125 years: Edgeley prepares to celebrate big anniversaryNext weekend Edgeley’s population will balloon from around 600 people to more than 3,000. For four days next week, Edgeley will celebrate 125 years as a rural farming community. Former residents and visitors are expected to take in the slew of events, planned for the young and old.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
EDGELEY, N.D. — Next weekend Edgeley’s population will balloon from around 600 people to more than 3,000.
For four days next week, Edgeley will celebrate 125 years as a rural farming community. Former residents and visitors are expected to take in the slew of events, planned for the young and old.
Everything from a golf scramble to a class reunion to street dances are planned from June 14-17 here.
The festivities start with a time-honored tradition — a chicken barbecue.
Originally started by the Jaycees in Edgeley, the Edgeley Volunteer Fire Department has organized it for about the last six years.
The cost is $10 and Edgeley community members claim it’s the best barbecue in the state. Following the barbecue the fire department will face their counterparts from another community in a firemen’s rodeo.
That’s just the beginning.
“If there’s somebody that comes here and can’t find something to do — there’s something wrong,” said Rick Gutschmidt, Edgeley city councilman.
While Friday, June 15, is filled with events, the one that should bring the most visitors to town is the 6:30 p.m. alumni banquet at the Armory, where a special piece of jewelry will adorn many different fingers.
The same design has been used on class rings here since 1930, and the “E” on the ring indicates where a bearer is from. It’s a symbol that all graduates since 1930 share.
“You always know who they are because they wear the ring with the ‘E’ on it,” said Gene Hanson, co-chair of the 125th celebration and director of local economic development.
Events, however, are scattered throughout June 15 and it doesn’t matter where a person is from if they want to partake.
Throughout the day craft booths and food vendors will be set up and entertainment runs from 1 to 5 p.m. under the main tent. A vocal performance will be at 2 p.m. under the main tent.
Aside from the quilts, glassware, jewelry and several other crafts, there will also be turkey legs to dine on.
Air games will be set up for children and for the adults there will be two street dances that night. Plus there will be entertainment starting at 8 p.m. under the main tent.
Events really kick into high gear on Saturday, June 16. The day starts with a 5K run-walk at 8 a.m. Those that prefer to take it slower may enjoy a golf scramble starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Edgeley Splickan Golf Course.
Organizers promise enough candy for children at the 11 a.m. parade Saturday with close to 500 entries expected.
After the parade will be a gun raffle and children’s games and air games will start up again.
A truck and tractor pull starts Saturday at 2 p.m. near the Triple R Arena, there will be a barbecue at 5 p.m. and rodeo at 6 p.m.
Both Thursday at Saturday there will be a free pageant at 7:30 p.m. at the high school that details the history of Edgeley over the past 125 years.
Also at 7:30 p.m. Saturday there will be an Elvis impersonator under the main tent followed by another street dance at 9 p.m.
Festivities conclude Sunday with a breakfast at Parish Hall from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and a noon dinner at Wesley United Methodist Church.
“It was supposed to be smaller but as everybody brought something we just had to add it,” said Diane Schmidt, member of the entertainment and crafters committees.
The whole event is sponsored by the Edgeley Lions. Hanson remembers what the club thought four years ago.
“I’ll never forget when I went to the Lions that one time and they thought I was off my tree,” he said.
Help has come from other places with the main fundraiser being the 125th celebration cookbook. So far about 3,000 have been sold, some to people as far away as Hawaii and Florida.
One of the newest additions to Edgeley is the new community pool, which will have free swimming from 1 to 5 p.m. Friday.
“We got a better pool than anyone around,” said Joe Neis, Edgeley city auditor.
Many of the volunteers working to make next weekend a success did the same for the 100th anniversary back in 1987.
Just like back then, visitors will probably notice 47 fire hydrants around town decorated for the celebration.
Right on Main Street here is the celebration headquarters, complete with cookbooks, T-shirts and even a roughly 400-page history of Edgeley book for sale.
“It’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun too,” said Crystal Moser, member of the history book committee.
For more information, contact Edgeley City Hall at 701-493-2208.
Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at email@example.com