Lake City goes West
By HANS MADSEN
LAKE CITY – As a visitor drives into town, they’ll spot a sign that claims the city offers everything, except a lake.
During the annual Lake City Western Days, held June 30 and July 1, the town does have a parade, several nights of rodeo, entertainment, food, games, car shows, and ice cream socials.
Who needs a lake anyway?
Tom Reynolds, of Monticello, was responsible for providing shade for members of his family who were getting ready to watch the parade. He had set up a large tent.
“We’ve sat here for many years,” Reynolds said. “We used to have a tree.”
Making sure everyone had a bit of shade fell to the law of the shade tent.
“The big shove the little,” he said, joking.
Nearby, as the parade approached, Michael Spangler, of Farnhamville, was huddled with his son Korbin, 2, to plot their candy-gathering tactics.
“I’ll let him do the running,” Michael Spangler said. “Dad will hold the bag.”
Location is critical too.
“Find a good shade tree close to the road,” Spangler said.
Keeping cool in the heat and humidity proved difficult for Keegan Webber, 13, of Carroll. His job was to ride in the turret of a cardboard tank – complete with World War II-era graffiti – for the Lake City American Legion Post 31’s float.
“It’s not cool,” Webber said. “It’s hot.”
Dwight Johnson, of Lake City, found an easier way to stay cool. He drove his golf cart from home, then parked under a tree.
“Its an easy form of transportation for a man of my age,” Johnson said.
Anyone wanting to shop in the Calhoun County Variety Store during the parade would have been out of luck. Co-owner Gert Hying had a good reason for locking the front door.
“We’ve got to watch the parade,” she said. “It’s only once a year.”
Across the street, her husband, Ken Hying, announced the parade as the nearly 100 floats drifted by. Together, they co-chair the parade committee.
Gert Hying said that besides the parade, there is something for everybody to do.
“It’s their own fault if they’re bored today,” she said.
Dennis Swift, of Fort Dodge, had set up his display of toy fire engines and other interesting items on the square with a great view of the passing parade.
He said he had a lot of people stop by to look at his wares, but that he was having the best luck with a cooler full of ice cold bottled water.
“It’s a good day to sell water,” Swift said.
Events continue today in Lake City with a Top Rail Saddle Club Brunch from 7 to 11 a.m. on the Rodeo Grounds, a Friends of the Library party and grill-out from noon to 1.30 p.m., the Shine and Show Car Show beginning at 11 a.m. in Goins Park, a tractor pull beginning at 11 a.m. at the NAPA store on Iowa Highway 175, a mud volleyball tournament in Goins Park at 11:30 a.m., and the Top Rail Saddle Club’s 53rd annual rodeo at 7 p.m.