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Michigan, N.D., celebrates its 125th anniversary

MICHIGAN, N.D. -- The people of Michigan, N.D., lined the streets of town Saturday morning to watch the parade in celebration of the 125th anniversary of their community.

MICHIGAN, N.D. -- The people of Michigan, N.D., lined the streets of town Saturday morning to watch the parade in celebration of the 125th anniversary of their community.

A long parade wound its way through the small city, including floats for fire departments, the Nelson County Sheriff's Department, community organizations and businesses, the Shriners, and some just for fun. Of course, most of them had a big stock of candy to toss to the kids on the curbs holding their empty plastic grocery bags wide open.

Katie Hermann, 15, has lived in Michigan since she was 7, but was in neighboring Petersburg, N.D., before that.

"It's a small town, and you know everybody," she said smiling, as float riders in the parade called her name to wave and throw candy. "I know just about everybody in the parade."

The Grand Marshalls of the parade were Gov. John Hoeven and First Lady Mikey Hoeven.

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Three-year-old Ellie Reep, Fargo, squealed with delight as boys on the Michigan Tesoro station float squirted her and her siblings and cousins with water from water guns. Reep's family is largely from Michigan, including her dad, so she came out for the celebration.

Her grocery bag was almost full, but she pranced around gathering more candy anyway.

Dedication

Part of Saturday's festivities was a dedication ceremony for the Veterans Memorial Park, a tribute to the five branches of the military and also the American Legion, said Michigan Mayor Allen Orwick.

Many organizations in Michigan helped with the beautiful building, which displays a plaque for each branch and features a statue of a soldier. The project started in 2003, Orwick said, and was just completed Thursday. The Michigan community, the Michigan Park Board, American Legion Cowper Post 238 in Michigan and the Michigan Service Club played major parts in the memorial, Orwick said.

"We're proud of the way the community came together to help with what we think is pretty spectacular," he said.

Gov. John Hoeven spoke at the dedication, along with decorated World War II veteran Milo Elgin, originally of Michigan.

Other activities

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Other activities featured in the celebration Saturday were a kiddie parade, "Art on the Lawn" at Heritage Arts Gallery and Crafts, a street dance and a fireworks show, among others.

Sharon Gunderson has lived in Michigan for 22 years. Her husband, daughter and son all were in the parade Saturday.

"That's why I'm watching alone," she smiled, camera ready for when her family came by.

Gunderson has family visiting for the weekend celebration from Michigan state and Washington state.

"We'll be out here all day I'm sure," she said. "They really did a good job planning for the celebration. A lot of people did a lot of work."

Reach Gibson at (701) 787-6754; (800) 477-6572, ext. 754; or send e-mail to lgibson@gfherald.com .

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