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Rain doesn't dampen festivities

MANTORVILLE — Nine-year-old Spencer Jennings was not about to let a little rain get in the way of his Fourth of July fun.

Wearing a Yoda backpack, the Mantorville boy concentrated on hitting the wood bull's-eye in front of him with his tomahawk. With his family watching and a photographer's lens focused on him, Spencer reached back and hurled the tomahawk, sending it squarely into the middle of the target.

"Good job, Spencer!" his father, Chad Jennings, yelled.

The Jennings family joined a small but enthusiastic group of people that turned out for Mantorville's second annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration. Rain poured down as volunteers in Civil War-era costumes sought refuge under awnings and shelters.

"It's been kind of a disappointment, but what can you do? You can't stop old man weather," said Carla Webster, co-chairwoman of the event.


This is the second year in a row the event has been marred by rain. Organizers went to great lengths to put the event together, which included maypole dancing, bingo, tomahawk throwing and a horse roping practice area. The Mantorville Theatre Company staged one of its trademark melodramas — "Orphans in Candyland" — and residents dropped off pies for a silent auction. The festivities ended with a pork chop dinner in the VFW lot.

Many organizers and volunteers were already looking ahead to next year's Fourth of July celebration, hoping for sunshine.

"For 2011, we are hoping there is no rain," Webster said.

Members of the Jennings family said they were determined to have an afternoon of fun — rain or shine.

"It's still fun. You just get a little wet," Chad Jennings said. " You've got the people downtown making the effort to do this. You should come down and support it."

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