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Sentinel Butte, North Dakota

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday Stills "4th of July Celebrations"

On the very edge of eastern Montana,is a little town that never fails to celebrate July 4th with a little fun and history. The Wibaux (wee-bo) area was settled not long after the railroad made it's appearance in on the plains there. It was still the era of the open range, about 1883 when large numbers of cattle and some sheep ran the badlands prairie, draws and creek bottoms. Wibaux went thru several name changes, as Keith, Beaver and Mingusville. When Pierre Wibaux, a Frenchman arrived, began ranching and became a major influence in the town, the little town was named after him.  In April 1911 Wibaux became an incorporated town. After the decline of the big ranches and homesteaders arrived adding their wheatfields to the landscape. Many of the homesteaders were Polish,Norwegian and Swedish who made the Wibaux area home. Wibaux and Wibaux County have had population ups and downs over the years. Oil has been important in the county since the 1950's and it seems that the area may once again begin part of an oil boom.

Over the past decade, Wibaux began hosting it's annual Ski-fest which became part of the 4th of July celebration. The Ski-fest is a fun way poking fun at the rivalry between the Poles and Norwegians/Swedes. A parade, bbq's, class reunions, a bump and run race, an ice cream social, & street dances are just a few of the things that go on during that time. This year however, Ski-fest was put aside to celebrate Wibaux's centennial. Many of the activities were the same from past years' July 4th celebrations but the emphasis was on Wibaux's history.

Wibaux veterans lead off the parade each year.
The town of Wibaux had only been incorporated as a "real"
town for six years when Joe Dobrowski was born. He is a life
long Wibaux county resident.

It isn't a parade without the volunteer fire department and
their vehicles. There were six pieces of their equipment in this
 year's parade.

A booming local business, Beaver Creek Brewery
and it's owners/operators always support the commnnity.

Many classes from past years at Wibaux County High School have floats in the parade each
year. This year's parade also featured floats with various families that have lived in the Wibaux area  for many years.

 I almost missed Pierre and NellieWibaux as they strolled by during the parade! Old cars, old farm equipment, a visiting oompa band and even a horse drawn hearse cruised down the main drag of Wibaux.

Wibaux is proud of it's history and also of our country! God Bless America!


Michaele said...

Neat little celebration for the 4th. I laughed at the Ski Fest : )

Sarah said...

great post and beautiful photos! I didn't know all that about Wibaux! Maybe we'll have to go to their celebration of the 4th sometime! The two times I was home for the 4th we went to see the fireworks at the lake in Buffalo, SD and then the next year we went to Baker, but I'm thinking Wibaux just put their name on the next one! We'll have to meet up there when its turn comes around!

Brenda said...

great parade. Love the last pic. great flag pic!