Winnett celebrates its 100-year history

2014-07-15T06:20:00Z Winnett celebrates its 100-year historyGazette Staff The Billings Gazette

The community of Winnett — population 182 — will celebrate its centennial this weekend.

As part of its 100th birthday party, Winnett, the county seat of Petroleum County, plans an all-school reunion, car show and parade — and even sheep-dressing and best moustache/beard contests.

A century ago — on July 18, 1914 — the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railway Company auctioned lots in the town of Winnett. At 408 residents, the town’s population crested during the 1930 census.

On Friday, exactly a century later to the day following the historic auction, the town will celebrate beginning at noon with the ringing of the fire siren and a mayoral Winnett Day proclamation.

Lunches will be available at various Winnett locations. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. Friday, visitors can take in the town’s history through historic photo and quilt displays, a display of local artists’ works, a classic car tour and wagon ride tours.

At 2 p.m. Friday, centennial families — descendants of those who arrived in Petroleum County in 1914 or earlier and who have remained for the last 100 years — are invited to gather at the rodeo grounds for centennial photos.

At 2:30 p.m. at the rodeo grounds, contestants will attempt to first catch and then dress a sheep. The team that dresses its sheep the fastest — and manages to keep three items of clothing on the sheep for at least eight seconds — will be declared the winner. Teams are vying for a first-place prize of $500.

In between rounds of the sheep-dressing contest, a best beard and mustache competition will be staged.

An all-school reunion is being held all weekend, but the registration deadline was July 1. The all-school picnic begins at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s schedule includes a Fun Run at 7 a.m. and an all-class meeting at 1 p.m.

A classic car show will be held from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Saturday, with a car parade scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday.

A centennial parade will be held Sunday at 11 a.m. No registration is required.

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