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Balta Bar hosts annual street dance

By Staff | Aug 8, 2020

Once again, the quiet town of Balta came to life for its annual street dance held Saturday, Aug. 1.

The Pierce County town of about 60 people closed off its main intersection located near the Balta Bar and Grill and the town’s only church for the party, which featured Fargo band Uptown Live. Visitors from surrounding communities pushed the number of people in Balta to about 200.

Pierce County Sheriff Josh Siegler, who was on duty at the event with two deputies, noted, “I’d say 200 people, maybe 150 are here.”

“Things are going pretty well,” Siegler added. “It appears there’s a pretty good crowd.”

As with all public events, this year’s Balta Street Dance had modifications.

The bar announced via social media, “This year, we’ve decided to change things up a bit. We have added some additional beverage stations outside and will not be allowing access to the inside of the bar after 6 p.m. Concessions will be available at that time. We appreciate your grace and understanding in this matter.”

Attendees didn’t seem disappointed by the limits, which bar owner Stephanie Halvorson put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. Clusters of people chatted and circulated around the food and drink stations at the intersection of Main Street and Second Avenue Northeast.

Isaac Christenson, who served up tacos in bags, sloppy joes and hot dogs, said the evening was “busy” at the concession stand.

The Balta Bar sits just a block west of Kiev Street. The town has a few gravel streets named after Russian cities, reflecting the heritage of the Germans from Russia who settled there.

Just south of the bar on Main Street is Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church which would have hosted a corn feed the next day along with Rugby’s Little Flower Catholic Parish.

The corn feed is as much of a Balta tradition as the dance, and it usually takes place at the Balta Dam outside of town. However, the parish announced several weeks ago the corn feed would be canceled due to the pandemic.

Another Sunday tradition, the Balta Demolition Derby, took place as usual.

The Uptown Band, Fargo, provided the evening’s music. Enthusiastic dancers of all ages spread out in front of the stage to move to the music.

Uptown Band’s lead vocalist Ciro De La Garza said in a message to the Tribune, “We loved Balta! Can’t wait to come back again! Balta Bar and Grill took good care of us with plenty of water and a great stage to perform from.”

“Balta is a beautiful town with old trees and dirt roads,” De La Garza added. “It reminded me of Nielsville, Minn, a small farming town I grew up in. The community was so awesome that we played ’til 1:30 (a.m.).”

“(The crowd wanted) one more song,” he added. “We gave ’em five! Had a blast and can’t wait to come back in the future.”

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