CHEERS AND JEERS: Area jazz bands shine at state championships; return of road construction cones | Editorial

Journal Editorial Board

West Lyon won the Class 2A state title at the Iowa Jazz Championships in Ames last week. Four other schools in northwest Iowa also made the top eight.

Ethan Feikema from West Lyon was also one of the 16 exceptional performers honored by the festival.

In Class 2A, area high schools took four of the top eight spots, with Okoboji being the runner-up to West Lyon and MVAOCOU and Cherokee placing seventh and eighth, respectively. In Class IA, Kingsley-Pierson took third place and South O’Brien was sixth.

The festival features 60 of the state’s top high school jazz ensembles each year – 15 bands from each of Iowa’s four high school classifications. All sets perform in the daytime preliminary competition and the top two groups from each ranking perform in the evening final competition.

Area schools that qualified for the state championship also included Sioux City East and West, Denison, Okoboji, and Spirit Lake.

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After a two-year hiatus, it was a welcome sight to see the Abu Bekr Shrine Circus return to the Tyson Events Center. The six performances, which began on Thursday, conclude with a Sunday matinee.

Carden International Circus, the longtime producer of the Shrine Circus, presented three rings of entertainment, from elephants and clowns to aerial acrobats, which brought smiles to circus fans young and old.

No one was happier about the return of the circus than the Abu Bekr Shriners, who had been forced to cancel performances for the past two years due to COVID. Proceeds from the annual event go to the Fraternal Order of Shriners, which funds children’s hospitals and other philanthropic programs.

Spring is street repair season, but does that also have to mean three weeks of cones? Often the “preview” of upcoming attractions takes too long.

Recently, there have been cones on Fourth Street and Floyd Boulevard that make it almost impossible for vehicles to get into the correct position to turn. Maybe putting them in place a day before work starts is a better strategy. A longer delay only creates confusion in traffic.

Parents, teach your teens to tip. Servers reported that prom-goers don’t factor this aspect of a night out into an equation. As a result, they leave without a tip. Get them to appreciate someone else’s work and they’ll be prepared for another aspect of adulthood.

Ada J. Kenney