Regent to celebrate centennialREGENT — Buildings on Main Street are getting fresh coats of paint, potholes are being filled and posters announce the upcoming Regent Centennial celebration.
By: Linda Sailer, The Dickinson Press
REGENT — Buildings on Main Street are getting fresh coats of paint, potholes are being filled and posters announce the upcoming Regent Centennial celebration.
Regent is throwing a centennial party and all-school reunion that begins Thursday afternoon and concludes on Sunday.
“We’re preparing for 1,000 who will actually register, but Saturday is the big day,” said Regent Centennial Chairman Steve Wagendorf. “We’re expecting 3,000 people for the parade.”
A volunteer committee has been working on the party for the last 18 months.
“We’re planning a 100-year-celebration. Probably two or three or four generations of people are expected,” he said. “A lot of people have moved away, and this is an opportunity to come back and see what the little town has done and to meet up with the new generation.”
He said the last all-school reunion was a millenium party in 2000. The events are scheduled at the school, but the committee has been challenged this spring with vandalism and a storm that destroyed part of the roof.
“At this point, we’re patching it. I think we’re waiting for insurance issues to clear out,” he said.
Damage was done primarily to the north corridor.
“The east-west corridor is very accessible and the gymnasium is accessible,” he said.
The committee will erect a big tent where a majority of the events will be held.
“There’s a lot of smaller tents being set up. Activities are planned all over town — a tractor pull, a model airplane show and dedication of the Dorgan Walkway.
Sen. Byron Dorgan D-ND, a native of Regent, is the parade’s grand marshal.
This centennial party will feature dances on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening. In addition, a Centennial Choir will present a program on Saturday. Saturday’s activities conclude with fireworks, an auction and raffle drawing.
Wagendorf also said the centennial party has events for every age — from the children with the inflatables on Main Street to the teen dances and Chuck Kadrmas with old-time music. The churches are playing a part, from Faith Lutheran serving coffee and lemonade, to an ecumenical service in the centennial tent.
Wagendorf credits the citizens and merchants who are helping to make the party a success.
“They’re stepping up to the plate. I’m there to delegate,” he joked. “The only thing I can say is that 18 months ago when we first met, we thought we had lots of time. Those 18 months have whittled down, but it’s falling into place.”
Jill Doe, who is serving on the committee, is a native of Regent, having graduated from Regent High School in 1987.
“It’s a great place to raise kids. It’s home,” she said. “People who haven’t lived here for decades still consider Regent their home town,” she said.
She admits the preparations have been stressful at times, but she is looking forward to becoming acquainted with old classmates.
Doe hopes people from surrounding communities participate. Area merchants are invited to enter a parade float and everyone can donate a silent auction item for the craft fair.
Paula Anderson is doing her part by serving on the Hettinger County Historical Museum.
“It will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. We’ll have several tour guides available,” she said.
While she is a Mott native, her husband comes from Regent.
Serving on the board, she said, “I think it’s important to preserve the past. It makes me reflect on the homesteaders and the railroad coming through 100 years ago,” she said. “Our way of life has certainly changed in such a short time.”
Anderson believes Regent has a future for years to come. She credits the farming community, Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing Co., and enchanted Highway for bringing people into town.
Anderson also serves on the Regent Development Corporation, which fosters economic growth.
“It was active back in the 1980s and we brought it back,” she said. “We don’t get the traffic like Medora, but we certainly haven’t given up on the vision of growing.”
She points to the coop grocery store and Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing Co., as efforts that were successful.
“We would like the grocery store to be handicapped accessible, but we need a assessment to see what’s feasible,” she said.
To help celebrate, the corporation is serving a giant birthday cake on Saturday.
For details regarding the centennial and all-school reunion, visit the web site regent centennial.com.