Central Butte exploded on Saturday.
The small town of approximately 450 residents – located about 100 kilometres northwest of Moose Jaw – saw close to 1,500 people inhabit it during centennial celebrations this past weekend, that according to Mayor Al Klassen.
Current and former residents, as well as guests, started showing up for registration last Thursday, but it wasn’t until the next day that celebrations kicked off with an outdoor volleyball tournament, a scavenger hunt and a family dance featuring local band Bradford’s Corner.
As a born and raised Central Butte resident, Klassen found the town’s 100th anniversary celebrations to be even more special.
“What made it special was there were a lot of people – approximately 1,500 people – that joined us for this celebration,” Klassen told the Times-Herald over the phone on Sunday. “Their presence and the conversations throughout the few days really completed the story for us, especially for people who have lived here all of our lives.”
Klassen also noted how enthusiastic the atmosphere around the town was during the celebrations, which included the unveiling of the centennial project on Saturday: a cenotaph.
The new cenotaph included 300-plus memory bricks that were sold and installed as a pathway leading up to the cenotaph.
“It was fitting because it portrays the contributions that so many folks have made over the last 100 years,” Klassen said of the cenotaph. ”It has all the names of all the people that were involved in connection with the First World War and the Second World War, and their names are now engraved in granite.”
In addition to the cenotaph, a commemorative town clock was installed along Main Street.
Although there were two pancake breakfasts, a slo-pitch tournament, a parade complete with floats and a Show ‘N’ Shine, it was the plethora of reunions – football, health care staff and high school – that, in Klassen’s mind, truly highlighted the centennial celebration.
“With so many people coming home and seeing people they haven't seen for a number of years, it was exciting to watch,” he said. “It was special to see.”
Nathan Liewicki can be reached at 306-691-1256 or follow him on Twitter @liewicks