This past weekend my little town celebrated their annual “Steamboat Days”. Once upon a time this little town was riverboat community–the last stop on the Minnesota River the could be reached by boat. But that was a long time ago, before the trains took over. The community enjoys it’s rich heritage, having entire blocks downtown designated as a historic district and by remembering it’s past with “Steamboat Days”.

Anna started her own little party by inviting her friend, Ali (this is the friend that went with us to ND this past summer), for a sleepover. Ali and her family just moved into the neighborhood last week.

What have you done with my daughter?!

City-wide garage sales are a big part of the weekend. They started on Thursday and Ellie was disappointed that she had to go to school instead of garage saleing with me. The sales were still going on Saturday morning so after Daddy gave Ellie $3 to spend we headed out into the neighborhood in search of good deals. For her $3 she got: a stuffed puppy dog, a stuffed deer, a plastic ice-cream cone shaped container filled with beads, knit slippers (with puppy dogs on them) and this

Rainbow stripped hair. She had them put it up in a ponytail since she was headed to her first dance class of the year later in the morning. Note her new sparkly leotard. This year she has the same teacher (that we love!) and she is now taking ballet and jazz. There are no more circles on the floor indicating where they are to stand–they are big girls now. And Ellie was thrilled at this: they get to practice their ballet at the bar.

The big “Steamboat Days” party was Saturday night featuring games, music, food, drink and fireworks. Brandon and a few of his friends went downtown early to check out the music. The rest of us were more interested in the fireworks so we waited until dark to head downtown. Neighbor kids, Ted and Allyson joined us.

Ellie bounced and climbed her way through.

Anna and Allyson–these two have been friends since they were 4 years old.

We never did see Austin and Ted until we were back at the car.

But we did run into Brandon…

He and Kaley and Mitch were up front dancing to the Johnny Holm Band and having a great time.

Me, Jeff and Ellie waiting for the fireworks. Yikes–too much flash, but what do you expect when the camera is only 2.5 feet away! Too close!

And speaking of close, we were literally only a block away from where the fireworks were being shot off. See that tent in the middle–that’s where the band was playing. They did make everyone leave the area and move back, but it was still close.

Beautiful!

This was the opening–not the finale! This display was one of the best I’ve seen in a long time! Thank you Steamboat Days Committee.

Ellie in awe of what she sees.

We had parked at the church on the hill adjacent to the cemetery. Anna and Allyson wanted to walk through the cemetery in the dark just to scare themselves. We sent Austin and Ted to do the job. Soon they were all giggling back at the car and we headed home.

Sunday was the annual parade. It was the first time in many years that I didn’t get to go since Anna had dance team tryouts at the same time. Brandon marched in the high school band, Grandpa Bill rode in the grand marshal’s car and Ellie and Daddy were lucky enough to run into our next door neighbors and they were able to watch the parade together.

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