Orange City: Home of the Dutch in the USA

Orange City is a square mile town with a population of less than six thousand. Fields surround the city in all directions. It’s also isolated from the outside world. It takes an hour to the interstate, two hours to Omaha airport, and an estimated four hours to Des Moines. While Hawarden (20 miles from Orange city) was discovered in the 1870s, it had a constant flow of strangers. As a result, the town grew with hotels and gambling places. However, Orange City lacked infrastructure like the railroad, or, until recently a four-lane highway. As a result, the town culture is still pure and preserved.

Immigrants in 1870 founded the town. Most of them were in search of farming land. Until recently, almost all the people living in the city were Dutch. The names of the stores still bear Dutch names. In the early twentieth century, the First Reformed Church broke off and bore American Reformed Church. The aim was to have a church that conducted services in English. Years later, the Dutch speakers began to die off. As a result, the town took measures aimed at preserving their culture. The shops on the main stretch took the Dutch designs and colors. To date, they still hold the Tulip Festival. Bulbs get imported from Netherlands and planted in rows, and for three days, the people in the city dress in Dutch costumes with the designs of the nineteenth-century.

After the Tulip festival, another ritual is enacted. Hundreds of children graduate from high school after which they choose to leave or stay in the city. The decision sets a course of their lives. The choice is not driven by necessity but the way of life. Those that remain have defined the current economic state of the town. However, since the 2016 election, staying or leaving has taken a political dimension. The decision to stay or go is a significant political predictor. As such, many choose to stay.