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West Fest wonders: West Fargo city celebration to kick off Friday

Crowds line both sides of the street at the West Fest parade Sept. 16, 2017, on Sheyenne Street in West Fargo. Forum file photo1 / 2
A dinosaur walks the parade route during the West Fest parade Sept. 16, 2017, on Sheyenne Street in West Fargo. Forum file photo2 / 2

WEST FARGO — West Fargo's own city celebration, West Fest, will kick off this week with a band jam on Friday, Sept. 14, followed by one of the largest parades in the state on Saturday, Sept. 15.

City Spokeswoman Melissa Richard said this year's theme is "Redefining Tomorrow," which will focus on the city's efforts to create a downtown feel on Sheyenne Street. There, the city, VFW and Sheyenne Plaza and Pioneer Place Developer Todd Berning partnered to build the POW/MIA Plaza, which opened earlier this year.

Richard said using the POW/MIA Plaza for events this year will be new. On Saturday, a FITLIFE boot camp will be held on the plaza followed by a viewing party of the Bison game on the big screen. The city's annual street dance will be held on the plaza Saturday evening.

The city decided to hold a street dance on Saturday night for the first time in years in 2017, after the Fire Department decided not to continue its annual Firemen's Ball as part of West Fest.

The street dance allows for attendees to bring their own drinks, including alcohol. West Fargo allows open alcohol containers on the street for special events, such as Cruise Night.

"We aren't allowing spectators to stand or sit in front of the Pioneer Place construction site to ensure safety," Richard said.

After the 27th annual West Fest kicks off Friday with a West Fargo Band Jam at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Saturday will begin with the annual parade on Sheyenne Street. The parade is one of the largest in the state, attracting thousands of spectators. This year, there will be 112 entries.

A food court will also be available Saturday on Fourth Avenue West off Sheyenne Street from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

On Sunday, Sept. 16, the VFW will host a pancake breakfast and the Red River Regional Marksmanship Center will host Western Days.

Schedule of events

Friday:

• West Fargo Band Jam, free at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 825 E. Beaton Dr., 7 to 11:30 p.m.

Saturday:

• Blessed Sacrament Pancake Feed at Blessed Sacrament, 210 Fifth Ave. W., 7:30 to 10:30 a.m.

• Coed Softball Tournament, $125 per team fees and registration, South Elmwood Park, 535 13th Ave. W., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• West Fest Children's Fun Run, fees and registration at soleMOTIONrace.com, site registration available 7 to 8:15 a.m., Sheyenne Street and Second Avenue West intersection, 9 to 10:30 a.m.

• West Fest 5K and 10K, fees and registration at soleMOTIONrace.com, site registration available 7 to 8:15 a.m., Sheyenne Street and Second Avenue West intersection, 9:10 to 10:30 a.m.

• FitLife Boot Camp, free at the POW/MIA Plaza, 444 Sheyenne St., 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

• Penny & Pals performance, free, Grandstand, 322 Sheyenne St., 10 to 11:15 a.m.

• Craft and Vendor Show, Blessed Sacrament north parking lot, 210 Fifth Ave. W., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• West Fest Food Court, Fourth Avenue West and Sheyenne Street intersection, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• High School Band Jam, Sheyenne Street in front of POW/MIA Plaza, 444 Sheyenne St., 11:15 to 11:45 a.m.

• West Fest Parade, Sheyenne Street from Second Avenue West to 10th Avenue West, noon

• Family Fun, Blessed Sacrament and Sukut Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues West, 2 to 4:30 p.m.

• North Alabama Lions at North Dakota State University Bison on the plaza screen, POW/MIA Plaza, 444 Sheyenne St., 2:30 p.m.

• West Fest Street Dance, free, featuring Big Toe and the Jam, POW/MIA Plaza, 444 Sheyenne St., 6 to 9 p.m.

Sunday:

• West Fargo High School Volleyball Pancake Breakfast, freewill donation, VFW, 444 Sheyenne St., 8 a.m. to noon

• Western Day, Red River Regional Marksmanship Center, 640 16th Ave. NE, noon to 5 p.m.

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

(701) 241-5530
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