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West Fest wonders: West Fest returns this weekend

A bunch of grapes and a ketchup bottle pass out small bottles of water to spectators at the West Fest parade Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017, on Sheyenne Street in West Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum

West Fargo's own city celebration, West Fest, will kick off this week with a band jam on Friday followed by one of the largest parades in the state on Saturday.

City Spokeswoman Mellissa Richard said this year's theme is "Redefining Tomorrow" which will focus on the city's efforts to create a downtown feel on Sheyenne Street. There, the city, VFW and Sheyenne Plaza and Pioneer Place Developer Todd Berning partnered to build the the POW/MIA Plaza, which opened earlier this year.

Richard said using the POW/MIA Plaza for events this year will be new. On Saturday, a FITLIFE boot camp will be held on the plaza followed by a viewing party of the Bison game on the big screen. And, the city's annual street dance will be held on the plaza Saturday evening.

The city decided to hold a street dance on Saturday night for the first time in years in 2017, after the Fire Department decided not to continue its annual Fireman's ball as part of West Fest.

The street dance allows for attendees to bring their own drinks, including alcohol. West Fargo allows open alcohol containers on the street for special events such as Cruise Night.

"We aren't allowing spectators to stand or sit in front of the Pioneer Place construction site to ensure safety," Richard said.

After the 27th annual West Fest kicks off Friday with a West Fest Band Jam at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Saturday will begin with the annual parade on Sheyenne Street. The parade is one of the largest in the state, bringing thousands to Sheyenne Street. This year, there will be 112 entries.

A food court will also be available Saturday on Fourth Avenue West, off Sheyenne Street from 10 a.m.-9 p.m.

On Sunday, the VFW will host a pancake breakfast and the Red River Regional Marksmanship Center will host Western Days.

Schedule of events:

Friday, Sept. 14

7-11:30 p.m. Richard West Fargo Jam - Free at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 825 E. Beaton Dr.

Saturday, Sept. 15

7:30-10:30 a.m. Blessed Sacrament Pancake Feed at Blessed Sacrament, 210 Fifth Ave. W.

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Coed Softball Tournament - $125 per team fees and registration at South Elmwood Park, 535 13th Ave. W.

9-10:30 a.m. West Fest Children's Fun Run (Fees and registration at soleMOTIONrace.com)

Site registration available 7-8:15 a.m., Sheyenne Street and Second Avenue W. intersection

9:10-10:30 a.m. West Fest 5k and 10k (Fees and registration at soleMOTIONrace.com)

Site registration available 7-8:15 a.m., Sheyenne Street and Second Avenue W. intersection

9:30 -10:30 a.m. FitLife Boot Camp - Free at the POW/MIA Plaza

10-11:15 a.m. Penny & Pals Performance - Free at the grandstand, 322 Sheyenne St.

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Craft and Vendor Show 10 a.m.-4 p.m.Blessed Sacrament (North parking lot)

10 a.m. to 9 p.m. West Fest Food Court at Fourth Avenue W. and Sheyenne Street intersection

11:15-11;45 a.m. High School Band Jam at Sheyenne Street in front of POW/MIA Plaza

Noon: West Fest Parade Sheyenne Street from Second Avenue W. to 10th Avenue W.

2-4:30 p.m. Family Fun at Blessed Sacrament and Sukut Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues W.

2:30 - 5:30 p.m. North Alabama Lions at North Dakota State University on Plaza Screen at the POW/MIA Plaza

6-9 p.m. West Fest Street Dance - Free featuring Big Toe and the Jam at the POW/MIA Plaza

Sunday, Sept. 16

8 a.m. to noon: West Fargo High School Volleyball Pancake Breakfast - Free Will Donation at the VFW

Noon - 5 p.m. Red River Regional Marksmanship Center Western Day at the center, 640 16th Ave. NE

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

(701) 241-5530
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