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Erik Burgess, Published September 19 2013

Will 'GameDay' broadcast use 'Fargo' wood chipper? You betcha!

FARGO – The infamous wood chipper from the film “Fargo” will be on hand when the city that bears the movie’s name gets some national attention Saturday morning.

“College GameDay,” the weekly ESPN college football show, is broadcasting live from 8 to 11 a.m. in downtown Fargo Saturday, and the wood chipper from the Coen brothers’ movie will be on site, said Charley Johnson, president/CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau. The wood chipper is usually on display at the CVB’s visitor center.

Johnson said the wood chipper will be within the ESPN security perimeter on Saturday and will presumably be used by the ESPN crew in some way.

“We don’t know what they’re going to do with it,” Johnson said.

When “College GameDay” host Chris Fowler announced on ESPN last week that they were going “off the grid” to come to Fargo, co-host Desmond Howard immediately said, “That was a really good movie.”

Fowler responded, “It’s more than the movie and the wood chipper.”

The visitors’ center bought the wood chipper years ago from Milo Durben, a key grip who had worked on the film. The bureau also owns a replica of the wood chipper, which will be at the event Saturday and won’t be behind the security line so people can take photos in front of it, Johnson said.

Johnson said the wood chipper from the movie is a real, gas-powered wood chipper, or at least it was when they got it. Durben used the wood chipper at his home before he struck a deal with the visitors center, Johnson said.

“We’re not going to turn it on,” Johnson said with a laugh. “It hasn’t run since we’ve gotten it. I just assumed that it didn’t run, frankly.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518