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Charly Haley, Published October 16 2012

Bonanzaville pavilion to keep museum open year-round

WEST FARGO – Starting this year, fans of Bonanzaville can look forward to the attraction being open year-round.

The new Lucien C. Barnes Pavilion will debut Oct. 25. The 15,000-square-foot addition will house an event center, a conference room, a rotating exhibit gallery and additional museum space with permanent exhibits on the history of Cass County and North Dakota.

“It’ll be nice to offer something in the winter,” said Troy White, executive director of Bonanza-ville.

Winter could be a fruitful season for the West Fargo museum. In the summer, it competes with the lakes and other outdoor activities, White said.

The first exhibit in the rotating gallery will be on Abraham Lincoln and his influence in North Dakota. It will be ready by the Oct. 25 grand opening.

The permanent exhibit will not be complete, and White said they hope to have it finished by Dec. 1.

“Just in time for Christmas on the Prairie,” he said, referring to Bonanzaville’s annual holiday celebration.

The grand opening will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 2 p.m., followed by an open house until 6 p.m. with snacks and refreshments. The pioneer village and pavilion will be available to tour during the open house.

Bonanzaville is maintained by the Cass County Historical Society and is known for its pioneer village. It is located at 1351 Main Ave. W., near the Red River Valley Fairgrounds.

White encourages not only people who already love Bonanzaville to attend the event but also those who have never been there.

“This is an incredible place. There’s so much history out here, not just of our regions but of North Dakota also,” White said. “It is an amazing place.”


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