What’s Hometown Pride?
Hometown Pride is a grant program that highlights what makes the town and community that your c-store supports special. Which attractions bring your community together or puts your town on the map? This could include unique events, landmarks, places, groups or traditions. Although we love original and creative ideas, below are some examples for inspiration.
Considering a submission? Here are some questions to ideate:
- What special events, landmarks or features bring your community together?
- What unique community event or tradition celebrates your hometown’s history, present or future?
- Does your community have any legends that locals are proud of or that tourists flock to see?
Please be sure to upload any photos along with your story. We’d love to see what makes your town unique!
Ready to tell us what makes your community unique?
Past Hometown Pride Winners
Hometown Pride is all about celebrating community. The Cenex brand has honored many events, landmarks, attractions and traditions to date. Each have received a $5,000 grant to support local efforts and continue the celebration. In total, Cenex donated $100,000 to hometowns in 2019.
Edible Prairie Project in Gillette, WY
The EPP is a nonprofit that supports independent family-scale agriculture and increases the affordability and accessibility of food for all members of their community. EPP strives to cultivate a fair, resilient, and sustainable community food system.
Potato Days in Clark, S.D.
Historically, Clark has always been a potato town. So, each year they celebrate their history and their current potato farmers with Potato Days, a festival complete with potato cooking contests, decorating contests and even mash potato wrestling.
Cyclone Day Memorial in Codell, KS
On May 20 a tornado tore through the town of Codell three years in a row: 1916, 1917 and 1918. In commemoration of the record-setting weather phenomena and it’s 100th year anniversary, a 15-foot Cyclone sculpture was installed in a local park.
Outdoors Without Boundaries in Newton, IA
Through passionate volunteers and specialized equipment, Central Iowa Outdoors Without Boundaries is a nonprofit organization that gets everyone enjoying the outdoors through hunting, no matter their physical limitations.
Klassen Popcorn Stand in Plainview, MN
Since 1989, Leona Klassen and her family have been selling popcorn at their polka-dotted popcorn stand in Plainview, Minn. Open on summer evenings throughout the summer, locals and visitors know where to get a salty snack!
Corona Cruise in Pond Creek, OK
When COVID-19 stay-at-home orders felt the most isolating, the Pond Creek community mobilized. They met under the local Cenex canopy for a cruise down main street every Saturday evening, bringing the community together from afar.
Avenue of Flags in Hemingford, NE
On five holidays throughout the year, over 200 American Internment Flags line this Nebraskan town's main streets. Each of the flags were donated by veteran’s families, then cared for and hung by the local legion.
Champions Park in Shelby, MT
Located at the site of the historical 1923 boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Tommy Gibbons, Champions Park highlights the history of this northern Montana town with life-sized statues and a boxing ring.
Tulip Time in Pella, IA
This annual celebration transforms Pella into a town rich in Dutch culture, featuring parades, food, performances, attire and thousands of blossoming tulips. Each October, volunteers plant the tulip bulbs in preparation for the event that takes place each May.
Castletown USA in Ida Gove, IA
This small Iowan town hosts an eclectic assortment of medieval architecture. Locals and visitors alike revel in the midst of dozens of everyday buildings designed as castles like the newspaper office, a roller-skating rink and the shopping plaza, to name a few.
ARC Park in Hays, KS
ARC Park aims to give a space for children with all abilities to learn, grow and play. An accessible playground, splash pad and baseball field will bring children and families of Kansas together.
Eagle Watching in Sauk City, WI
Hundreds of people gather in the winter months to watch eagles soar along the Wisconsin River. Each January, the town hosts Eagle Watching Days for bird watchers to celebrate our national bird.
100 Years of Pheasant Hunting in Redfield, SD
Known as the pheasant hunting capital of the world, Redfield has become an epicenter for generations of hunting families during opening weekend. In 2019, the tradition celebrates its one hundredth year, or its “Pheasantennial.”
The Geographic Center of North America in Rugby, ND
A monument marks what is known as the center of North America. Nearby is the Prairie Village Museum that celebrates the history of the region and emphasizes the community’s commitment to local businesses.
110-foot Elevator Mural and 1925 Carousel in Faulkton, SD
A two-for-one deal: Faulkton hosts both a 110-foot grain elevator mural painted by Australian artist Guido VanHelten and a nearly 100 year-old carousel still in operation every summer.
Neewollah in Independence, KS
One hundred years ago, Neewollah (Halloween backwards) started as a way to keep playful pranksters out of mischief on Halloween night. Now it is a week-long event that gathers people from across the state.
Storybook Land in Aberdeen, SD
From the Humpty Dumpty roller coaster to a Wizard of Oz balloon ride, this free nursery rhyme amusement park brings families together in the summer months.
Baileyville Benefit Basketball Tournament and Fundraiser in Seneca, KS
Each winter, hundreds gather to participate in a basketball and volleyball tournament and auction to raise money that helps local families in need. In 2018, $130,000 was raised and split between four deserving Kansas families.
Fourth of July Turtle Races in Sterling, KS
Many towns use fireworks and parades to celebrate the Fourth of July, but in Sterling the holiday also includes decorating and racing Kansas Box turtles. Grant winnings were used by Sterling’s volunteer fire department.
Annual Threshing Bee in Donnelly, MN
To honor Donnelly’s history of agriculture, the annual Threshing Bee celebration includes threshing competitions, antique tractor pulls, and live chain saw carving.
King Turkey Day in Worthington, MN
This long-standing tradition celebrates the abundance of wild turkeys in southern Minnesota. Each year, turkeys from Worthington and Cuero, Texas race for the title of the Great Gobbler Gallop.
Dickens Village Festival in Garrison, ND
For nearly 30 years, this three-weekend festival turns Garrison into the Christmas Capitol of North Dakota. The event features horse-drawn carriages, an authentic English double decker bus, a lighted parade and live performances of A Christmas Carol.
Authentic Danish Windmill in Kenmare, ND
Built in 1902 by a Danish immigrant farmer, this beautiful windmill fell victim to arson in the winter of 2019. Since then, the community’s park district has raised funds to restore the town’s valued landmark.
Pelican Pete in Pelican Rapids, MN
Pelican Pete is a 15-foot-6-inch statue that was built in 1957 and holds the title of world’s largest pelican. Pete is an area landmark and frequent photo-op for tourists.
Willie Walleye in Baudette, MN
Willie the Walleye is a 40-foot, 2.5-ton fish that was built in 1957 and has come to symbolize the Lake of the Woods, an area that is heavily trafficked by local and traveling anglers.
Avenue of Flags in Holstein, IA
A Holstein avenue is lined with nearly 450 flags, each privately purchased and dedicated to military veterans who have connections to the community.
Kid Day in Benson, MN
A tradition that dates back to the 1930s, Kid Day celebrates the youth of small-town America. The event draws kids from across the state for a fun-filled day including a parade, carnival, live music, kid royalty and more.
The Community Band in Meire Grove, MN
The Meire Grove Community Band has been playing since 1883, making it the longest continually- playing band in the state of Minnesota.
Antique Carousel in Story City, IA
This 100-year-old, hand-carved wooden carousel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was honored by the National Carousel Association. It was purchased in 1938 and has nearly 20,000 riders each summer.
Ojibwe Tribe Powwows in Cass Lake, MN
In Minnesota’s warmer months, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe host powwows near Cass Lake to celebrate Native American heritage in song and dance, while working to raise funds for the Native American community.
Annandale Free Store in Annandale, MN
The Annandale Free Store provides free clothing, hygiene supplies and household items to people in need. Funded entirely from community donations, this small town store demonstrates the spirit of neighbors coming together for one another.
CF Russel Stadium in Trenton, MO
This 1934 high school stadium is home to many memories for the community, from sporting events to local festivals, vigils and fundraisers. A staple event is the annual Pink Out night, where the community rallies to raise money for the Grundy County Breast Cancer Support Group.
Paddlefishing Season in Glendive, MT
Paddlefish descend from an ancient lineage of primitive fish most closely related to sturgeons. It is said that they may be the oldest big game animal in North America, which draws people from across the nation to Glendive to cross paddlefishing off their bucket list.
Hot Air Balloon Days in Creston, IA
Since 1978, balloonists and spectators have flocked to Creston to attend this annual balloon event. The festival also includes a parade of bands, balloon rides, flea market and the popular Night Glow event.
Holiday Festival of Lights in Yankton, SD
Nothing kicks off the holiday season like the annual Holiday Festival of Lights, which includes a parade of lights and T tree lighting ceremony to bring the community together and celebrate the holiday spirit.
Iola Car Show in Iola, WI
As the largest car show and swap meet in America, this event draws more than 115,000 people to this small town. This nonprofit event began in 1972, relies on more than 2,000 volunteers and has given back more than $8.4 million to more than 130 different civic organizations or projects since its inception.
New Recreational Ball Fields in Saint George, KS
The town of Saint George only has one baseball field, which creates a bottleneck of users throughout the year. Which is why the St. George Recreation Commission (SGRC) is working to complete new baseball fields and is raising funds for fencing, tilling, seeding the outfield, lights, bleachers, restrooms, parking and more.
Menominee County Fair in Powers, MI
For more than 100 years, the Menominee County Fair has brought fun and excitement to its community. The event includes tractor pulls, proud 4H kids showing their animals and carnival games and rides.
Metal for Moms in Monroeville, OH
Nonprofit Metal for Moms recycles donated metal and turns the scrap into profits for local charities. Since its inception in 2011, the group has recycled more than 1.2 million pounds of metal and has given more than $120,000 to local charities. The group has also donated swing sets, baseball mitts and Christmas presents for people in need.
Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in Hayward, WI
Dedicated to promoting the sport of freshwater fishing and archiving its history, this museum features sportfishing artifacts including rods, reels, mounted fish and antique motors, along with a 143-foot-long, outdoor Muskie sculpture resting atop an 88,000-gallon pond.