Part of the community’s diversity can be seen in the variety of churches successfully ministering to local residents. We have an excellent mix of religious preferences, including Baptist, Catholic, Christian, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Presbyterian and independent congregations. The different religious beliefs co-exist in a spirit of harmony and frequently work together through the Ministerial Alliance and other organizations.
Central Park is located where the first settlers in the area originally made camp. They declared the spot to be “the best place I’ve seen” and has since been the local Marion slogan. The park has playground equipment for children of all ages, a sand box, a gazebo and other picnic areas, lots of big shade trees, two beautiful fountains, horse shoe pitching, basketball courts, a lighted walking trail and a beautiful natural springs area. Central Park is, without a doubt, the crown jewel of the City.
The community also has an extremely affordable local country club which offers a swimming pool, club house and beautiful 9-hole (par 36) golf course with grass greens, watered fairways, natural springs, native grass, water hazards and an ongoing cart path paving project.
The local recreation commission offers low or no cost recreational activities to area children including baseball, softball, swim team, soccer, youth basketball and a variety of other options.
The City boasts three annual events that routinely bring thousands to the community. Marion’s Old Settler’s Day is the last Saturday in September, and is a community homecoming with all the trimmings. Events include a parade, a barbecue served by the local Kiwanis Club, contest for young and old ranging from three legged races to egg catching contests. These events are all held in Central Park, creating an atmosphere similar to one that might be found on a Norman Rockwell Painting.
Our biggest celebration of the year is our annual Chingawassa Days Festival held the first weekend in June. This event, also held in the city’s Central Park, offers two days of fun ranging from carnival rides, talent shows, “fear factor like” competitions, bed races, free barbeque and poker tournaments, to the Saturday evening concert featuring national recording artists, such as 38 Special, Little River Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Trick Pony.
Our other annual event is Art in the Park, which is held the third Saturday in September. Hundreds of artists and craftsmen present their wares in the shade of the trees in Central Park. Thousands come to Marion, and the neighboring communities of Hillsboro and Florence, to find early Christmas bargains, clothing, outdoor furniture and a variety of other items, or just sample the food court.
Our old Santa Fe Depot building has recently been renovated into our City Library. This is a beautiful example of the care that local residents give to preserving the quality of life we love in Marion. We saw the impact the depot had on the development of the Marion community. And now, many years later, this small community is once again coming together to preserve, protect and enhance this building that was such an important part of our beginning.
Marion residents are also well cared for by the local healthcare community. St. Luke Hospital is owned and operated by a local hospital board and provides a full range of medical services including surgery. Hospital grounds also house offices for Marion Family Physicians, St. Luke Physicians Clinic and Marion Home Health Care. Dental care is available directly across the street from the hospital at Dr. Vinduska's Dental Clinic. In addition to these services, your chiropractic, physical therapy and therapeutic massage needs can be met locally. Marion is also home to Marion County Emergency Medical Services, so help is never far away.
Although Marion is well served by a number of highways, those who wish to get to and from destinations in a quicker fashion can utilize the Marion City Airport. This outstanding facility is located approximately one mile east of town and includes hangars for a great number of locally owned aircraft as well as paved and grass runways which is more than sufficient to handle most small aircraft.
Marion offers an outstanding variety of options for anyone interested in outdoor activities. The city is located directly between two lakes. The Marion Reservoir is located approximately four miles northwest of Marion, while the Marion County Park and Lake lies just two miles to the southeast. The lakes provide opportunities for boating, fishing, camping and related activities. Those interested in hunting find themselves in a sportsman’s paradise as is evidenced by the fact that many local individuals serve as guides. Deer, quail, pheasant and a variety of waterfowl make the area a great place to locate for those interested in hunting.