Folks flock to Fonda Fun Days

FONDA – Jill Reis, of Fonda, was among the many folks having fun and being fond of Fonda during the annual Fun Days celebration.

She was also showing some of the younger generation how a dedicated parade watcher collects not just candy, but lots of candy.

She has a simple reason.

“I like candy,” Reis said.

So who’s better at it, the small children she was giving the candy to or her own generation?

“Mine,” she said, “They don’t take it as seriously.”

Bruce Erie, of Newell, was watching the parade with his grandson, Leon Erie, 2.

While they both enjoyed it, for Bruce Erie, the many garage sales in the community were a major draw.

He found treasure.

“I got a chain saw for five bucks,” Erie said.

Apparently, at least according to the seller, it may even run.

“He said it works,” Erie said, “It just needs to be cleaned.”

Kim and Todd Ummach, of Sioux City, hit some of those garage sales too.

They found no serious treasure though.

“I just got a few knicknacks and stuff,” Kim Ummach said.

However, they were holding onto hope.

“We have a few more to hit,” Todd Ummach said.

Their daughter, Mckenzie Ummach, 18, watched the parade along with her parents. She enjoyed an elevated seat in the bed of the family’s pickup on a comfortable lawn chair.

Pleading sleepiness, she left the candy collecting to her younger sister, Mya Ummach, 9.

“They were handing it to me,” Mckenzie Ummach said. “I just woke up.”

Mya Ummach did well though. Besides several pounds of candy, she also got a popcorn ball, a T-shirt and several fliers from area candidates for office.

She can vote in nine years.

Cody Culver, of Omaha, was spotted after the parade walking down Main Street carrying an antique child-size school desk above his head.

“We just bought it at a garage sale,” he said.

The only flaw in the plan: the sale and the family car were three blocks apart.

Kelly Simpson, of West Des Moines, was watching her children Abe Simpson, 3, and Leah Simpson, 1, build a tower at the LEGO Fun Event held in the Fonda Public Library following the parade.

She resisted, as she does at home, the temptation to alter the children’s building plan.

“I just let them build what they want,” she said.

She said her son leans toward the construction of castles, and she denied making her own creations with the building block toys when her children aren’t using them.

“I’m not a sneaky LEGO builder,” she said.

Neil Peterson, an instructor in the engineering and design technology program at Iowa Central Community College, brought a friend with him to the LEGO event – Zack, a small two-wheeled robot that can maintain its balance. It’s made from LEGO.

“Yes,” Peterson said. “You can do that with LEGO.”

He said that LEGO goes far beyond merely being a toy, and that LEGOs can help develop skills vital to working in his field.

“They help develop (students’) ability to reason, to set a goal and work though it while exercising their creativity,” Peterson said.

Success as an engineer or designer requires a creative spark beyond logic.

“You have to have a creative element,” he said. “LEGO allows that.”

Besides that – as was evident by the more than 30 children putting their creations together on the floor – they’re fun too.

Other Saturday events included a car show, car stereo contest, barbecue contest and a rodeo in the evening. Today’s events include a Demo Derby at 1 p.m. with a lawn mower demolition following the big vehicles. It’s being held behind the Fonda Sale Barn by Straight Park.