Bird Island Day, February 2, 2018 02 Jan 18

Businesses

– Bird Island shares a school district with the communities of Olivia and Lake Lillian, to form BOLD. The school in Bird Island teaches grades K-8. Their mascot is the Warrior. There is also a parochial school in Bird Island, St. Mary’s.

– Bird Island caters to the agricultural needs of the area with 2 of its businesses. The Bird Island Farmer’s Elevator serves the grain storage and other needs of its patrons, while Kibble Equipment, also known as Anderson Implement, provides the machinery needed to grow those commodities.

– A popular meeting place for many miles in Bird Island is Athmann’s Inn. The Inn, along with the adjoining Island Ballroom, are owned by Mark Athmann. The Ballroom is home to numerous events throughout the year, including Polka Fest and the Farm, Home, and Health Show.

– There is a group home in Bird Island for mentally-challenged adults. It is called Renville County Community Residence.

– Bird Island has a center for traumatic brain injuries. It is called Glesener’s Incorporated.

– Bird Island is home to an internet cafe. The Broaster Cafe became Renville County’s 1st such establishment in 2005. The Broaster features a high-speed internet connection capable of video-conference calls. 

 

Festivals & Events

– Bird Island is home to the Renville County Fair. The fair is held in August every year.

– Every July, the Island Ballroom in Bird Island puts on “Polkafest.” The celebration of all things polka is always held around the 4th of July.

– Bird Island’s summer festival is called “Island Days.” It features community ball games, a street dance, children’s dance, and many other fun activities, including of course, the eating of wings. Island Days takes place in late June.

 

People

– The City of Bird Island has a population of approximately 1,200 people. The Mayor of Bird Island is Doug Erickson.

Members of the Bird Island and Renville County EDA, city council and The Learning FunHouse staged a ceremonial ribbon cutting event to officially acknowledge the opening of the Leaerning Funhouse’s expanded facility. 

A Renville County Sheriff’s Deputy is credited for reaching out and bonding with the communities he serves and is the 2017 recipient of the Chris Domeier Community Policing Award. Deputy Tom Swyter was presented the award by the Renville County Board of Commissioners. Swyter joined the Renville County Sheriff’s Office as a part-time deputy in 2009 and began full-time duty in 2011. His assignments at the sheriff’s office include serving the communities of Bird Island and Sacred Heart. 

Veteran Dan Knight has been instrumental in getting proper flag disposal containers in all 10 cities in Renville County with the help of Renville County Sheriff Scott Habel. All materials for Knight to make the containers were donated by area businesses. Once a year all the flags in Renville County are collected and a flag burning ceremony is held on Flag Day. 

 

History

– The City of Bird Island was founded in the year 1881 as a railroad settlement.

– Bird Island is located on Highway 212 in Renville County. The town is located between Birch Coulee and Buffalo Creeks.

– Like many other pioneer communities, Bird Island was founded as a railroad settlement. Local history says the town got its name because of a large nearby lake that had an island. Birds used to perch on that island, making it “Bird Island.” The lake has since been drained, but people can still see where the dried up lake bed is.

– Bird Island is home to former State Representative and Teacher Roger Cooper.

– Bird Island is the hometown of baseball and basketball stand-out Barry Wohler.

– KNUJ’s own Todd Olson hails from the City of Bird Island!