BALTA The tiny community of Balta could be overrun with visitors in a couple of weeks when it celebrates its 100-year history.
A parade, street dances, fun run, car show and school alumni events are scheduled during Balta's centennial June 15 to 17.
Based on attendance at similar centennial events for area small towns, Balta, population 65 in the 2010 census, could be deluged with as many as 1,000 people, said Cheryl Hager of the centennial committee. She said even if half that many attend, it will be a large turnout. But the community intends to be ready for them.
Events start Friday, June 15, with an all-school reunion at the Rugby Eagles Club. About 250 people already have registered for the 5 p.m. meal, to be followed by a program emceed by alumnus Amy Moen of Minot. Guest speakers are two former teachers, Larry Clark of Drake and Larry Grossman of Northwood. Area veterans will be given special honor.
Reunion visitors will receive discounts at the Rugby museum where school memorabilia is displayed. The Balta School, which operated as an elementary in its final years, closed in 1991. Today, activities in the Pierce County town, located about 16 miles south of Rugby, center around its local bar and church. The city uses its former post office building for meetings.
Balta also has a county shop building, where a street-fair type event will be held Saturday.
Saturday events begin with an 8 a.m. fun run. People wanting to participate should pre-register by email with the centennial committee at email@example.com.
There will be a pancake breakfast from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a parade and a dedication ceremony for school-related items. Throughout the day, there will be memorabilia displays in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, a small steam-engine display, silent auction, food vendors, beer garden and car show, which will feature a tire-squealing burn-out contest.
There will be games for children and adults, including a bouncing castle, climbing wall, laser tag and pedal tractor pull. A petting zoo will be set up.
There will be street dances both Friday and Saturday night.
Father Mosignor Joseph Senger, a Balta native, will be celebrant for Sunday Mass at the church. A breakfast will follow.
A number of souvenirs have been designed for the occasion, including a history book, belt buckles and specially-made crocks. People can get more information by emailing the centennial committee.
Hager said Balta's centennial will be acknowledged on the floor of the U.S. Senate. A congratulatory statement and the flag flown at the Capitol that day will be presented to the community.