Adrian gears up for 125th celebrationNorth Dakota receives flack from national media sometimes for its small towns and how many of them shrink. But in Adrian, N.D., residents there say that’s not true.
North Dakota receives flack from national media sometimes for its small towns and how many of them shrink. But in Adrian, N.D., residents there say that’s not true.
On the contrary, Adrian residents say, their town is growing.
In fact, resident Paul Behle said residents erected about six homes in recent years and new-to-the-region townsfolk move into current ones. Area residents also renovated the nearby Heinrich-Martin Dam and are constructing a bar and grill near the town’s recently completed softball diamond. The Adrian Equity Elevator is also expanding its grain drying and handling operations.
Not even the flood of 2009, which wiped out at least two residences and inundated several more, could stunt the growth of the locally labeled “little town that could.”
“We’re recovering and things are back on track,” Behle said.
For these reasons and the fact it commemorates its 125th birthday this year — Adrian and its residents plan to celebrate.
Adrian’s quasquicentennial begins this weekend with a Just for Fun River Run along the James River at 5 p.m. Friday.
Adrian doesn’t have much by way of population (the town boasts 60 people), city government (no mayor or city council) or local economy (the only item for sale is a can of pop at its grain elevator). But its inhabitants will likely grow this weekend like the neighboring corn fields this season, with guests numbering in the thousands, officials expect.
Ralph Danuser is one of the organizers for the parade set for 11 a.m. Saturday. About 60 entrants have registered so far and about 20 more are expected, he said.
“It really proves that Adrian is not dead yet,” Danuser said of the expansion, renovation and expected celebration turnout.
One of the parade entrants is Robert Smith, owner of a Farmall A tractor his father purchased for $900 brand new in 1946. Smith “overhauled it from one end to the other” over the last year and a half, replacing the seat, steering wheel, tires and red paint job while the rest remains original.
“It’s always belonged in the family,” he said.
Smith’s is one of several restored tractors expected in Saturday’s parade, Danuser said. Other weekend events include a tractor pull and vintage car and tractor show at 1 p.m. Saturday followed by music, a banquet and street dance with a performance from River Jam.
For Behle, this weekend’s events celebrate a renewal and allows current and former residents to get back together again.
“It gives them an excuse to come from other parts of the country and come home again,” Behle said.
Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at email@example.com