August 26, 2014

Old Settlers’ Day brings old-fashioned fun to Alexander

By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer

Final preparations are being completed for Alexander’s 69th Annual Old Settlers’ Day celebration. The celebration promises a weekend of food, family, fun and reunions for people of all ages.
Old Settlers’ Day is a time-honored tradition that started 69 years ago when Len Burns decided that the Alexander community needed a fall celebration. Burns donated the meat for the very first celebration, and every year after someone has always followed suit.
Usually a family is honored during the Old Settlers’ Day celebration, and a member of the family donates the meat for Saturday’s feed. This year, however, it is not a family that will be honored during the Old Settlers’ celebration. It is the Alexander Fire Department and the Alexander First Responders.
“It is very nice that the city council decided to honor the Alexander Fire Department and the First Responders,” states Jerry Hatter, assistant fire chief for the Alexander Fire Department. “We are a volunteer department as are the First Responders. We all have jobs and families, and our men and the First Responders give their all at all hours of the day and night.”
Hatter states that the men of the Alexander Fire Department were originally going to donate the meat for Saturday’s feed, but a local oil company did not think that was right, and decided to donate money for the meat on their behalf.
“Triangle Petroleum has helped the Fire Department, as well as the city on numerous occasions,” states Hatter. “They did not feel that it was right for the firemen to donate the meat since they were the ones that were being honored. So they decided to donate the meat in honor of the volunteer firemen and First Responders.”
Triangle Petroleum is a newer company with oil wells in and around the cities of Alexander and Arnegard. They also have a new headquarters location just four miles south of Alexander toward Watford City.
The Old Settlers’ Day celebration will take place the weekend of Aug. 28-30. Festivities are slated to kick off on Thursday, Aug. 28, with a Bonfire at 7 p.m., east of the park.
Friday’s festivities kick off with a Chili Cook-off on Main Street from 3 to 7 p.m.
Then, from 7 to 9 p.m., a new addition to the weekend’s events will take place, and hopefully, bring about some friendly competition between the Alexander and Arnegard fire departments in the Alexander School parking lot.
“We are still in the planning stages, but we hope to host a competition between the Alexander and Arnegard fire departments,” states Hatter. “It is something we used to do in the past and we thought it would be fun to try and do something this year.”
Saturday’s events start with a parade down Main Street at 11 a.m. Then, a noon barbecue will be held in the park, honoring the city’s Fire Department and First Responders.
Vendor booths will be set up from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 1 to 4 p.m., there will be a Kids’ Carnival set up on the north side of the park. Starting at 3 p.m. there will be Bingo in the park.
The Hi-Way Lounge will also host its Horseshoe Tournament at 2 p.m. with sign-up starting at 1:30 p.m.
Finally, in true Old Settlers’ Day fashion, the festivities will close with a Street Dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
The weekend should be filled with a little something for everyone. And anyone wanting to join in the fun can purchase a $2 Old Settlers’ Day Button, which will admit them in to all of the weekend’s events.