Lots to see and do close to home

There is something simply satisfying about sitting under the canopy of large shade tree on a warm, sunny summer morning. Throw in some kids scrambling for Tootsie Rolls tossed from fire trucks, clever floats, and old tractors and you’ve got yourself a fine Independence Day parade. And the folks in Williams certainly know how to organize a great parade and a fun celebration.

Daniel and I traveled to Williams yesterday for the parade. I’m very proud of myself for getting out of town before 9 a.m. which meant I could snag a convenient parking space on the edge of Williams and then we found a corner bathed in shade from a big tree – perfect for viewing the parade.

I brought along a folding camp chair and Daniel had an old blanket to sit on the ground. He later found that standing was a better vantage point for the candy collection. Even at 12, he was prepared with a large sack to catch the candy passed out. He did really well for himself, coming home with what I estimate will tide him over at least until the Hamilton County Fair Parade.

Hamilton County is blessed with many great summer events that attract residents and visitors alike. Tonight, it’s Webster City’s turn to roll out the welcome mat. This is the second installation of the Summer Nights celebration. A lot of fingers are crossed around town that the rain clouds will stay away this time. The first event held in June was forced inside by rainy weather. But that didn’t stop several hundred people from coming out to enjoy the food, music and other activities at Fuller Hall.

Tonight’s downtown event will feature singer-songwriter Adam Lee from Omaha. First State Bank is making it possible for everyone to enjoy his music at no charge. Webster City Custom Meats and Webster City Boy Scouts will be selling a light meal with proceeds going to help the scouts. There will be pioneer costumes for kids to try on from the Wilson Brewer Park Museums and Visitor’s Center.

A classic old movie, “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” featuring Jimmy Cagney as George M. Cohen will be shown after dark at the First American/Stark Plaza. Bring your lawn chairs and sing along with the patriotic music. I’ll probably have to explain to Daniel who Jimmy Cagney is. And George M. Cohen. They’re a little before his time. But the I’ve seen that movie and it’s a lot of fun, especially all of the singing and dancing.

The farmers market will be open tonight and tomorrow morning at the City Hall Plaza. I stopped down last weekend and brought home some tasty baked goods and some really fresh snap peas and kohlrabi.

Saturday night, there are two big events going on in Hamilton County. There’s a celebration at Little Wall Lake from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., including a free-will donation meal and Sweet Treats Ice Cream will be on site selling their yummy products. Jessie and The Medicine Men will provide music. At dusk, there will be fireworks and a lighted boat parade.

Back in Webster City, the Hamilton County Speedway will host Fan Appreciation Night. Admission is just $5 and fireworks will follow the races.

Why not come out and support local organizations and businesses and have some fun while you’re at it. And listen, if you say you can’t find anything to do in Hamilton County this weekend, you just aren’t looking.