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One of southwestern North Dakota's biggest winter celebrations is about to begin. The 45th annual Trinity Mardi Gras takes place Friday through next Sunday at Dickinson's Trinity High School. General Chairman Kevin Weiler credits the many volunteers who make the annual event possible. "It's all about volunteering," he said. "It takes all the parents and all the kids. The students are asked to give up their time for the weekend. They help set up the kitchen. They're there helping in booths with their parents.
A white elephant Christmas gift is credited with saving the lives of a Killdeer family. Monte and Terri Roshau's family had been confounded by unexplained illnesses before Christmas. "About two weeks prior, our youngest son, Bubba started having wicked headaches. He woke up one night with just a massive headache. He's 12 years old, and he started crying. We knew something was wrong," said Roshau.
The 2009 Trinity Mardi Gras offers entertainment for all ages -- from magic of the mind and comic ventriloquism to local family music. Entertainment Chairman Allen Klein has secured the Mystical Minds and ventriloquist David Malmberg as the premiere performers of the show on Friday. Mystical Minds features Dickinson's Ron Rhoades and Greg Wilkins. Their presentation is filled with comedy and astonishment. Rhoades has been a disc jockey for mobile entertainment companies, while Wilkinson is a DJ and owner of a mobile DJ company.
With the extremely cold temperatures and snow cover across North Dakota, Nancy MosBrucker of Dickinson understands the importance of feeding birds in her yard. "I really like the nature aspect of it," she said. Having fed birds for at least 35 years, she entices a variety of birds to take shelter at her home in east Dickinson. On any given day, she will spot nuthatches, rosie breasted nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, ring necked doves, mourning doves and a few pine siskins. There's even a hawk that circles the yard, looking for a meal.
Walkers and those who prefer other forms of exercise are invited to participate in an imaginary "Walk to Jerusalem." The walk is designed to increase physical activity, spiritual growth and cultural awareness, said walk coordinator Jodeen Myers. The program is coordinated through Dickinson's St. John Lutheran Church. "I read about it in a Lutheran magazine. I decided to offer it to our church, but it's not limited to St. John members. It's open to anyone interested in an imaginary walk to Jerusalem," she said. Participants may join the walk at any time in January, February or March.
The North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame has joined forces with Medora's Cowboy Poetry Gathering to launch a statewide fundraising raffle. The raffle winner receives a custom-built saddle made by Belfield saddlemaker "Pony Bill" Engen. The saddle features hand-tooled scenes of Teddy Roosevelt who came to the North Dakota Badlands 125 years ago. Roosevelt owned two ranches near Medora -- the Maltese Cross and the Elk Horn. Engen tooled ranch life scenes into the saddle, bridle and martingale. The scenes are from both ranches and Roosevelt's service in the Spanish American War.
The Dickinson Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador/Membership Committee is sponsoring the 12th annual "Sampling of Sicily" dinner on Monday, Jan. 19. The event is from 5:30-7:30 p.m.
The Elder Care program has initiated a fundraiser in southwestern North Dakota to cover a shortfall of $63,000 in its meal program. Elder Care's mission is to assist the elderly with services designed to help them remain independent in their homes and communities for as long as possible, said Executive Director Colleen Rodakowski. Elder Care is required to raise a portion of local match dollars to secure federal funding.
The bugle sounds, the bell rings, the gate opens and the announcer shouts, "They're off!" Dickinson's Derald Payne recently created a horse racing game that is entertaining people at the Dickinson Sunset Center and Evergreen. "I made the whole thing up, you have to see it to believe it," he said. The game consists of six wooden horses with names such as Hotsy Trotsy, Wild Thing and Big Stud. The horses line up on the race track and move forward as their number is called by ping pong balls.