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Stephanie Fail, Published June 30 2011

Hankinson celebrating its ‘Quasqui’

HANKINSON, N.D. – This community advertises itself as “A city on the grow,” and that certainly will be true this weekend.

The city of about 1,000 an hour south of Fargo is welcoming everyone to join Friday through Monday in celebrating the 125th year since its beginning in 1871.

Organizers of the Quasquicentennial – locally referred to as “Quasqui” – have created more than 37 types of memorabilia for sale over the weekend. They have also published an updated version of a 640-page history book detailing Hankinson’s family, business and community life through the years that will be sold at the celebrations.

The schedule includes parades Saturday and Monday, the daily Mighty Thomas Carnival, July Fourth fireworks, street dances Friday and Saturday, live music from the Johnny Holm Band on Saturday night, a golf tournament on Friday, a car and motorcycle show Friday, an all-school, all-class reunion Saturday, a “wife-carry” at 4 p.m. on Monday and presentations from historical re-enactors.

For this agricultural city near Lake Elsie, the weekend celebration is an opportunity to reflect on how it has changed and on its residents’ many accomplishments since it began as a train depot.

“Hankinson has enjoyed significant changes over the last decade,” said Bob Wurl, co-chairman of the Quasquicentennial and a board member of the Hankinson Community Development Corp.

These changes include upgrading the sewer and electrical utilities to support industrial complexes such as the Hankinson ethanol plant, a multimillion-dollar addition to the elementary school and a community center constructed from refurbished houses to host public and private events, Wurl said.

“The ethanol plant employs 50 to 55 people and helped with new job creation,” he said. “It allowed the city to expand sewer infrastructure that makes the area appealing to out-of-town businesses considering relocation.”

Organizers of the all-school, all-class reunion say at least 700 alumni of Hankinson Public schools and the now-closed St. Francis Catholic school are expected to attend, said volunteer Glenda Bommersbach. “We are holding an informal open house at the school, with a photographer, pep rally and photo slideshows.”

“It has been more than 25 years since the last one,” she said, “and if people have yet to register, they are welcome to attend.”

If you go

Readers can reach Forum reporter Stephanie Fail at (701) 451-5734