Community Spirit

07 Mar

Upsala Memorial Day Parade 2009

I live in a small rural town, population 424. It never ceases to amaze me at how small town residents come out to support their community. Today was the school carnival. It is held every other year to raise money for extra things for the elementary school that are beyond budget items. Special projects have included new playground equipment, items for the classrooms, and library books to name a few.

The elementary teachers all have their carnival game that they man for the afternoon. A local auctioneer donates his time to auction off items that have been donated for the auction. Parents have a food booth and bring cakes for the cake walk. One of the local hair salons has a stylist that does crazy hair designs for the kids along with colored hairspray and someone else does face painting.

It’s a community outing for the young and old. In the middle of winter its nice to have a get together with a common purpose of supporting our school. When the school was built the community rallied to provide more funds than the state would provide to include a large gym with a seating capacity of 1000 and an auditorium with 300 seats for the many community and school theatre productions. There is pride in the community for what it has been able to accomplish.

I was raised in a big city and there were things held at the school but percentage wise our small community has the big city schools beat in attendance. When I was the city clerk in town for ten years the percentage of registered voters always in the 90% range or above that turned out to vote. Small town elections are an important event and the “I Voted” stickers are worn with pride. Next week is the annual Red Cross Blood Drive and the available appointment times will be filled weeks in advance of the blood drive with others waiting to give as a spot opens up.

There are days when I missed the big city life and all of the activities it has to offer but my heart is full and eyes pooled with tears as the school band marches down Main Street each year for the Memorial Day Parade with the Veterans and the Ladies auxiliary leading the way with the American Flag.

1 Comment

Posted by on March 7, 2010 in Reflections



One response to “Community Spirit

  1. Linda Anderson

    March 11, 2010 at 7:03 am

    Small town America is quickly dying – unfortunately. It’s great to hear your community is not fading away like so many of the small towns we drove through this week on our way to Branson, Missouri. Some of those towns are like ghost towns and it’s sad to see abandoned stores and businesses – like the hopes and dreams, visions and aspirations of so many people gone and forgotten! But those small towns that are flourishing are an inspiration – like the place barely on the map that had painted murals and well-maintained store-fronts; parks with up-to-date play equipment; and people gathering for coffee in the small cafe’ on the corner.


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