Wheatland County celebrates centennial

By: 
JENNY GESSAMAN
Reporter

Wheatland County’s first parade marches through Harlowton in 1917.

Photo courtesy of Katherine Parks

The Wheatland County Centennial Celebration did not start with a historical society, and it wasn’t cooked up in a County office. It started with seats.

“Our grandstands need to be refurbished,” Celebration Volunteer and Organizer Katherine Parks explained.

Luckily, Parks also clarified. As part of an effort to fix the grandstands, the Harlowton veterinarian began researching. During her studies, she found the grandstands were made in 1910, seven years before the county was founded in 1917.

“I was like, ‘That’s next year, we need to have a party!’” Parks laughed.

From research to county offices, the word spread and the centennial celebration was born. Now it’s stretched to four days of fun across the county.

The All-School, All-Class Reunion was even postponed until this summer, according to Parks. Alumni have been important to all the communities in Wheatland County, and Parks said they would help make the centennial.

“I think the alumni barbeque celebrates our community because all of the people that come back home,” she said.

Parks added returning to one’s roots is annual migration for Wheatland natives.

“I wasn’t born here, and I think it is so wonderful that the Fourth of July is when our families come home here,” she said. “I think it’s a really special thing. It’s our only event, but so many people come home for the Fourth of July celebration. With it being our 100th, we wanted to just make it bigger.”

All of the County’s towns are having a celebration, and Park noted that includes Two Dot, Shawmut and Judith Gap.

“Harlowton’s celebration is going to be part of our 65th rodeo,” she said. “We’re going to have a free concert featuring Curtis Grimes. We didn’t want to have people pay, because it’s our 100th, so the County and donations have helped pay for the band.”

For a full list of events, time and dates, or for questions, visit or message the Celebrations Facebook page, facebook.com/wheatlandcountycentennial.

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