Montpelier’s 125th this weekend has parade, games and moreMontpelier will celebrate its 125th anniversary this weekend by spitting cherry pits, hopping hay bales and hosting a parade, car show, tractor pull, rodeo and street dance. “It only happens every 125 years,” said Shawn Ratts, who organized the “Redneck Olympics” with his wife, Sarah Ratts.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Montpelier will celebrate its 125th anniversary this weekend by spitting cherry pits, hopping hay bales and hosting a parade, car show, tractor pull, rodeo and street dance.
“It only happens every 125 years,” said Shawn Ratts, who organized the “Redneck Olympics” with his wife, Sarah Ratts.
In the Montpelier games, participants will compete in cherry pit-spitting, gunny sack races, hubcap hurling and blindfolded wheelbarrow races.
They can also try the bale-and-moonshine hurdles, leaping hay bales to get to, and drink, a Mason jar of mock moonshine — probably 7-Up, Ratts said — before finishing out the hurdle race.
The hot dog-eating contest will be a battle of speed rather than a contest of consumption — 10 participants will vie to eat 10 hot dogs with buns faster than anyone else. The hot dog derring-do will be limited to the first 10 people to sign up.
The games will also include a prize pond for contestants age 8 and younger, who can simply pick out a rubber duck to win a prize.
Sign-up boards for the games will be up early Saturday morning, Ratts said, and the games themselves will run from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday.
The weekend celebration will begin with an all-school reunion at 6 p.m. today.
Activities will start up again early Saturday with 7 a.m. registration for the 5K Montpelier Parent-Teacher Organization walk/run.
“The schools are implementing a wellness program as the new year approaches, and with that, we’re just trying to promote healthiness,” said Chrissy Bullock, a member of the PTO board. “Also, it’s a great way for us to try and get some funds for playground equipment and ... phy ed equipment.”
The participation fee is just $5, deliberately kept low in order to encourage families to sign up and walk together. The route is basic, starts at Montpelier School, and utilizes a gravel road, Bullock said.
“We really would like you to come out and support our school,” she added.
The walk/run begins at 8 a.m., as does registration for the 125th parade.
Just 25 units had signed up to participate in the parade as of Thursday afternoon, but many more are expected to sign up before the 10 a.m. registration deadline and parade lineup.
“We have horses, horse-and-buggies, we have some rodeo queens, an entry from the Miss North Dakota pageant,” said parade organizer Mike Hansen. “We’ve got cars, a Jeep club... we’ve got a little girl with a bicycle that wanted to be in the parade, and I said we’d fit her in.”
Entries for the parade are welcome up until the 10 a.m. Saturday deadline. Participants should call Hansen at 489-3592 or 320-1997, or turn up at the southwest corner of Montpelier before the parade lineup.
The parade starts at 11 a.m., with a prize for the Judges’ Choice and the People’s Choice entries. A Western shootout skit will follow the parade, complete with the “arrest” of Scott Maurer, mayor of Montpelier.
Registration for the car show begins at 8 a.m. Saturday south of the Montpelier school. Vehicles can arrive any time before 10 a.m. to be lined up together, and pre-registration is not required, said Jeff DeBuck, who is organizing the car show.
Visitors will be able to vote on their favorite vehicles when the car show opens at 1 p.m.
Crafts and Montpelier 125th souvenirs will be available starting at 9 a.m., just south of the Dally Up.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to find some unique gift items for yourself, or for your family and friends,” said Heidi Bear, craft show organizer.
Air games and a rock climbing wall will also be available starting at 9 a.m., with a mechanical bull opening up for rides later in the day.
“It should be a lot of fun,” Bear added.
Pie and ice cream will be served from noon to 3 p.m.
Registration for the open tractor pull begins at noon, with the show starting at 1 p.m. No pre-registration is required, but participating vehicles should date from before 1970.
“We’re not competing, we’re just doing it for fun — but we do have trophies for the winners,” said Jared Elsner, who organized the tractor pull with the help and inspiration of Garry Block and Bill Triepke.
Local auctioneer Rod Larson will announce the tractor pull.
Bluegrass band Spiritwood Creek will play from 3 to 5 p.m.
The second annual open rodeo begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children age 7 to 16, with free admission for younger children.
Arrow K Rodeo Company of LaMoure and the local rodeo club, Beaver Creek Riding Association, will host bull riding, barrel racing, bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, team roping, scoop shovel racing, goat tying and children’s mutton busting.
“Anyone can come and enter ... it’s best to call ahead of time, but there’s usually some openings if you just show up as well,” said Wade Dally, president of the riding association.
To enter the rodeo, call Kelly Klein at 320-5817.
A street dance with Outlaw Sippin starts at 9 p.m. Saturday.
A community church service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, with a potluck meal at the park immediately following the service.
An open jackpot roping contest will begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, and is free to the public. To sign up, call Dally at 269-8759.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by e-mail at klucin@j amestownsun.com