Battle Creek is old

BATTLE CREEK — For several small towns that were settled in the 1800s, they whittled down and died out.

Battle Creek hasn’t been one of those towns, a fact not lost on its residents. After being established 150 years ago, community members are preparing for the milestone.

Later this year, Battle Creek will have its 150th anniversary celebration from Thursday, Aug. 3, to Sunday, Aug. 6.

“To me, Battle Creek’s 150th anniversary is about remembering our roots and honoring our heritage,” said Ashley Walz, a longtime resident who is helping to prepare the event. “In August, we’ll be coming together as a community to celebrate how far we’ve come and all the great things our community has in store for the next 50 years.

“While small towns all across the country are fading out, Battle Creek isn't only surviving through these times, but thriving.”

As examples of that, Walz cited “successful businesses, an outstanding school system and beautiful facilities, including our park and library, are all due in part to the generations of leaders, decades before us. They worked hard to lay the foundation for the town we know today.”

The festivities will begin with a grand opening ribbon-cutting ceremony for Heritage Park. Walz said several events would entail the town’s history, including several activities for people of all ages.

Also, on Saturday, Battle Creek’s Market in the Park — which happens every Saturday during the warmer months — will be underway from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors will be on hand as well as food trucks and lemonade stands.

Battle Creek also will have a volleyball tournament, but it won’t be a normal one. Walz said the competition will be a mix of four-square and volleyball.

“There are four different quadrants and you play just like four-square rules but with nets,” she said.

Walz said the celebration would conclude with a community church service, a Ponca Tribe powwow and a grand finale fireworks show.

Walz said it’s vital to continue to keep Battle Creek thriving.

“Now and into the future, it’s our job to keep that legacy alive by not only maintaining what we have, but continuing to develop in all areas of our great town,” Walz said. “And I suppose we’ll have a little fun while we’re at it.”

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