Independence Day was celebrated at Holiday Lake
on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1, 2007
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Paddle Boat Races

Saturday morning, the paddle boat races were held at the South Dock at 10 a.m. The hosts for this year’s races were Ernie and Kathy Tomlinson, and Mark and Fauna Nord. There were over 100 people that participated. The ages of the race categories ranged from 7 & Under with an adult, and up through, 31 and over. It appeared everybody had a really good time, even the two who flipped their paddleboat at the end of their race. We wish to thank those who donated either prizes or money toward this year’s races.

Boat Parade

Saturday evening, the Holiday Lake tradition of the boat parade began from the South Dock at 8 p.m.

Grand Marshals for 2007 Boat Parade
Paul and Darlene Tursi

It is so easy to remember when we first invested in our lake property at Holiday Lake. Our fourth child, Liz, was 9 months old. That daughter is now going to be 44 years old in September. With a nine month old baby and three other children ages five, nine and twelve years old, our only vacation that year was daily trips to interesting places near our Des Moines home. Our fifth day we all drove to Holiday Lake with a packed lunch and diapers. We liked what we saw. The year was 1964 and we bought a lot on Clark near where the water was to be.

After camping only on weekends on our new property, Darlene decided to stay home with the three girls until Paul built a shelter with plumbing. Our oldest, Scott, at twelve-years-old was quite the builder (and still is) like his father. The two of them built cabin number one that summer.

After three years, we were approached by the Hubbards, an older couple who owned the lumber company in Brooklyn who wanted to sell their lake front lot just down from our cabin.

Paul and Scott got busy again, and built our present cabin. We have remained in this place over all the years since 1967.

Our little log cabin at Lakeshore and Clark has been host to all five kids and hundreds of their friends (we were blessed with another son, Christopher, in 1971) over the years. Sometimes we are bursting at the seams when the children come. We now number nineteen with spouses and eight grandchildren. Mostly it is just the two of us relaxing on weekends.

We still reside in Des Moines and have retired from a retail clothing business. Everyone still loves coming to gramp’s cabin, especially on Holidays!


Following the boat parade and after dusk, everybody enjoyed the Holiday Lake fireworks display produced by Flashing Thunder Fireworks Spectacular. A BIG thank you to everybody that volunteered to collect fireworks donations at the gates throughout the day. Through your efforts, $5,318.92 was collected at the gates. The gate donations along with the monies received from the Iowa refundable cans and bottles dropped off at the maintenance shop and other donations through out the year pretty well cover the total cost of our fireworks display. This year’s fireworks display cost $10,000. We would like to thank all of you who have contributed through out the year in one way or another to help us bring a great fireworks display to Holiday Lake for everybody in the area to enjoy.

Golf Cart & ATV Cruise

Sunday afternoon brought about the Carnival Games and the Golf Cart & ATV Cruise, which were held at Powell Park. The winners of the Golf Cart & ATV cruise led the parade around Holiday Lake, which began at 3 p.m. Our expression of gratitude goes to Katie Tomlinson and Jim Clayton Jr. for organizing this event and their crew of judges and carneys.

Thanks go out to the following sponsors for their donations toward prizes for the cruise and carnival games:

Clayton Construction of Brooklyn
Drake Realty of Brooklyn
Signs by Fisher of Brooklyn
Young’s Golf Cars, Inc. of Dysart
Kriegel Motorsports of Tama


Wade’s Golf & Mow of Williamsburg
Holiday Lake Owners Association J.C. and Patty Miller
Amy and Andy Morrow
Larry and Kim Pendarvis


Jim and Jeanine Thurston
Carl and Katie Tomlinson
Jerry and Denise Vander Sanden
David and Dixie Wade
Prizes from the Paddle Boat Races

Everybody who attended had the opportunity to vote for the People’s Choice selection. It was real close in the voting, but based on the votes cast, 1st place was awarded to the golf cart entry of Natalie M., Lexis P. and Danny D. as well as the ATV entry of Lisa Hagen. The other entries that received votes for People’s Choice were David Leonard, Steve Brown, Dave Heath, Dave and Lindy Ehle, Jim Thurston, Brady Fritz, and Colin Betts.

A panel of judges rated each entry in either the golf cart or ATV category based on the patriotic theme, originality, and curb appeal. After much deliberation, the top five in each category were announced.

Golf Cart Winners were:
1st place - Dave Heath
2nd place - Nancy Agnew
3rd place - Steve Brown
4th place - Colin Betts
5th place - Diana Fritz

ATV Winners were:
1st place - Brady Fritz
2nd place - Tyler Scott
3rd place - Chelle Clayton
4th place - Austin Deimerly
5th place - Tom Young

During the carnival games, registration for the cruise and the judging of the decorated entries, you had the chance to guess the number of Tootsie Rolls and the number of M&Ms in each jar. The person with the closest guess won the goodie-filled jar. Bruce Vander Sanden guessed correctly the number of Tootsie Rolls at 93. Jeff Michel was the closes to the actual number of M&Ms, which were 301.

If you would be interested in making a monetary donation toward the 2008 Carnival Games and Golf Cart & ATV Cruise, a donation jar has been placed at the Maintenance Office to help defray the costs.

WARNING: There were several complaints received about passengers throwing water balloons and the squirting of water during the Golf Cart & ATV Cruise parade around the lake. If actions of this nature continue in the future, this event will be canceled. This is a parade, only tossing of candy and other lightweight objects are permitted. We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable time during our Independence Day Festivities. Let’s not have the actions of a few ruin it for everyone else.