All roads lead to Miles City for 'All-70s' reunion

With gas prices low and summer slipping away, millions of Americans will take to the roads and the air this weekend for the three-day Labor Day weekend.

In Miles City, expect a net gain from the travel, as hundreds of natives make their way home for the weekend, many with their dancing shoes packed in the trunk.

They’ll be attending the All-70s Class Reunion for graduates of Custer County District High School and Sacred Heart High School.

“Right now 550 or more have registered, but we’re expecting at least 20-30 walk-ins,” said Fidele Dent, who is co-charing the reunion committee with Terri Newby.

“I won’t be surprised if we have 600 people,” she said.

Registration begins at 4 p.m. at Riverside Park in Miles City.

Highlights of the reunion will include a street dance from 9 p.m. until midnight today in the 600 block of Main Street, a dinner Saturday evening at the Eastern Montana Fairgrounds, and a Sunday morning church service, also at the fairgounds.

Attendees will experience a special treat during the street dance. Dent said the disc jockey has agreed to play the theme song from all of the proms held at the two schools during the decade.

The reunion will be a boon for the local hospitality industry, Dent said.

“The motels are full this weekend. Not everybody has family to stay with,” Dent explained.

Persons not attending the reunion will find area parks, most retail stores, the hospital, and many recreation facilities open this weekend.

Government offices and the Miles City Star will be closed. The paper will not publish on Monday to give employees time to spend with their families. Publication will resume on Tuesday.

Despite the reunion crowd, all roads won’t lead to Miles City. While the American Automobile Association is not issuing its annual travel estimates this year, experts expect heavy traffic as Americans enjoy their last three-day weekend of the summer.

Gas prices will figure in that decision.

According to GasBuddy’s survey of 615 gas outlets in Montana, the average price for a gallon regular unleaded is $2.31. It marks an increase of 3.4 cents over last week, but that figure is still 37.7 cents per gallon lower than last Labor Day.

“As the summer driving season wraps up, gasoline prices have risen for 14 consecutive days ... ,“ said Patrick DeHaan, senior petroleum analyst for GasBuddy. “While the final note may be a bit sour, the sweetness of what is still the cheapest summer gas in a decade will linger.”