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A much needed celebration of Marshalltown

In light of the past two months in Marshalltown, annual community celebrations mean more than ever. Oktemberfest and Marshalltown High School’s homecoming have always been about pride for our city, but this year it means a little bit more.

The celebrations come just more than two months after the July 19 tornado shook our community. In the wake of such disaster, the city has come together to help neighbors and strangers alike. What better way to celebrate that effort than our annual celebrations that bring us all together.

The celebrations will not only feel different, but they will look different. Oktemberfest will be held at the Marshall County Fairgrounds because destruction limits the ability to host in its traditional downtown location. The parade will be on Olive Street. The Homecoming celebration will include a mini parade near the high school and a carnival rather than the traditional floats going down Main Street.

While some may be sad about these changes in tradition, there is much more to be glad about. Even through destruction, we are hosting our annual celebrations. That’s something we can take pride in and all the effort so far is worth honoring.

Many are still struggling. The future is uncertain for many residents and businesses who face cruel circumstances. Let’s use this year’s celebration of our community as motivation to continue helping those who most need it. Over the weekend we can come together for a little camaraderie and little escape from the work that lies ahead. Invite your families and friends and make this the destination event it always has been.

May this year’s Oktemberfest and Homecoming celebrations remind us how proud we should be of our community and push us to continue being Marshalltown Strong. It’s time to celebrate Marshalltown.