125th Anniversary

Hundreds of people were welcomed to Belfield’s 125th Anniversary Celebration on July 11-13, 2008.

The celebration started Friday evening and concluded with a demolition derby on Sunday afternoon.

Gusty wind conditions on Friday and Saturday resulted in the cancellation of 2 of the scheduled parachute jumps of the Black Daggers, a special operations demonstration team. They needed the wind to decrease to at least 18 mph to make their jumps.
1883-2008 Celebrating Our First 125 Years Belfield, North Dakota July 11-13, 2008
By Saturday night, the wind decreased, and 3 team members landed on the grassy area east of the Rendezvous Lounge, while 1 landed as planned in the nearby parking lot near a crowd of a few hundred onlookers. Team members wore flares on their ankles, giving them the appearance of being comets or shooting stars as they jumped from a Blackhawk helicopter.

Sunday at noon, at the shooting range northwest of Belfield, The Badlands Bandits - the local Cowboy Action Shooting Club and a Single Action Shooting Society (SASS) sanctioned club, held a shootout while dressed in costumes. The script involved bandits planning to take over Belfield in 1883 and changing its name to Horse Thief Town.

Club members have colorful names, such as Barb Newton, who has the SASS name of Cathouse Barbie, or her son Kenny Ray Newton, who uses the name Roughrider Ray.

The contestants use single action revolvers, pistol caliber lever action rifles, and old time shotguns. Performance is based on speed, procedure and accuracy, said Kenny Ray Newton. Three separate tables for loading, shooting and unloading ammunition are among the safety rules.
And of course there’s another, simple rule: “We don’t aim at anybody,” said Barb Newton.

Despite the difficulties with the strong winds Friday and Saturday, most events happened as planned. The Belfield 125th Anniversary Committee was pleased with the turnout at the meals, art show, anniversary concert, concession areas and demolition derby. Turnout had been estimated conservatively but turned out to be extraordinary in most cases.
A crowd of people sitting on chairs in the grass
Commemorative calendars and postcards, which were arranged for or printed by committee member Ruth Johnson, became a major seller. A pictorial postal cancellation, which included the 125th anniversary logo, drew interest from collectors and hundreds of postcards were sold, plus orders for hundreds were taken.

At the anniversary concert, Bobby Lowenstein, who played the harmonica, was selected as the winner of the People’s Choice Award in the instrumental division. Lana Safratowich won in the vocal division. Each received a $50 check.

At the demolition derby, Lester Iverson won 1st place, $1,000 and a large traveling trophy. Among the other drivers receiving awards were Alex Pool of Dickinson, $200; Randy Kjos of Dickinson, $75; and Richard Jordan of Dickinson, $400.