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Forum staff reports, Published January 03 2010

Highlights and hopes for 2010

Aside from giving us all a reason to celebrate still being alive, the new year doesn’t actually bring much change into the world.

But if there’s magic to the end of a calendar year, it’s the renewed hope people have for change in the coming 12 months.

Whether it’s a new commitment to get in shape, a time frame for ditching vices or determining an unfulfilled goal’s deadline, the new year gives us a blank slate to plot our desires.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of local events and ideas we’re excited for this year. But with hope in mind, we’ve paired them with some of our requests to make the year even greater than it looks like it will be.

Let us know what you’re excited for in 2010 by leaving comments with this story.

Movies

What we’re excited for: A new “Twilight” movie

Twihards only have to wait six months for Bella, Edward and Jacob to reclaim the silver screen.

“The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” is due in theaters June 30.

The third installment should have plenty of action as the werewolves and vampires unite to protect mortal Bella from a bloodthirsty army out to get her.

Moviegoers boycotting both Team Edward and Team Jacob can look forward to “Alice in Wonderland” directed by Tim Burton, Ridley Scott’s “Robin Hood” and a stream of sequels, including “Iron Man 2,” “Toy Story 3,” “Sex and the City 2” and “Shrek Forever After.”

What we hope for: That the fourth novel in the “Twilight” saga, “Breaking Dawn,” will be made into a movie already

And that Stephenie Meyer finishes “Midnight Sun,” a novel that tells the “Twilight” tale from Edward’s perspective.

Both projects have been in limbo for what seems like an eternity. While Twihards may enjoy reading about eternal beings, they don’t like waiting that long.

– Sherri Richards

Weather

What we’re excited for: The possibility of a spring flood seems a lot less likely

Only Mother Nature knows for sure, but we’ve heard conditions are less favorable for major flooding than they were last year.

Fall precipitation has been closer to normal, frost depths are not as deep and the soil is not as saturated as last year, says Mike Lukes, hydrologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, N.D.

“We’re going into winter with a better situation than we did last fall,” he says.

What we hope for: A warmer summer

Last year’s climate-dramatic spring was followed by a cool summer. This year, we want hot fun in the summertime.

We’re only given a few weeks to frolic in Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, ideally done on 80-degree days.

There’s reason to hope. Lukes says we’re in an El Niño winter, which tends to be followed by warmer weather.

– Sherri Richards

Sports

What we’re excited for: More Roller Derby

There weren’t a lot of expectations for the FM Derby Girls’ first bout last November. After all, the squad was fundraising and talking about the future for so long there were concerns a local team could ever see action. But North Dakota’s first roller derby match was a fabulous success that filled the Fargo Civic Center with fans all too eager to cheer, yell and holler during the victory over a Winnipeg team. We’ve been Jonesin’ for more derby action ever since. And with the FM Derby Girls finally releasing a season schedule, we have four more reasons to be excited. The first one is Saturday night at the Fargo Civic Center featuring the two FM Derby Girls squads facing each other.

What we’re hoping for: Continued excitement for the local Roller Derby squad

It’s easy to get excited for something new or novel. But people in this region have a habit of losing interest in, well, anything. Hopefully this doesn’t happen with the Derby Girls because that first bout in November was as fun and electric as anything else in Fargo-Moorhead last year.

– Robert Morast

FM Derby Girls schedule

Concerts

What we’re excited for: The Fargodome’s fast start for 2010

Chances are it’s going to be cold in the Red River Valley until May. Fortunately, the Fargodome’s event calendar won’t be frozen during that time as it hosts the surprisingly popular ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham on Feb. 3, ageless rock act Bon Jovi on March 13 and pop guitar god John Mayer on April 8. Spaced almost exactly a month apart, these three events give the pop culture addicts some hope during the dreary winter/spring time frame.

What we’re hoping for: The Fargodome’s schedule doesn’t dry up after April

Sure, it has a strong start to 2010. But can the Fargodome maintain the goods throughout the entire year? Or will we witness droughts like the back half of 2009 that didn’t have a meaningful Fargodome concert after Green Day’s July date. And, if the Fargodome does bring in more acts through this year, can it avoid the recent retread acts? Bon Jovi’s cool, but the band was just here a couple of years ago. Ditto for last year’s Elton John/Billy Joel concert. How about bringing in some Taylor Swift? Or Beyonce? Or, dare we dream, U2?

– Robert Morast

Festivals

What we’re excited about: Kid Rock at WE Fest

When WE Fest promoters announced that Keith Urban and Kenny Chesney would both return in 2010 as headliners, the stage was set for a great party. But when they announced last fall that Kid Rock was crashing that lineup as the Friday night headliner, that party just exploded. Next to Jimmy Buffett and possibly Bon Jovi, Rock is the only act that could broaden the audience for the already packed country music showcase that annually draws more than 50,000 fans.

What we’d like to see: More rock at Soo Pass Ranch

While the Kid Rock announcement created a buzz, the revelation that the Soo Pass’ sister festival, 10,000 Lakes, was on hiatus, led to gasps in some circles. In 2009 organizers brought in different acts than the fest’s traditional jam bands with acts like indie rockers Wilco, rapper Atmosphere, honky tonk guitarist Junior Brown and soul singer Sharon Jones. But hardcore fans blame Dave Matthews for bringing in the wrong crowd and being too expensive. We understand it’s a business and promoters can’t afford to lose money, but it’s a shame that new stage won’t get as much use this summer. So we hope 10,000 Lakes reorganizes as something with a little more appeal that could still appease its fan base. Headliners like Neil Young, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, Radiohead or Modest Mouse could boost attendance without hashing the vibe.

– John Lamb

Food

What we’re excited for: More diversity in dining options

Not so long ago, Fargo-Moorhead’s idea of an ethnic restaurant was a Pannekuchen.

But these days, F-M’s menu of eateries offers a much worldlier view.

You’ll find everything from Thai food and authentic Mexican grub to gastropub fare and teppanyaki.

Not only that, fine-dining options have multiplied on both sides of the river.

It’s encouraging to learn that Fargo-Moorhead has become “big” enough to cater to our ever-broadening tastes. We can’t wait to sample the flavors of 2010.

What we hope for: A diner, a German restaurant and a fancy grocery store

F-M’s culinary outlook has grown broader and brighter, but there are still a few gaps in the horizon.

We’d love to see:

Hmmm. We’re hungry …

– Tammy Swift

Fitness

What we’re excited about: Fargo Marathon expansion

The Fargo Marathon is getting a jump on things this year by hosting a 5K race the night before the big day. Previously held on the same day as the full and half-marathon, running the short course would get lost in the shuffle. Now those running the bigger races can be fans the night before and cheer on the 5K runners.

What we’d like to see: More marathon tailgating

Just as runners aren’t the only part of the marathon, revelers can get a jump start on the cheering and make their partying a marathon effort of their own. Both the 5K and full marathon routes will go down north Fargo’s 14th Avenue and Oak Street, which means the partying can start Friday night with the Fun Run and continue through the night and on through the morning until the last runner/walker passes mile marker 23.5 Saturday afternoon. By then the revelers will be more exhausted than the runners, but surely still in the spirit.

– John Lamb

Fine arts

What we’re excited about: Famous faces at The Plains

The first big event in the Fargo-Moorhead fine arts world will the Jan. 30 opening of “Individual to Icon: Portraits of the Famous and Almost Famous from Folk Art to Facebook” at the Plains Art Museum. The show, curated by Plains Director and CEO Colleen Sheehy, uses art of all shapes and sizes to explore the idea of celebrity and identity. As the subtitle suggests, works include everything from a photograph by internationally known photographer Annie Leibovitz to Fargo’s own mischievous Modern Man.

What we’d like to see: more local art

Under Sheehy’s supervision, the museum is doing a fantastic job including art from the Plains in its exhibits. This year we’ll see if Sheehy can take the next step with some daunting projects she inherited. The economic downturn hurt fundraising efforts to expand the building across the alley to the north, offering more hands-on opportunities. Similarly the proposed James Rosenquist mural has been stalled for a while. These project would really boost the Plains’ profile and Sheehy seems to be the person to get it done.

– John Lamb

Celebrities

What we’re excited for: Paris Hilton at the Shooting Star

We aren’t exactly sure what Paris Hilton will “do” as a special guest at the “Brrriffic Beach Bash” Jan. 30 at the Shooting Star Casino in Mahnomen, Minn.

Perhaps the 28-year-old celebutante will reprise her Razzie Award-winning performance from the 2005 horror flick, “House of Wax.” Or maybe she’ll simply do what she does best: wear fabulous clothes accessorized by a tiny dog.

Love her or hate her, you have to admit this: It’s kind of impressive that Hilton, who is just as recognizable of the Lindsay Lohans of the world, is coming to this area. (And appearing with special guest DJ Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy, to boot.)

Dare we say it?

That’s hot.

What we hope for: More celebrities at the Fargo Film Festival

Speaking of which, wouldn’t it be cool to see some big-time indie celebs at the Fargo Film Festival?

Movie buffs like to rub elbows with stars at film festivals, and the Fargo event’s 10-year run has certainly earned it some street cred.

Along those lines, festival organizers have attracted people like Kristin Rudrud (“Fargo”) and Michael Phillips (Chicago Times film critic).

Even so, we’d love to see the star power amped up a bit. Wouldn’t it be cool to bring in a Zooey Deschanel, a Steve Buscemi or even a quirky sidekick like Zach Galifianakis?

Or, we could really go for broke with an ultimate indie icon like Parker Posey. (According to imdb.com, her dance card hasn’t been that full lately.)

Hey, it never hurts to shoot for the stars.

– Tammy Swift