Sunday Column: Hometown/Boomtown

Last Friday I helped play host to one of the biggest community events in Boomtown, the  Best of the West Ribfest Street Fair and Car show.

We had been planning the event for months and were relieved to wake up under sunny skies and a forecast that was perfect for strolling the sidewalks, listening to music, shopping, and tasting the ribs seasoned and cooked to perfection by local  organizations and businesses.

For almost twenty hours the committee and I ran up and down Main Street organizing teams, taking photographs, making announcements, moving chairs, washing tables, talking to guests and generally making sure everyone was having a good time.

My feet are still recovering, but the blisters were worth it. It was a great event, the kind that makes you proud to be from a small town, even though that small town is growing and changing right before our eyes.

Yes, every year this event gets bigger and bigger because every year our town gets bigger and bigger, growing and bursting at the seams to accommodate and welcome the evolving oil industry barreling down our gravel roads.

Last month we celebrated the grand opening of a giant new grocery store.

This fall we’ll have a Chinese Restaurant.

We have two stoplights.

We are planning a new hospital, a new daycare, a new school and a new way of thinking about change and what it means to us.

It hasn’t been easy on everyone and that’s a truth I can speak without hesitation.

It hasn’t been easy.

But it has been interesting. And exciting. And overwhelming and at times and in many ways really wonderful.

Like Friday, when families, both new to town and natives to the area, strolled down a street smoking with the smell of summer cooking, stopping to listen to their hometown band or to grab some free ice cream or take a shot at dunking their favorite teacher in the dunk tank.

We were having fun. We were slowing down. We were spending time with one another and continuing a tradition.

And we were all neighbors eating ribs on a summer afternoon in our town.

In Boomtown.

Coming Home: No standing still in Boomtown
By Jessie Veeder
Fargo Forum