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The Grand Forks Herald has been running a cool series of articles highlighting success stories out of North Dakota’s oil patch. Here’s the latest installment. We hope you enjoy it!
Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday North Dah-KOOOO-tah. (breath!) Haaappy Birrrthday too Yooooouuuuu!
North Dakota turned 123 years old today having achieved statehood on November 2, 1989. It is ranked as the 39th U.S. State by entry into the Union, however the exact number is a secret simply because Benjamin Harrison signed the documents in the blind and it was never disclosed which of the two Dakotas is the senior state. North Dakota claims the earlier ranking as the 39th State because of alphabetical order, but secretly we’re sure we were first.
To celebrate this momentous occasion for the state we love, the Ambassadors Program and the North Dakota Department of Commerce is launching, LuvND.com, an interactive site celebrating North Dakota’s 123rd birthday. The site features 123 ways to explore the state, one for each year of statehood. The activities featured act as a virtual bucket list for those looking for North Dakota experiences.
You’ll likely find many activities that you can say “I’ve done that!” But better yet, you’ll find a ton of things that you can add to your “must do’ in North Dakota list.
A sampling of the activities listed includes:
- Have a grinder at the Red Pepper in Grand Forks – named one of Esquire’s best places for late-night food.
- Climb North Dakota’s highest point – White Butte (Elevation 3506′) near Amidon.
- Visit North Dakota’s version of Stone Henge - Mystical Horizons near Bottineau.
- Participate in a grape stomp at Red Trail Vineyard in Buffalo.
The site also features a downloadable list so you can check off what you’ve accomplished. Visit the site at LuvND.com and be sure to share your favorites on Facebook or Twitter. We invite you to add to the list on Twitter by using the #LuvND hashtag in your posts.
Happy Birthday North Dakota … you still look as good as the day you entered the Union!
Whew! Where have we been? Sometimes life in North Dakota can get pretty crazy and you miss some blog posts. Sometimes life in North Dakota can BE crazy because you have a thirst for adventure and can’t wait to explore. North Dakota talks often about it’s legendary experiences, and we are highlighting one today that not many people get to enjoy.
North Dakota is home to the Maah Daah Hey Trail, which is America’s longest single track mountain bike trail. With 96-miles of scenic badlands beauty, the Maah Daah Hey is a challenging course that connects the northern and southern portions of Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and winds through the Little Missouri National Grasslands in the Badlands. Maah Daah Hey is a Mandan Indian phrase meaning “an area that has been or will be around for a long time.”
Thanks to one of our ambassadors, we have the ability to offer you the experience of riding the Maah Daah Hey in 3-minutes. With the help of a mounted bike cam, this group of riders was able to capture some of their Maah Daah Hey adventure last week and share it with us. Look at the amazing views, those steep ascents and descents and the sheer beauty of the badlands. Let the adventure begin!
It has been such a fun summer in North Dakota, we’ve been out enjoying our beautiful state … unfortunately, we haven’t blogged in over a month. Shame on us. Now that we’ve satisfied our Catholic/Lutheran guilt, here’s some ways for you to get out and enjoy our state through these great events and happenings.
Late July is red, white and blue in North Dakota
What’s more red, white and blue than a state fair? The North Dakota State Fair is back and better than ever with concerts, contests and the greatest fair fare. Fargo and Grand Forks host blues events and the Red River is the site of fishing tournaments. To find more information about these activities, and for a complete list of events, go to NDtourism.com or call 800-435-5663 or 701-328-2525.
Plane Fun! Hillsboro Fly-In
Fly-ins are opportunities for pilots to fly-in and neighbors to drive-in and enjoy a meal together. The burgers will be good. But up-close access to the variety of airplanes is legendary. www.ndac.aero/events.htm; 701-328-9653
Fargo’s Downtown Street Fair
Stroll through blocks of outdoor booths selling handmade arts and crafts. Enjoy awesome food and great entertainment in historic downtown Fargo. www.fmdowntown.com; 701-241-1570
15th annual Drayton Riverfest
There is something for everyone on the banks of the Red River, including food, music, parade, fireworks, Supper at the Soddy at 5 p.m. at Blessing Square, science exploration activities, mud volleyball, motorcycle run and more. www.draytonnd.com; 701-454-3474
37th annual North Dakota Governor’s Cup Walleye Derby
A total of 252 teams race out onto Lake Sakakawea for the 37th annual derby. After two days of fishing, they return for weigh-ins to see who’s going to be crowned champions. The Governor’s Cup for ages 17 and under is July 21. www.ndgovernorscup.com; 800-799-4242 or 701-337-5576
Christmas in July
Icelandic State Park, near Cavalier
Christmas is coming early to Icelandic State Park where campers decorate their campsites for Christmas. Also enjoy the kids’ bike parade and evening entertainment. www.parkrec.nd.gov; 701-265-4561
There’s something for everyone including dances, children’s games, canoe races, barbecues, golf tournament, bingo, aerial show, dessert bake-off, and parade. www.mcville.com; 701-322-4343
Vinnie’s Mud Bog
Time to get down and dirty with mud pits open for trucks and ATVs. Competition obstacle courses will be set up for four-wheel-drives and two-wheel-drives. www.vinniesmudbog.com; 701-640-0441
North Dakota State Fair
The North Dakota State Fair returns with a stellar concert lineup to include Kid Rock, Zac Brown Band, Blake Shelton, and Foreigner to name a few. Take part in the exciting midway games, ag shows, action-packed NPRA rodeo and, of course, unbeatable fair food. www.ndstatefair.com; 701-857-7620
Art and Wine Walk
Stroll the downtown area and sample an assortment of fine wines while viewing great works by talented regional artists. http://www.visitgrandforks.com/event-calendar/art-wine-walk-2012; 701-746-0444
Family Rocket Day
Gateway to Science staff will help you build and launch your very own rockets while you watch the rocket launches of professional rocketeers. http://gatewaytoscience.org/; 701-258-1975
Rod and Reel Rally Catfishing Tournament
Anglers compete in the Red River of the North’s only whopper catfishing tournament and have a chance to cash in a $30,000 bonus for breaking the North Dakota state channel catfish record. www.draytonnd.com/AnnualEvents/RodReelRally/tabid/774/Default.aspx; 701-454-6184
10th annual Praise on the Prairie Music Festival
Bring a chair and a tent and enjoy several genres of music, including Christian rock (Thursday night), country and gospel music (Friday and Saturday). Concessions and canopies for shade provided. www.praiseontheprairie.com; 701-870-4584
Old Fashioned Saturday
Spend the weekend enjoying a parade, concerts and street dance, demolition derby, craft show, games, golf tournaments, water carnival, 3-on-3 basketball tournament, car show and 5-K walk and run. www.discovernorthwood.com/news.htm; 701-587-5370
Halloween in July
Everyone is encouraged to bring costumes and candy, decorate campsites and participate in all of Lake Metigoshe State Park’s spooky events. www.parkrec.nd.gov/parks/lmsp/lmsp.html; 701-263-3281Bottom of Form
Fargo Blues Festival
Don’t miss any of the 12-band blues explosion featuring world-class bands, great food and plenty of beverages on the grass at Newman Outdoor Field. http://www.fargobluesfest.com/; 218-287-7775
The band “Firehouse” headlines this two-day community festival that also includes a golf tournament. http://finleynd.com/finley-days/; 701-524-1680
Taylor Horsefest and Musical
It’s all about horses. Events include demonstrations, parade, musical and cowboy poetry, entertainment and food booths. www.taylorhorsefest.com/events.htm; 877-757-7545 or 701-974-4210
Celebrate the area’s strong Ukrainian heritage with music, Ukrainian dancers, food and activities. http://ucitoday.org/VYTAIEMO-Welcome.html; 800-279-7391
Blues on the Red
Enjoy an evening of great blues music from some of the top musicians in the country. Vendors will be on site selling pizza, burgers and barbecue. www.visitgrandforks.com; 701-772-8404
Do and Discover
This year’s Do and Discover features historic re-enactors, lunch, Lego building, horse care lessons and old-time photographs. http://www.ellendalend.com/; 701-349-2916
Cats Incredible Catfish Days
Not just a fishing tournament! Top anglers compete while others enjoy a chili cook-off, beer garden, food vendors, live entertainment, games and contests. www.gochamber.org; 701-772-7271
Northern Great Plains Culture Fest
Knife River Indian Villages, Stanton
Learn about the people who first inhabited the area through cultural demonstrations and presentations of the lives of people that lived on the Plains. www.nps.gov/knri; 701-745-3300
These are just a few of North Dakota activities and events taking place in late July. For more information, go to NDTourism.com or phone 701-328-2525 or 800-435-5663.
Guest Blog from ND Tourism: www.LegendaryND.wordpress.com.
It’s almost Memorial Weekend which means, for most people, a nice three-day weekend. Last year our Memorial Weekend update included information about flooding and closures. This year we’re happy to say – Missouri River boat ramps are open! All 18-holes of Bully Pulpit Golf Course are open! Campgrounds in the Badlands are open! The Dakota Zoo is open! And that’s just the tip of the iceberg for fun experiences you can enjoy this weekend and all summer long in North Dakota.
Looking for some North Dakota travel tips? Be sure to pick up an official North Dakota Travel Guide and state map. They’re free and if you don’t already have one you can pick them up at rest areas or order online and we’ll mail them to you. Check your routes online with the ND Dept. of Transportation. A travel information map will alert you to any road closures or construction.
Here are a few events from our weekend calendar and you can find many more at www.NDtourism.com.
- Memorial Day is Military Appreciation Day in all North Dakota State Parks which means free admission for veterans and current service members.
- The Sky Dance Sakakawea kite festival will take place at Fort Stevenson State Park – May 26-28
- How about a Wild West Shootout? It goes down at 3 p.m. on Monday in the Frontier Village in Jamestown
- Kick back with some cowboy poetry, May 26 in Medora
Memorial Day services are held in communities around the state. One of the most notable takes place in Sherwood where veterans from the U.S. and Canada exchange flags at the International Boundary. A program and parade will follow with North Dakota’s Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley as keynote speaker.
Thousands of runners will be flocking to the Fargo area this weekend to participate in the eighth annual Fargo Marathon. It has best described as Flat, Fast, Friendly & Fun… with an emphasis on Friendly & Fun! The Fargo Marathon has been the recipient of the Runner’s World Magazine Reader’s Choice Award as the #1 Best Value Marathon in America. Runners World also recognized the event as the 8th Best Overall Marathon in America in January 2010.
The festivities kick off on Thursday with a youth half mile and 1-mile run. Also starting Thursday is the Health and Fitness Expo at the Fargo Dome. Runners can pick up their packets and visit more than 80 vendors showcasing the latest and greatest in food, clothing, shoes, souvenirs and more.
Let the carb loading begin! On Friday night the pasta and lefse feed will be filling all of our runners with extra carbohydrates so they have extra energy for the big race. Friday evening is the start of the event with the 5K race. This year, the Fargo Marathon Organization set a goal to register 10,000 runners for the 5K. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota and NIKE have partnered to produce a matching funds program with the goal of raising enough money to purchase a new pair of running shoes for 1000 underprivileged children in the Red River Valley.
On your mark…get set…run! Saturday morning the 10K kicks off bright and early at 7 a.m. with the half marathon runners starting at 7:30 and the full marathon runners at 8:15 a.m. If you are in the Fargo area you should definitely come down and cheer on the runners. The “cheerleaders” as I call them are an important part of the race. They keep runners excited and driven to keep going. If you can get to the finish line, which is inside the Fargo Dome, it is such a neat experience to see runners of all sizes and ages cross the finish line. What an amazing accomplishment it is for all the runners. The Fargo Marathon is one of the coolest events North Dakota has so get out and cheer on the runners this weekend!
A friend of ours was recently inspired after attending a freelance writer’s conference to create her own North Dakota Bucket List. We created a bucket list once, but we think we may not have understood the concept at the time.
She, much like many of our Ambassadors, loves North Dakota and was shocked by how many times she hears about new places to go and visit even after living in the state her entire life. We liked the list so much we thought we’d encourage you to think about your North Dakota bucket list. Check out her list below and for the full skinny – and we mean skinny, as she is normally a fitness and healthy food blogger – visit her at www.donteatcrapblog.com.
North Dakota Bucket List ala Brianna Strahm (AKA @donteatcrap)
- Drive through Teddy Roosevelt National Park to pet the buffalo and experience the Medora Musical (again!) (Editor’s Note: We strongly advise against petting buffalo.)
- Bike or Hike “part” of the 100 mile Maah Daah Hey Trail
- Go sailing on Lake Sakakawea
- Kayaking or canoeing on the Pembina River
- Catch a walleye in Devils Lake
- Go to a UND Hockey Game at the Ralph Engelstad
- Take a picture with the Worlds Largest Buffalo (again!)
- Drive down the Enchanted Highway
- Visit the Rock Museum in Parshall
- Visit the Wood Chipper in Fargo
- Walk across the Fairview Bridge
- Visit Prairie Fire Pottery in Beach
- Eat at the Pitchfork Fondue in Medora
- Eat Juneberry Pie at Lunds Landing in Ray
- Sample a dessert from Nicole’s Fine Pastry in Fargo
- Eat Chippers from Widmans in Grand Forks (again!)
- Visit the Albino Buffalo in Jamestown (sorta again!)
- Ride a sled being pulled by an ATV at Papa’s Polar Patch
- Stay at the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo
- Experience Norsk Hostfest in Minot
- Participate in a grape stomp at the Red Trail Vineyard in Buffalo
Now for the BIG question … what would you add to the list?
The winter-that-kind-of-wasn’t in North Dakota has allowed, even, encouraged us to play outdoors. To prove North Dakota still has plenty to do indoors, we’re challenging you to take a break from hiking, biking and fishing this April to experience a few indoor events guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.
The Blue Man Group will be performing at the Fargodome on Tuesday, April 3. If you aren’t familiar with this wildly popular group, they are well-known for their combination of comedy, music, technology and starkly blue faces. The Blue Man Group show has been described as intensely exciting, outrageous, and one that leaves the audience in a blissful, euphoric state. And, who doesn’t love euphoria?! With no spoken language, Blue Man Group is perfect for people of all languages, and cultures.
Crafters and art fans unite! The 21st annual Minot Spring Show will be held April 13-14 at the North Dakota State Fair and includes more than 250 booths showcasing products hand-made from across the U.S. If you can’t make it to Minot, head to Hazen for their Art Show April 28-29. The weekend will be filled with demonstrations, entertainment and viewing of artwork in a variety of categories and hosted by the Hazen Arts and Crafts Association.
Ready to rev up those engines? Grand Forks is the place to be April 14 – 15 for both motorcycle and car enthusiasts. The Red River Valley Motorcycle Show held at the Alerus Center is one of the region’s largest gatherings of motorcycles and will showcase some of the best classic and modern bikes. You also have a chance to win a custom 2012 Harley Davidson Road King motorcycle! For the car lovers, the 30th annual Prime Steel Car Show will be on tap at the Purpur/Gambucci Arenas featuring some amazing classic cars, hot rods, muscle cars & antiques.
Love opera? Then head to Fargo to experience Beethoven’s one and only opera, Fidelio premiering April 13 and 15 at Festival Concert Hall at NDSU. Hear and see the story of mistaken identity, love that conquers all and a final chorus that never fails to bring the audience to its feet. Wrapping up the list for those enjoying musical entertainment is the “Big Sing” in Jamestown April 28-29. This annual gathering of over 300 men from 12 choruses is sure to get toes tapping.
Greek letter (), is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi Day is celebrated by math enthusiasts around the world on March 14th. Pi = 3.1415926535 … (which has been calculated out to the trillionth digit by some super computer somewhere).
Math enthusiast or not, who wouldn’t want to celebrate a day so obscure and with the fortunate name of Pi? Any what might the best way to celebrate be … you guessed it, eating pie. Of course North Dakota has some excellent options to celebrate, whether at your mom’s countertop at one of the many local diners across the state.
So get out there and celebrate North Dakota, by eating pie in honor of Pi Day. Need a few ideas for great destinations for mouth-watering pie in North Dakota? We recommend (with a watering mouth and a hankering for diner coffee): Tower City Café – Tower City, Lewis and Clark Café – Washburn, Lunds Landing in Ray – Juneberry Pie, Little Cottage Cafe – Bismarck, and Webo’s Café in Linton.
This Ambassador is celebrating by fondly viewing my Pi plate (yes, it is awesome) and hoping my mother shows up with one of her homemade pies (Sweet Nordic gods, let it be apple … or wonder berry … or sour cream raisin … or rhubarb …).
If you haven’t connected yet with North Dakota Matters you may want to subscribe. This email newsletter from the North Dakota Department of Commerce offers up news and upcoming happenings taking place in the world of business in North Dakota. The March issue is hot off the presses just waiting for you to take a look: http://bit.ly/yn9hUF