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Mondamin Carnival Program

Date: 1898


Description: This is a program from the 1898 Mondamin Carnival, which ran in Sioux City in 1897, 1898, and 1900. It was named after the Native American god of maize (corn), and each year a queen of carnival was nominated and dubbed Queen Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. It was organized by the Women’s Carnival Association and the main feature was a large parade from Fourth to Seventh Street. Sioux City businesses, organizations, and clubs all prepared floats. The Mondamin Carnival was part of the Sioux City Fair, celebrating the town’s heritage, and both were discontinued due financial struggles in the city. In 1940 a new festival was organized called Sioux City Summer Circus, a major event from July 29 to August 3. The circus was not meant for Sioux Cityans, but to try and bring out-of-towners into the city to try and help it recover from the Depression. The circus featured parades, vaudeville acts, nightly concerts in the Grandview Bandshell from the Sioux City Symphony and the Monahan Post Band, and a huge Mardi Gras celebration at the festival’s end. The Summer Circus was meant to be an annual event and plans were made for a 1941 circus, but the events of World War II halted the celebrations.


Other festivals in the city include the annual parades for Labor Day and Memorial Day. The Sioux City Art Center hosts the annual ArtSplash festival, celebrating local artists and art education for children. Saturday in the Park is an annual Blues festival held at the Grandview Bandshell, and huge music names like Carlos Santana, B. B. King, Great Southern, Counting Crows, and Aretha Franklin have all played here at the festival. The festival includes a pilgrimage from Sioux City’s sister city, Lake Charles, Louisiana, and also includes the Big Parade, a Mardi Gras parade.


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