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Lloyd Omdahl, Published April 18 2011

Omdahl: Save gas: North Dakota has it all

Faced with $4 gas, we were browsing a couple of weeks ago through the “North Dakota Legendary 2011 Travel Guide” listing hundreds of exciting events close to home. As I recall, we ran out of space at the all-faiths church service in Lakota on June 19.

The weeklong Fort Seward Wagon Train will leave Jamestown on June 19 for unknown destinations, but the adventure will be a big gas-saver for sure. The same goes for the North Dakota-Manitoba-Minnesota Red River International Bike Tour that will leave Grand Forks on June 20, if the river is down. Otherwise, it will be a canoe trip. If you miss this bike trip, you can catch the CANDISC Bike Tour at Garrison Aug. 6-13.

On June 25, the Binford Professional Bull Ride will be held under the lights. The bulls are usually more professional than the riders, which makes it a pretty even contest.

This brings us to numerous events celebrating Independence Day, which is commonly observed on the Fourth of July. Conway moved its Fourth of July celebration to July 10 because there were more exciting events in Park River on July 4.

The Prairie Rose Games, a multi-sport festival, will be held July 8-10 in Bismarck. This annual Olympic-style event rotates among the major cities in search of athletes. If you don’t like the games, you can start one of your own. However, gladiator events are discouraged.

Wishek will have the Tri-County Fair July 14-17 and feature WISSOTA racing, but you must bring your own WISSOTA. They can be found with other confiscated items at police auctions.

On July 29-31, the Deuce of August Icelandic Celebration will be held at Mountain. It is being held a little early this year because an early blizzard in the higher elevations last year ruined the Southern Exposure Sunbathing Challenge.

The Gospel Extravaganza, featuring eight to 12 groups, will be held again Aug. 7 in the Cando city park. Hummers are requested to bring their own music and stay on key.

The Fargo AirSho is slated for Aug. 13-14 and will celebrate 100 years of naval aviation. Folks over 6 feet tall will again be asked to remain seated during the event. The Navy Blue Angels will demonstrate grass-cutting this year.

On Sept. 3, Churchs Ferry will sponsor a Gardendwellers Farm Produce Party, featuring garden contests such as carrot pulling, cabbage pitching and pea picking. Winners will get free garden plots for 2012, with rutabaga seed furnished.

The annual Sheridan-Wells prairie fire will be held sometime in September, but the exact dates had not been set when the “Travel Guide” went to press. If you plan to attend, bring a shovel and bucket. A good medical policy is advisable.

The Norsk Hostfest will entertain the world’s Scandinavian population in Minot Sept. 27 through Oct. 1 and features such great Norwegian performers as Charley Pride and the Gaithers.

On Oct. 2, Rutland will host the 27th annual Uffda Day. Germans from Russia usually come over from Logan and McIntosh counties to feast on the traditional Scandinavian smorgasbord of gammelost, lutefisk, rommegrot and torsk. Soon it’s uffda here, uffda there and uffda all over Rutland. Some Germans have actually gone back to Russia after Uffda Day.

So have a great summer by walking, canoeing, wagon-training and biking from one great community event to another. There is always another one just over the hill. Sorry we couldn’t get them all in.


Omdahl is a former North Dakota lieutenant governor and a retired University of North Dakota political science teacher. Email ndmatters@q.com.