Nortonville plans to celebrate 100 years as a community this Saturday with events for all ages.

This town of 54 residents has seen more robust times, but this weekend aims to prove Nortonville is still on the map 100 years after it was founded, said Nancy Buckeye, a member of the centennial celebration planning committee.

"It's one of these small towns that the school has closed, the grocery stores have closed, the post office closed, and you would think this place is dead it's dying off, but somehow it continues to even grow in a way," Buckeye said.

A couple who are part of Nortonville history will serve as grand marshals for Saturday's 1 p.m. parade, the first event of the day.

Robert and Theresa Solinger were selected for the honor because of their commitment to their community, Buckeye said.

They have been married for 60 years, retired and stayed in the community, and operated Solinger Lumber Yard, a prime employer in the community.

"Our little community doesn't have a lot going on for it, but I would say they've been a part of that town all their lives," Buckeye said.

Buckeye is not sure how many entries there will be in the parade. But so far the North Dakota National Guard, Kulm city band, antique cars and tractors and more have signed up.

"It's hard to say what else it will consist of because we haven't gotten all the entries that will be there," Buckeye said.

Immediately after the parade bed races will take place. Buckeye said each bed must have one driver, at least three wheels and four pushers. No motors are allowed. Even a bed frame is a suitable entry.

A prize will be awarded, but Buckeye would not say what it is.

Anyone interested in registering can call 320-1535.

Ladies have the opportunity to enjoy a tea party from 3 to 4 p.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Refreshments will be served and there is no admission charge.

"The nice part about this is that's probably the only air-conditioned public building in town," Buckeye joked.

From 3 to 6 p.m. there will be children's games, with a lunch for those children who participate.

From 3 to 5:30 p.m. a classic car/antique tractor show will also be in Nortonville.

At 4:30 in the Catholic Church the same cantata from Edgeley's 125th celebration will be held, with spiritual and patriotic music, Buckeye said.

Fathers and their children will have the opportunity to showcase their basketball skills with a hoop shoot at 4 p.m. Athletics continue at 5 p.m. with a community kickball game as well as a disc golf competition.

At 6 p.m. people will have their last chance to buy raffle tickets for $10 apiece or three for $25. The grand prize is a John Deere riding lawnmower. Other prizes include a rifle, flat screen TV and more.

Singers from the area can compete in the Nortonville's Got Talent karaoke competition starting at 7 p.m. Jamestown's own Alexis Barnick and some other area talent will compete.

The Shakers will hold a street dance starting at 9 p.m.

The event wraps up Sunday with a community potluck at 11 a.m. in the yard of the Catholic Church.

"It's just a fun, social thing and people just kind of come together for this reason, so we're pretty excited about that," Buckeye said. "It's a down-home fun type thing to do."

She encourages people to bring lawn chairs for watching the parade and to hydrate, too, as the weather looks to be hot.

"It's a good little town to be associated with," Buckeye said. "It's certainly not a thing of the past."

Sun reporter Ben Rodgers can be reached at 701-952-8455

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