Gibbon Day, 2/6/14 27 Jan 14

 

Gibbon 3

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Gibbon 1

Businesses

– Gibbon shares a school district with the communities of Fairfax and Winthrop, to form GFW. Their mascot is the Thunderbird. The elementary school is located in Gibbon.

– One of Gibbon’s major employers is Northern Insulation.

– Gibbon is home to one of the offices of South Central Grain and Energy. The co-op was formerly known as South Central Co-Op, but merged with United Grain and Energy. The main office is in Fairfax, with branch offices in Franklin, Hector, and Cosmos, as well.

– Portions of the former Gibbon Ballroom were transformed into the South 80 Social Circle in recent years. Many special events are held there throughout the year.

 

Festivals & Events

– Gibbon’s big event for the year is a doozy. “Summer Funfest” is the community’s celebration of summer and fun. It features all the things you would expect in a summer festival, including music, food, and games. Gibbon Summer Funfest takes place in mid-July.

– Every Friday night throughout the months of June and July, The City of Gibbon hosts Music in the Park. The Gibbon Area Band of Renown has been in existence for so many decades that people have lost count. Each Friday a different civic or religious organization sponsors a pie sale during the concert in the park as well.

 

People

– The City of Gibbon has approximately 800 people and the Mayor is Jeff Gatton.

– Students at GFW Elementary School in Gibbon got to duct-tape their teacher to the wall in May of 2012 after raising money for a good cause. The March Of Dimes fundraiser gave the kids a chance to buy a foot of duct tape for a dollar, which they then used to tape teacher Wade Werner to the wall of the school’s gym. It took the students less than a week to raise around $1,100. 

– Gibbon got a new city administrator in 2013. Dana Bruns Lietzau was hired to replace the retiring Jim Berger.

– Two young ladies began their duties as the new royalty for the City of Gibbon in September of 2013 after being crowned during the annual Fireman’s Dance. Jessica Bode, the daughter of Vance and Jolene Bode, and Jamie Laabs, the daughter of Mike and Teresa Evenson will represent the community of Gibbon around the region over the next year. The outgoing Gibbon royalty included Mariah Schwecke and Johanna Jutz. Retired Gibbon Fire Chief Steve Klukas was honored during the 2013 dance as well. Klukas was presented the annual “Honorary Commodore’s Award” for his many years of dedication to Gibbon and his commitment to service.

– The City of Gibbon got a new chief of police in early November of 2013. Longtime Gibbon Police Chief Mike Johnson retired after over 12-years in order to begin a career as an over-the-road trucker, and Gibbon Police Officer Chris Buerkle was elevated to the position of police chief. 

 

History

– The City of Gibbon was founded in the year 1879 by August Peterson.

– Gibbon is located in Sibley County, off Highway 19. It is near Clear Lake and Mud Lake, as well as 8-mile Creek.

– Gibbon was a railroad town and pioneer settlement founded in 1879. It was named after General John Gibbon, who was the Commander of Fort Snelling at the time.

– Like many Minnesota cities, Gibbon is largely composed of the descendants of German and Scandinavian immigrants.

– The Gibbon City Hall was built in 1895 for the then-large sum of $6,170. Brick from Chaska and granite from Morton were used to create the fortress-like appearance. The building is listed on the National Register of Historical Places.

– At one time there were as many as seven saloons in Gibbon, four car dealerships, and three grocery stores.

– For almost 60 years, the Gibbon City Hall was the center of life for the community. It hosted everything from traffic court to silent movies. Other events at City Hall included: festivals, graduations, wedding receptions, talent shows, band practices, masquerade balls, city council meetings, basketball games, concerts, medicine shows, and it served as the town jail as well. Eventually, groups built their own centers for their dinners and events, and the school added a gymnasium and auditorium. City Hall’s doors were gradually closed.

– For decades Gibbon had been the sight of one of the most renowned Polka Festivals in the entire country. When Garrison Keillor held his “Prairie Home Companion Show” there, in the late 90′s he announced that the city of Gibbon had more hard maple flooring per capita than any place in the world. The actress Susan Sarandon narrated a public television special that once aired about the ballroom.

– There is an old city ordinance which bans women in taverns after 10pm. It would be an awkward ordinance for the city to enforce, since all three of the taverns in Gibbon have been owned by women at some point.

– The Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop Thunderbirds were State Football Champs in 1989.