Why Orange City: Lucas Heiberger

Why did you move to Orange City?

Initially, I moved to Orange City as a college student at Northwestern College. The college was exactly what I was looking for in my higher education experience, and I particularly liked that it was in a small town that has a great self-awareness of its unique community and amenities. After college, I took a job at the college and found housing in Orange City. Growing up in rural SD, I like that Orange City has that rural midwest vibe while simultaneously offering a rich town culture.

How would you describe your lifestyle in Orange City (work, school, activities)?

Much of my time during the school year is spent working with college students. I serve as the Director of Student Programs at Northwestern, so I often tell friends and family that “they pay me to plan the fun stuff!”, which is often true. It’s a fast-paced, high-energy job that occasionally gives me fun opportunities to partner with the local businesses and community members as well, which I quite enjoy.

Outside of work, and especially during the summer, I really enjoy getting out and playing some sports with friends (sand volleyball, golf, frisbee), taking walks or bike rides around town (including the Puddle Jumper, Landsmeer, and Dunlop Wildlife trails), and serving in various roles during the Orange City Tulip Festival in May. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention grabbing a beer and wings with friends at great restaurants like The Roadhouse during trivia nights.

What has surprised you the most about living in Orange City?

Orange City residents really lean into their hometown businesses. The community really does a great job shopping and supporting local, which really helps develop a unique small-town feel with a lively downtown environment. A product of that is also bringing residents closer together as a community by investing their money back into their neighbors’ businesses.

What do you most enjoy about the community?

As someone who grew up on an acreage, I’ve really enjoyed experiencing the small-town atmosphere that simultaneously has an active and lively community when you want to engage with it. There’s a variety of activities to get involved in, churches to connect with, shops to explore and a familiar face on nearly every block. And it’s all within walking distance!

What makes Orange City unique from other places you’ve lived?

The town’s cleanliness and support for one another’s livelihood is top-notch. There’s something to be said about how many of the residents come together and volunteer their time to put on the annual Tulip Festival for visitors as well. It’s really all about that tight-knit community and pride in one’s town.

What should others outside of Orange City or those considering a move to Orange City know?

Orange City is a growing town in the rural midwest that’s constantly offering more and more exciting opportunities to live, work, and play. It’s doing “small town” right.