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I would have to agree with PP about the Dutch. See I grew up in NW Iowa and was Catholic and It was horrible. LeMars is a much better choice, more open minded, more diversity, Nationally it (LeMars)is known, A few of well known people have come from there. Oc is not the place to go. if you are not 1. Dutch, 2. christian Reformed and 3. have no family/aquatiances there don' go there
I grew up in Sioux Center and went to high school in Orange City. I wouldn't trade my childhood for anything and still love both towns. They're both great places to live -- for the right person. I moved away awhile ago (currently living in Los Angeles), but I look forward to visiting every year.
Growing up, Sioux Center was always the nicer, cleaner town. However, in the past decade or so, Orange City has been rising way above it. While Sioux Center has been going the direction of a faceless, cookie-cutter suburbia, Orange City has developed plenty of unique culture and has created its own identity. An entrepreneur named Clayton Korver has started several restaurants there, including Blue Mountain -- which is probably among the best restaurants in Iowa. That is not an exaggeration -- it's seriously one of the best places I've ever eaten.
Anyway, here's what you're looking at:
Yes, as others have mentioned, this town as well as most of N'West Iowa, is extremely religious. The vast majority are Christian Reformed or Reformed. There are some Lutherans as well. Most of the Catholic community lives in neighboring towns like Le Mars, Alton (there is a catholic church there), George, etc. I personally never liked Le Mars. It's dirty and poorly laid out. At one time it was one of the fastest growing cities in the country along with Chicago and others, but railroad routes eventually cemented its place as a small regional town. It IS more populous and religiously diverse than Orange City, however. Anyway, most of O.C. is tolerant enough. The younger demographic is somewhat liberal (at least compared to most rural farm towns). With that in mind, the community idealism most definitely leans toward Christian Reformed.
If you are young/single:
It depends what you like to do, but there is a not a lot as far as "going out". If you love things like going for relaxing walks, sitting in your backyard by a fire or going to high school football games, then yes, you will absolutely enjoy living in Orange City. However, if you want some sort of bar scene, or are looking to meet people to date, you won't have much luck. There are maybe 2 bars in O.C., 2 in Sioux Center, and a few scattered around in other towns, and these are all typical rural bars with darts and flatscreen tv's playing Vikings games. Also, most people here get married right out of high school, so it's pretty rare to find single people in their late-20s and especially in their 30s. So keep that in mind if you are single.
However, Sioux Falls is only an hour away, and Sioux City is even closer. Neither are that great, but they have enough to do if you're just looking for a decent night out. They both have a decent amount of bars and restaurants. If you want big-city action, Minneapolis is about 4 hours away and Kansas City isn't much further. Omaha is quite close as well.
The winter weather is not that bad. It's a typical midwestern winter. Yes, at times it will get extremely cold (-30 MAYBE once every year or two), but there are definite stretches where it hits 0 to -5 for a few weeks at a time. There are also quite a few stretches where it will be 20-40 in mid-December. I can remember many Christmases with no snow. I can also remember Halloweens with massive blizzards. So, it's quite unpredictable.
Yes, the huge majority of people there are Dutch. However, in my experience I have never seen anyone make a big deal about their Dutch heritage or anything even close to it. Sure, there's the Tulip Festival -- an annual Dutch heritage parade, and the downtown is indeed decorated with a Dutch facade on the fronts of buildings, but you will never be prejudiced because you are not Dutch. There are hundreds of non-Dutch there at this point. However, I would caution you if you are black or otherwise quite ethnic looking. The people are not necessarily racist, but they ARE quite sheltered, and many people have never seen ethnic people before, so they aren't quite sure how to respond, which could result in some staring or other awkwardness. The Asian and Mexican population are growing, but it's quite slow.
Anyway, I hope this helps. I have many, many friends and relatives in this area, and I think it's a great place to live and raise a family (but only if the above appeals to you -- it's definitely a place that some people would absolutely abhor).
jamevanbeek, your name says it all. Your Dutch, and you have never been on the other side of the coin. Need I remind you of the MOC/Floyd Vally Merger that Everyone at FV was against, (Hospers and Alton, good Catholic Towns Merging with Maurice and Orange City good Dutch Towns) Heck we called MOC (no FV at the time) Public Western Christian. And you grew up in 2 of the most Dutch ,Christian Reformed towns in N'West Iowa Sorry, I grew up in that area and had to defend my self EVERYDAY because I was an Irish Catholic in Sheldon.
Trust me when they say you ain't Dutch, you ain't much (at least there)
Last edited by neanerbean; 08-06-2009 at 05:26 PM..
Reason: Spelling error
I grew up about 50 miles north of Orange City....very close to Rock Rapids as a matter of fact. I would not recommend either place to an outsider, especially if they weren't Dutch or a Conservative Evangelical Christian. You must remember that this is the portion of the state that has given us Rep. Steve King---a scary dude to everyone except the most radical of the right.
If you must pick between the two, Orange City would be better than Rock Rapids. Granted, OC is more conservative but the people there at least are more educated, more socially adept and the town really is pretty and clean. Rock Rapids has the ultra conservatives as well but they are poorly educated, often unemployed and usually someone in their family is addicted to meth. The only benefit of Rock Rapids is that it is closer to Sioux Falls.
funny, i just looked at the original posters date of 9/06. so did somewherenew move to orange city to find happiness? or did this person pick another town that reminded him or her of orange city, florida or orange juice commercials? maybe he opted for the city of orange california. or perhaps the city of orange in one of the following states... ct, mass, nh, nj, tx, vt, or virginia.
im kinda betting the op wasnt dutch, and tulips were not the flower of choice. in my opinion, the persistent nitemares of blistering cold winter weather, mad dutchman singing polka tunes 24/7 and a giant plaid tulip hovering out his bedroom window, drove the op into long term therapy on a beach close to home.
Todd, the Dutch really don't sing polkas. They sing the Psalms....in Dutch.
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