By Ron VandenBoom
The community of Chinook has decked out displays in old lettermens jackets, historic photographs and even a 1950s vintage formal, as it prepares to greet more than 1,000
visitors for the All Class Reunion scheduled to be held July 2, through July 4.
Former graduates of Chinook High School from the 1920s to the Class of 1999 are expected to begin arriving in Chinook Friday for three days of fun, food, music, parades, and fireworks.
Chairman of the event Rita Langford said she expects to
see the population of the community nearly double with the return of more than 1,000 Chinook High School graduates and their families for the weekend.
Registration will begin for all class members on Friday, July 2, at the Reunion Headquarters at 317 Indiana Street. Members from the classes of the 1920s and 1930s will be allowed to register at the Senior Citizens Center at 324 Pennsylvania Street.
A ticket that will admit class members to all meals and events will be available for $25 at the time of registration, Langford said. Those wanting to attend events who are not class members can still attend the activities on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Each class will also have a sub-headquarters or meeting place for their decade where they can congregate with fellow class members of their own era, Langford said.
Fridays activities will mostly consist of class parties that will be held as various locations around Chinook. Class pictures are scheduled to be taken at this time.
Festivities will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, July 3, with an out-door breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m.
Indiana Street in Chinook will be completely blocked off Saturday and a wide variety of food booths sponsored by numerous groups and organizations selling everything from Swedish meat pies to barbecued beef and hot dogs will line the street. Some crafts and souvenirs will be available as well.
Also in Centennial Park will be an open microphone, Langford said. Anyone who wants to entertain, recite poetry, sing a song, or tell a story will be able to get up and share it with the public, she said. Mostly it will be a relaxed morning with people just renewing acquaintances.
Free tours of the Bear Paw Battlefield will be offered throughout the day Saturday by U.S. Park Service officer Arthur Currance. The Blaine County Museum will also be open for visitors.
A tour of Chinook High School will also be offered beginning at 9 a.m. for those class members who may wish to soak up old memories or revel in nostalgia.
The highlight of the afternoon starts at 2 p.m. with the class reunion parade.
Featured in the parade will be the All Class Reunion Band a collection of class members from all decades who want to play and march in the parade.
Chinook has borrowed instruments from Havre and other communities so those wishing to participate can play, Langford said. The only song they will perform is the school song On Wisconsin.
A pet and doll parade will be included and Langford said they are still looking for anyone who has a vintage car that would like to join the parade to just show up before 2 p.m. and join in.
The Beer Belly Classic four-person scramble golf tournament will be held at the Chinook Golf Course as a fund-raiser for a new clubhouse. People wanting to enter the tournament should call 357-2938 to sign up and a U.S.G.A. handicap will be needed. The cost is $25 per person or $100 per team and prizes will be awarded to the winners.
There will also be a barbecue at the golf course from 5-7 p.m.
Senior class members can attend a sit-down dinner at 5 p.m. at the Senior Citizens Center.
The evening Saturday will be filled with music, music, and more music, as local favorite Ken Overcast offers class members a chance to hear him in concert at 7 p.m. in the Lloyd Sweat Auditorium in Chinook High School. The cost of the concert is $8.
After the concert the party-going class members can listen to U.S. 87 Band at the Bar X while enjoying their favorite beverage. The Chinook Motor Inn will be featuring Midnight Special Band for their patrons and the Pastime Bar will offer Double Dawg for their guests.
The Eagles Club in Chinook will also have the band Family Affair for listening and dancing pleasure.
Younger class members and the general public might just prefer attending the evening street dance that will be held on Indiana Street where the music of Short Notice will entertain the dancers.
Sunday will begin with Church of Your Choice, between 9 and 11 a.m. on Indiana Street. This feature will include a catered breakfast.
Visitors might not want to stay too long on Indiana Street because the Chinook VFW Post is sponsoring July 4th races at Hoon Field.
Ages 2 to 18 can participate in all kinds of races from wheelbarrow to one legged races. Prizes will be awarded the winners and ice-cream will be enjoyed by all after the festivities.
Eight hours of continuous swimming will also be available throughout Sunday at the city pool and a bridge tournament will be held at he Chinook Library Reading Room for those who might enjoy less physical challenges.
The Chamber of Commerce Dinner will be held in Sweet Park from 4 to 7 p.m.
It will be the perfect setting for the concluding event of the weekend, the 4th of July fireworks display that is scheduled to begin at dark on Sunday.