New Year’s event this weekend; weather forced postponement

Sue Kraft, Lifestyles Editor
New Years event rescheduled

The calendar may say Jan. 13, but this weekend they will be celebrating the new year in St. Michael.

Antonette Halsey, Vice-president of Community and Library Services at Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten, said they have teamed up with the Spirit Lake Recreation Center and several other local agencies to host an annual party for the children.

A lock-in was planned for New Year's Eve, complete with movies, board games and other activities, but the weather didn't cooperate.

“It was super cold and storming,” said Halsey. “We didn't want to take the chance of kids walking.”

Instead of canceling the event, Halsey said, they just postponed the activities and revamped the party itinerary.

The “New Year's Kickoff Gathering” will be held Saturday, Jan. 15 from 1-5 p.m. Events will be held in the St. Michael Rec Center, the basement of the St. Michael Catholic Church and the Tech Center.

“It's for everybody,” Halsey said. “There will be something there that will appeal to all ages.”

Planned activities include a prize bingo, cake walk, meal and door prizes. Special events include “Rez Idol” karaoke, a “Guitar Hero” showdown and a basketball shootout.

There will also be several cultural activities, such as tipi models and a beading lesson from Spirit Lake Elder Germaine Thompson.

The highlight of the afternoon, Halsey said, will be a dance with “Native Souljas,” a group comprised of five youth from the area who write and compose their own music.

Halsey said Donovan Lambert of the Fort Totten Rec Center is spearheading the event. Other individuals and organizations helping with the event include the Valerie Merrick Memorial Library, Spirit Lake Boys and Girls Club, Cora Whiteman and Robert His Chase, Sioux Manufacturing Corporation, James Jetty, CCCC instructor, N.D. Department of Human Services, N.D. Prevention Resource Center, Spirit Lake Tribal Court, Youth Interagency and the Spirit Lake Tribe.

Funding also came from the Wiconi Ohitika (Strong Life) Project, which received a grant to host a community event that promotes an alcohol and drug-free lifestyle.

Halsey said the local students are buzzing about the event and she is glad to see the excitement.

“We need to encourage our youth to be proud to be alcohol and drug free,” she said. “We're promoting healthy lifestyle changes. We want to show them there are alternatives that are fun and fulfilling.”