Full of family fun

MARSHALL – Although the day started out gray and cloudy Saturday morning, the sun came out, and the weather got warmer for the last full day of Marshall’s Sounds of Summer festival.

From being in a 5K to listening to performances by Tracy native Kayla Daniels to kids and adults taking part in a pedal tractor pull, the day way packed with activities.

Around 160 people participated in the 6th annual Marshall M Club Tiger 5,000 5K race and walk. And while runners went by the Marshall Area YMCA around 8:50 a.m., members of Marshall’s Sunrise Rotary Club were busily making and serving pancakes for one of its biggest fundraisers. Things were picking up, said Rotary member Bruce Lamprecht.

“A lot of activity in the last 15 minutes,” he said.

Last year’s breakfast cleared about $2,000, said Rotary member Mike Rich.

“We couldn’t pull it off if it wasn’t for Eric Luther,” Rich said, adding that Luther helps get things set up. This year’s Rotary pancake breakfast was moved from the airport in Marshall to the YMCA.

“It’s closer to all the activity,” Lamprecht said.

Rich said the funds raised at the breakfast go toward various projects.

“Our main focus of the club is feeding those who would otherwise go without,” he said.

Tricia Zimmer, along with her son, Stephen, and friend Kari Muller, who was visiting from Mario, South Dakota, were also having breakfast at the Y.

“We like the variety of events,” Zimmer said about Sounds of Summer. Some activities are for family, like the Smokefest at Southwest Minnesota State University or the inflatable games for kids.

“We always go to the parade every year,” Zimmer added.

Muller said she likes coming out to visit Marshall.

“I try to make it each year,” Muller said. “I’m always open to whatever’s going on.”

Zimmer said she’ll also take her friend to some of the new shops in town as well.

Cloie Stevens, who was crowned the Lyon County queen Thursday night, was ready to do her first official duty of being in Saturday’s parade. On Saturday morning, she was having pancakes with her family.

“I was breathless,” Stevens said about representing the county.

Colen and Alex Moudry and their father, Bill, were also having breakfast together at the YMCA. Colen was looking forward to swimming and visiting some friends, and Alex said he liked seeing relatives.

A family fun event was at The Escape Spa, which included carnival games, bounce houses, face painting and an adult craft fair. Owner Ashley Potter said she’s done this event for years in Cottonwood before bringing it to Marshall.

“We just decided to do it (for Sounds of Summer) because more people will be in town,” Potter said.

Jennifer Lundberg watched Aubree Lundberg play a few of the games at the family fun event. She said that her family attended the activities at Smokefest Friday night, which included the movie “Frozen.”

“That was pretty fun,” Jennifer Lundberg said.

“They should do that again,” Laurae Hively said about the family events at Smokefest. Hively is Aubree’s grandmother.

Annie Wing, along with her kids Braelyn and Deacon, decided to try a game that involved balancing a large colored egg on a wooden spoon. John Rabaey, who was helping run the game, noted that only one person has won the game.

“Mommy will try it with you,”Annie Wing told her kids.

Annie and Braelyn Wing walked carefully as to not jostle the egg.

“Really steady there,”Annie Wing told Braelyn. The two finished the race without having the egg drop.

Throughout the late afternoon and evening, kids were lined up to take on the various inflatable games. After taking part in the parade, Elizabeth Coudron and her friend Hannah Bauer had a friendly round at one of the games.

“I think they do a good job of making this family-friendly,” said Elizabeth’s father, Ron about the Sounds of Summer.

The Marshall Fire Department had its annual burger fundraiser to raise money for the department’s 125th anniversary next year. Fire Chief Marc Klaith said about 1,500 people were served last year, and the event raised $3,500.

On Sunday morning, there was a brief ceremony to unveil a plaque at the base of the Mrs. Whitney statue.

John Sterner, who created the statue, admitted that he gets so involved in the artistic process that he’ll have blackouts when he makes things.

“I drive out here, wondering ‘who made this?'” he said. “For me, there are a lot of pieces here (that) are ‘that moment.'”

Harry Weilage, director of Marshall Community Services, said the Mrs. Whitney statue serves as a good entrance to the downtown area.

“It’s just a discovery piece, she’s (Mrs. Whitney) has done everything we asked of her,” Weilage said.

As you drive by, the statue gives you something to look at, Sterner said.

“It’s very much a centerpiece,” he said.

Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes said the Mrs. Whitney statue is “something we can be proud of” and that the small ceremony Sunday morning was a nice closing for Sounds of Summer. It was a bookend with the opening of the Sounds of Summer festival with the dedication Thursday of the sports/recreation mural that was created by artist Terrence Fogarty for arts in the community, he added.

Marshall City Council member Ellayne Conyers, who was also vital in the project, said she appreciated the efforts it took for the statue to be created.

“You got it perfect,” Conyers told Sterner.