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Published September 12 2012

West Fargo’s annual West Fest starts today, lasts through weekend

West Fargo may be a city on the grow, but when the annual West Fest celebration rolls around this weekend, the city will still feel pretty small.

Larry Lubben, chairman of the West Fest planning committee, says this weekend’s event will definitely highlight the closeness and small-town atmosphere that makes West Fargo unique, despite the city’s recent growth.

Coinciding with West Fargo High School’s homecoming, the theme of this year’s West Fest is “Come Home to West Fargo,” which Lubben and other West Fest committee members hope gets West Fargo alums and natives to come back for the weekend.

West Fest officially kicks off tonight with Cruise Night, starting at 5 p.m., but most of the organized action takes place on Saturday.

A rummage sale at Veterans Memorial Arena opens at 7 a.m., and a two-mile walk/5K run to end Alzheimer’s starts at

9 a.m., with registration opening at 8. A softball tournament gets going at 9, and a horseshoe tournament starts 30 minutes later.

The West Fest parade starts at 1 p.m. at Second Avenue and Sheyenne Street, and then proceeds up Sheyenne to 10th Avenue.

Lubben says the parade is a little bit longer than usual this year, thanks to the many political candidates up for election this November.

“We have almost every person running for every office there is,” Lubben says, laughing.

As of Tuesday, 150 entrants had registered for the parade, which was the maximum number the committee would allow, according to Lubben.

Up 10-15 parade entrants from last year, Lubben estimates Saturday’s parade will probably last around an hour and a half from start to finish.

After the parade, a family fun area will be set up at South Elementary starting at 2:30 p.m., followed by a community band concert at 3.

“There’s such a wide variety of events,” Lubben says. “There’s something for everyone.”

A firefighter’s ball featuring the Front Fenders will close out the night at 8 p.m. at the new location of Veterans Arena.

Lubben says the ball, which is a fundraiser for the West Fargo Fire Department, is always a popular part of West Fest.

“Everyone just really likes that environment,” Lubben says. “It’s all for a good cause.”

Even though summer has already started the transition into fall, the weather forecast for Saturday looks to be favorable, which Lubben says is pretty normal for the event.

“The weather just always seems to be pretty nice in September,” he says. “It’s the last big kind of celebration before fall and winter comes in. It’s just a great community event.”

If you go

What: West Fest parade

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Where: The parade starts at Second Avenue and Sheyenne Street and proceeds along Sheyenne up to 10th Avenue.

Info: Visit www.westfargond.gov/westfest for more information and for a full schedule of West Fest events.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535