Residents kick up heels at Balta Street Dance
Youngsters, young-at-heart seniors and others of all ages kicked up their heels at the Annual Balta Street Dance held the evening of July 31.
Residents blocked off the intersection of Main Street and Second Avenue for the event. Attendees parked their cars as far away as Lublin Street or Volga Street North in the tiny town, settled in 1912 by German immigrants from Russia.
At the center of the dance stood the Balta Bar. Owner Stephanie Halvorson circulated through the crowd, chatting with attendees and making sure the food stand had enough burgers, nachos and bratwursts. The brats and burgers sizzled inside a homemade barbecue smoker that appeared to be pieced together from a metal pipe and placed on a farm wagon. The bar served up beer and cocktails to adults 21 and over, with water and pop available as well.
The crowd of families with children, couples and friends enjoyed country and rock tunes played by Overlien, a band from Kenmare. Slowly, people drifted onto the street in front of the stage to dance to tunes such as “Dumas Walker” by the Kentucky Headhunters.
At an open tent near the bar, Blenda Dahlien and Stacy Overton, parents of members of the band, explained the band’s name’s origin came from “lien” in Dahlien, and “Over” in Overton.
“Our kids have been playing music pretty much since they were little,” Dahlien said.
Both Dahlien and Overton said they had never been to Balta before. “It’s nice,” Dahlien said.
“I’m impressed with the street dance. It’s very nice. The setup is the best.”
Dahlien and Overton offered T-shirts, sweatshirts and other Overlien merchandise. They also sold the band’s song “County Road One,” a single, released on a CD. “It’s about the roads where we grew up and Stacy (Overton) still lives,” Overlien, who lives in Minot, said. “It’s about the simple, country life.”
Pierce County Sheriff’s Deputy Yvonne Hagen and two other deputies also mingled with the crowd, which seemed small when the dance first began at 9 p.m. The dance would end at 1 a.m.
“The crowd is kind of small now,” Hagen said. “The people at the food stand said the crowd looks small still at this point. But it might have to do with the weather and people are busy with their crops, so they might come later.”
“I think we have a very good showing so far,” Halvorson said. “I think the band is excellent.”
“This dance goes to 1 a.m., so as it gets later, more people are (out dancing). But it’s slow start and I think everyone’s having a great time,” Halvorson added.
The sleepy town comes to life again Sunday, Aug. 8, with a corn feed sponsored by Little Flower Catholic Parish. The corn feed begins at 4 p.m. and follows a demolition derby, which begins at 12 p.m.
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