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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Museum to host 'Gym Jam,' patriotic displays

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

(Photo contributed) Members of The Jammers who will perform Tuesday, July 3 in the Plymouth County Historical Museum's "Old Central" Gym are (from left) Dan Ruden, drums; Bill Berens, bass; Gene Nussbaum, guitar; Denny Wurster, guitar; and TJ Dennis, lead guitar.
Everything from 1950s music to watermelon and patriotic displays will highlight the Fourth of July next week at the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

Activities start early Tuesday, July 3, with a new feature, a dance by The Jammers, who play '50s and '60s music with a touch of the '70s.

Music will fill the museum's historic "Old Central" Gym from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday. Admission will be $5.

The Jammers approached the museum with the idea of a benefit for the museum, according to Judy Bowman, museum administrator.

"They graciously offered the opportunity to help the museum raise some funds, so we're glad to let them 'Jam the Gym' on the Fourth of July eve," Bowman said in a press release.

The Jammers will take the stage from 9-11 p.m.

Preceding The Jammers will be the band Bob Merchant and the Shadows, starting at 8 p.m.

The Jammers is a five-piece band from Le Mars/Sioux City. With every member of The Jammers able to sing, the band can do a variety of song styles.

The group most recently entertained during Ice Cream Days and will play for Scoop the Loop in August and Le Mars' Chalk Art Festival in September, both at the Olson Cultural Event Center.

The current lineup is: Dan Ruden, drums and vocals; Denny Wurster, guitar and vocals; Gene Nussbaum, guitar and vocals; TJ Dennis, lead guitar and vocals; and Bill Berens, bass guitar and vocals.

Combined, the group has more than 225 years of experience playing in bands.

Ruden and Nussbaum, of Le Mars, started playing together in 1968 in the local Le Mars music scene.

While Nussbaum didn't play in many bands, Ruden went on to play in such Le Mars groups as Galaxy, Switch, Rambler, RPM and Second Avenue, according to the group's website, www.lemarsjammers.com.

Wurster, of Sioux City, started out in 1958 in The Screamers. The Screamers later changed their name to the Flairs then the Velaires.

The Velaires have also been inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Music Association Hall of Fame.

Dennis started playing guitar in 1968 and joined The Jammers in 2009.

Berens is the newest member of the group, joining them in 2011.

He was inducted into the Iowa Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 with The Last Chapter.

In addition to Tuesday's music, Mary Holub, the museum's registrar/exhibit manager, is working on a special patriotic display of military uniforms in the museum's Study Hall, which will be open for viewing during the concert/dance.

A concession stand in the Gym-Dandy Diner and a costume contest also are planned for the evening. Costumes may be of a patriotic nature or something associated with the 1950s and 1960s, such as a poodle skirt.

Both the museum and the Floyd Valley Model Railroad Room also will be open to the public during the dance. The renovation work in the Ag Room, which Dr. Wayne Marty and Norm Barker have been spearheading, also will be showcased.

All proceeds from the "Gym Jam" will benefit the museum.

On the Fourth, Timmy's Catering will provide the watermelon for the traditional free feed at 3 p.m. near the museum's log cabin on the lawn.

The museum also will serve root beer floats in Miller's Lunch diner from 1-5 p.m. All five floors of exhibits will be open at the museum July 4th, from 1-5 p.m.

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