dieken, the best part of SOS was "the bouncy houses and the food, especially the burgers."
Douglas enjoyed his surrounding company the best.
"I like hanging with all the kids," he said.
When now Marshall resident Olivia Macchio was 2 years old and living in Florida, her mom took a picture of her eating a giant turkey drumstick. On Saturday evening, Macchio, now 9, couldn't resist the delicious temptation once again.
"It's good," she said.
Others, including children and adults, indulged themselves in different summertime favorites, like sno cones, cotton candy, supreme nachos and pizza. There was also a variety of ice cream treats available, courtesy of a Junior Achievement program fundraiser.
"We've made over $500 (Saturday)," Charlie Ehlers said. "It's for a program that focuses on free enterprise. We're in a number of different school districts in the area now, about 90 classrooms I think. We're in Lyon and Murray counties and now we're just getting into Lincoln County."
Having just completed a three-day dance camp, nearly 50 area girls showcased their newly-learned dance routines during the festivities. While many area families were gearing up for the first day of school (today), others were still trying to squeeze the last drop of fun out of SOS Sunday. After a morning community praise service, a free splash party was at the Marshall Aquatic Center.
"It's a pretty cool party," Marshall student Nick Dunn said. "The water is cold, but it feels good."