Wimbledon, ND’s Palooza Celebrates the Town’s History While Looking to the Future
WIMBLEDON, N.D. – 40 miles north of Valley City, the small town of Wimbledon celebrates its 126 year history by showcasing all they have to offer.
The town has less than 300 people, but two years ago a group of women decided to transform the small rural community into a festive spot on the map. The success from last year’s event inspired the women to bring back the Palooza for another year.
“We raised enough money to keep our store open for another year. We had a youth group raise $1,600 to put themselves through mission trips,” Wimbledon Palooza Organizer Jessie Albrecht said.
At the Wimbledon Palooza, people could play softball, play in the park or catch up with old friends at the town’s supper. People in the community love how the event brings the small town together.
“We used to have celebrations years ago, and then it kind of fell to the wayside. And, so, it took this awesome group of girls to get it back up and running again, and those of us who are older have been there, done that are sitting there and letting them take it over. And we’re enjoying what they’re doing, and they’re doing a better job than we did,” Wimbledon resident Pamela Clemens said.
Others say the Palooza showcases how people in the community truly care for each other.
“If somebody gets ill, you’d be surprised how many cards come your way. If somebody needs help, everybody helps out because it’s family,” Wimbledon resident Jan Martin said.
Jim and Jan Martin have lived in Wimbledon for their entire lives, and one way they decided to help reinvigorate the community was donating the Veterans Memorial alongside State Highway Nine.
“We talked it over with some people and we said we need a memorial,” Wimbledon resident Jim Martin said.
Alongside the memorial, people in the town hope more projects emerge from the success of each Palooza.
“This year we moved in two homes and we’re rebuilding. We’re thinking about redoing the old bank on Main Street, so we’re taking baby steps. I’d say come back in 10 years and we’ll be night and day,” Albrecht said.
By becoming a city on the grow, the town looks to become a hot spot in Barnes County one Palooza at a time.
The Palooza continues Saturday with a parade, 5K and 10k races and a volleyball tournament.