Thursday, August 15, 2013

Van Marel Family Reunion on May 15-20, 2013, in Orange City, Iowa

Welcome to the Van Marel family Blog.  We celebrated our 4th semi-annual reunion in the area where Arie, one of the original family members, spent most of his adult life.  Family members came from various states, plus The Netherlands to get reunited and enjoy each other’s company.  Thanks to the family of Jake Van Marel for another very successful gathering!  We also have some WONDERFUL news!!  Willem van der Marel, from The Netherlands, has offered to host our next reunion in the country of our ancestors during the summer of 2015!  The enthusiasm at the banquet was overwhelming and we are looking forward to another fantastic tour!  Obviously, this will be open to ALL family members.  This tour probably will last about 2 weeks and will cover different places than were seen during our third reunion.  Please keep your schedules open and watch for details!

Visiting the Chamber of Commerce Office are--Front:  Anna and Rina van der Marel; standing:  Carole Van Riessen , Kathy McKinstrey, Alvin Van Marel, Joop van der Marel, Clarella Van Marel, Dee Clarence Gorter, Willem van der Marel and Carl Van Marel

Visiting the Century Home Museum

Bedroom in the Century Home

The Queens and their courts from the Tulip Festival in Orange City are shown in the front and from the Tulip Festival in Pella, Iowa, are shown in the back.

Dutch girls (dolls) having a tea party

One of the quilts at the Quilt Show, where they had a large display of quilts made by various groups and individuals.

A very large percentage of the approximately 6,000 people living in Orange City celebrate and welcome from 75,000 to 100,000 visitors every year!

Activities started by dancing in the streets by various groups. Family member, Bill Van Marel, is dancing in the red vest.

Junior and Senior high school students do other dances.

The younger students also get in the act.

Following the inspection by the Burgermeister, the streets were not clean enough for their visitors so the men and boys water down the streets for the women to do the scrubbing! 

The women do the scrubbing so the streets will be "Dutch Clean!"

Representatives from the Armed Services led the parade with a miniature reproduction of the Memorial, which was built to honor all person who served their country. 

The well-known Pride of the Dutchmen band with their wooden shoes, who have played in the Rose Bowl parade twice, plus in several other parades around the country, and are always a unique highlight.  Over half of the students at the local public school play in this band.
This is the promotional float for the Festival, which can be seen in several parades in the area.

A tulip float with Bill Van Marel in the center tulip.

De Kerk (The Church) has always been the focal point of fellowship and activities in Orange City.  There are 14 churches in Orange City.  They have more churches than eating places!

One of their larger floats.  All floats are built by people in this community.  This float was designed by Bill Van Marel and he also was coordinator relating to the construction of this float.

Several windmills along with a drawbridge can be seen in Windmill Park.

Ann and Rina van der Marel take advantage of riding around this beautiful, clean city.

The street organ is a popular stopping point when it is being played.

One of the beautiful tulip beds scattered around the city

Mulder Park had a wide variety of tulips and other Dutch flowers with labels.

Shanna & Brian Franklin participated in one of the activities at "Art Burst" on the courthouse lawn.

The Dutch Dozen entertained us with several dances, skits, etc.

This old organ was displayed at a local museum

Family member and employee at CIVCO, Julie De Wit, fits Rina van der Marel with a mask to see what cancer patients go through to protect their heads from radiation while they are going through treatments.  CIVCO focuses on system integration and development of equipment, devices, software and consumables for image guidance.

Memorial Park has a display and listing of local people who have served their country in all branches of the Armed Services.  They are listed by wars.  You will note that one of our original family members, Arie Van Marel, served during the Civil War.

A visit to West Lawn Cemetery in Orange City, where 21 family members have been laid to rest.  Arie Van Marel was a member of the original family who came from The Netherlands in 1848, at the age of 4 years.  His photo is also shown.  The stake on the left indicates that he served in the United Armed Services.

Diamond Vogel Paint Company was established, is headquartered, and continues to serve as a major family operation  in Orange City since 1926.

A stop at the Dykstra Dairy farm near Maurice, where they have a herd of about 6,000 dairy cows who are milked 3 times a day, every day of the year.  The milking of these cows is in progress at the time of this photo.

At the Sioux Center Heritage Museum they have a replica similar to the mud homes that many farmers built on homesteaded land to have protection for their families from the weather and especially the cold winters in Northwest Iowa.  When Arie Van Marel, his wife Henrietta and son Jess migrated from Pella, Iowa, they lived in a similar place their first winter of  of 1870-71

The Wells Blue Bunny Ice Cream plant in Le Mars was a special treat in that we could enjoy some of their goodies!

There was a great response to the Saturday evening banquet!  Twila Oolman used her time and skills to obtain pictures and make placemats, which included photos primarily of previous reunions, along with our family crest in the center for all of the attendees.  The placemats at each individual table were different.

Special music was provided by Samantha Long.

The May 18th birthdays of Willem van der Marel and Clarence Gorder were celebrated! 

Norm Te Slaa asked for volunteer singers from those attending the banquet and ended with a large number of musically  talented family members, who sang a couple of special and appropriate songs for the rest of us and themselves!

The 2013 Reunion Committee and special guests from The Netherlands.  Front, Bill Van Marel, Twila Oolman, and Kathy McKinstrey; back:  Carole Van Riessen (Committee Chairman), Willem, Rina, Joop and Ann van der Marel (all 4 from The Netherlands), Cal Cleveringa and Carl Van Marel.  A special thanks to the committee for all of their hard work in reaching out to family members and putting together another fantastic reunion!!  Also, a big thanks to the van der Marels for coming all that distance to celebrate with us!!