In a word; Awesome!

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor
In a word; Awesome!
TICKLING THE IVORIES — Bernice Paisley, 93 years young and wearing an original “Flapper” dress played music before the 100 Years of Music dance at Norley Hall on Friday that was sponsored by the Historical Association. I-O Photo by Buck Traxler
   Conrad tossed a party over the weekend and the whole world came to help celebrate. OK, that’s a slight stretch, it just seemed like it.
   Nevertheless, the celebration of the town clock and the 100 year birthday of the city made for an amazingly fun weekend.
   The “Big Party” began with a clock dedication held under the clock at the corner of 4th Ave. and Main Street on Friday.
   The town clock was first put up in 1927 and came down in 1958 and rested at the Peputin farm until 2007 when it came back to Conrad where a core of volunteers worked,  and raised funds for two years to get in order in time for the 100th anniversary of Conrad.
   Following the dedication a stage coach driven by Gerald Bruner and Thales Mullennax was held up by band of ice cream bandits.
   The Pondera Players put on a skit for over 1,000 people crowded around for the dedication. Players included Kit Finlayson, Dr. Dick Kinyon, MaryJane Kinyon, Pete McKeone, Cynthia Ries and Brad Berthelson.
   Following the skit, a sea of humanity descended upon Meadowlark School for a pulled pork dinner put on by the Shooting Sports Club. Later in the evening the Pondera History Association hosted a dance of 100 years of music at Norley Hall. If that wasn’t in your plans, maybe bingo at the Horizon Lodge was.
   And we were just getting started. The Centennial Committee in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and the Harvest Fest event had a full slate of activity planned on Saturday for Conrad’s birthday.
   The Centennial Committee was chaired by Marla Bruner and included George and Cheryl Tornga, Bob Moritz, Bev Widhalm, Catherine Kellogg, Alice Garman, Betty Olson, Jeanette VanLuchene, Terry Utterback, Byron Grubb, Everett Snortland, Jodie Weisgram and Barbie Killion.
   The day started with the Parade of Ages that was just incredible. Floats that were entered showed a lot of imagination and work. Stockman Bank, Brown-Fichtner and the Garden Club floats were just majestic. The Shriners bag-pipe players and CHS band were both grand additions. The towns of Dupuyer and Valier both had floats honoring Conrad on its 100th birthday which were really neat.
   Two blocks of Main St. and a portion of 4th Ave. were blocked off to traffic for vendors and crafts people to set up and for a car show that had 48 entries.
   There were impressive special historical displays at the Conrad library, the Transportation Museum and Stockman Bank, the latter a photographic display of the “characters” of Conrad that was a real trip down memory lane.
   The Harvest Fest “Way Beyond Beef and Bison” cook-off took off. There was a bread baking contest at the Lobby, coordinated by Adele Stenson with 16 entries, a special postal stamp cancellation under the clock, another dinner at Meadowlark sponsored by the PMC and a concert in the new high school gym that featured Wylie and the Wild West Show along with Erick Fingers Ray and an appearance by Rib Gustafson and Karaoke at Ed’s Tavern.
   And on Sunday, wrapping up the weekend party was an ice cream social, also at Meadowlark School, hosted by the NU Keil Park Project people.
   The Saturday cook-off chefs included Doug and Kim Moritz of G&D Hardware, Bubba Breding, Gene and Lana Underdahl of UFI Sanitation, Gary Brown of Big Sky, Byron Jones and Keith Hruska. The overall winner was Allison Peterson representing Hi Line Help for Abused Spouses  with a dessert category. G&D won for a main dish entry and Cravings was a winner for appetizers.
   The popular “Kiss-de-Pig” contest had an “inner” contest with I-O editor Buck Traxler and reporter Adam Jerome competing not to play “pig-smoochie.” Between the two, over $300 was raised for the CofC with Traxler just edging Jerome by only $5 and change. Neither was in the running to make friends with a pig. A little over $930 was raised this year by the pig players, the best ever.
   Other players included Lynn Utterback, defending kisser Shari Richter, Dave Howard, Mark Jones, and Cindie Vandenberg. In the end, it was PMC/CEO Jones who got up close and personal with the pig.
   A bread baking contest had Ralph Stordahl win the top prize, a bread baking machine. He won for his cinnamon rolls.
In the senior division (over 12), Phyllis Hammermeister took first, Marci Skinner second and Delores Myers third. In the junior class, Rachel Skinner placed first. There were 16 contestants.
   Special recognition for unique recipes went to Myers and Skinner, and to Karla Styren and Jacob Cowgill for appearance.
   From the car show, Rich Ebert with his 1961 Pontiac Bonneville won Best of Show and the 1950-60s car segment. Other decade winners included Dale Westerman, Bob Peters, Kelly Bishop and a Dupuyer Model T truck.
   Judy Larson the new CofC executive secretary helped pull the Harvest Fest segment together.
   Along with all of this, the new marquee at the Orpheum Theatre went up. This was another two-year project in the making that Dan Wilcox worked on with Cat Graphics of Great Falls. Theatre manager G. Tornga commented on it, saying “Every town needs a little glitz, and boy do we have glitz.”
   The marquee, which weighs almost a ton, includes a story board for programming upcoming events and programmable lights that Wilcox said, jokingly, “can do a jillion things.”
   If you missed going to see the quilt show up stairs at Joe’s Family Steakhouse, you missed some terrific art on cloth.
   Happy Birthday Conrad!