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Throw ‘em if you got ‘em

June 5, 2012
By ANDREW POTTER , Times-Republican

It's summer festival season which can only mean one thing:

Look out for flying objects as they seem to be the focal point of many summer celebration traditions. This is just a little heads up to the air traffic controllers in the area.

Last Saturday, Whitten held its annual celebration which brought with it the new frying pan throwing contest.

That was just for the women and children. The men had to throw hay bales. I, unfortunately, had to leave Whitten after the parade and before the flying frying pans so I can't report on how that went.

I know what you are thinking - what could have been more important in my life to miss that?

Later this month, be sure to watch the skies in the city park in Gladbrook as the corn cob tossing contest is held as part of the 90th annual Corn Carnival. Some people can really chuck those cobs as I have found out covering the event in recent years.

They all build up to the ultimate summer throwing contest - the Iowa State Fair's cow chip throwing contest. Who knew flinging poop would be such an attraction?

I've only seen this once on television, but I sincerely hope the competitors wash their hands before hitting the concession stands after taking part in the cow chip contest.

As in all throwing contests, much of it depends on what object you get. Some get flat cow pies and can fling them far with the lack of wind resistance.

For the corn cob throw, the bigger the better because the lighter ones have trouble in the wind.

I guess my piles of research covering dozens of festivals through the years indicate that people like throwing things.

At the end of the high school marching band season my better half, a band teacher, gets out some broken down musical instruments and lets her band members whip them around outside.

This is seen as a reward to them and, apparently, is something they look forward to each year. Though this event might have less to do with throwing things and more to do with destruction.

Well, the summer is here. Get up, get out and throw something, just not at anyone.


Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don't necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or



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