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Strike gold at JunkFest in Carrington

Vacation gold.  That’s what many travelers to North Dakota tell us they’ve found along their journey.  Visitors write and tell us about the friendly people, the beautiful scenery, the adventures, the great food and the lasting memories.

Vacation memories truly are treasures – and if you’re looking to combine the two, journey to Carrington on September 17 for Autumn JunkFest – an event known for turning memories into treasures.  Visitors find antiques and “junk” refurbished and repurposed for home and garden.  There is also a popular Flea Market.

The Carrington area has great attractions and lodging options for more vacation memories.  Consider a tour of historic Putnam House – a 4,300 square foot home built in 1907 and featuring family history and museum collections.

Dakota Sun Gardens Winery of Carrington offers garden tours and wine tasting.

In nearby Jamestown, visitors can delight in pioneer history at the Frontier Village and the National Buffalo Museum.  The museum cares for a live buffalo herd with three very rare albino bison.

And in nearby Cooperstown, tour the Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site.  The reality of the Cold War is best experienced with a trip underground to see mission control.

These attractions recently partnered with North Dakota Tourism in a sweepstakes promoted by Country Living magazine.  The winner, Amy Pater, will also be treated to a stay in a luxury cabin at Lakeview Meadow resort in Jamestown, two nights at the Carrington Inn and Suites and dining extras!

Interesting history – found through treasures, experiences and travel – can make your trip to North Dakota golden.  For more visitor stories, be sure to visit www.RUlegendary.com.

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Fargo AirSho takes flight this weekend

Me circa 1995 - a ride on a stunt plane at the Fargo AirSho

In 1995, I was an intern reporter for The Forum and had the unique opportunity to fly in a two-person, bi-wing, aerobatic plane – one of the Pitts S-2B aircraft in the Sierra Aces Aerobatic Team performing that year.  The ride was thrilling – to say the least.

The Sierra Aces won’t be performing in Fargo this year, but the renowned US Navy Blue Angels will be, along with War Birds, Blackhawks and other stunt pilots and teams.  More than 15,000 spectators are expected each day of the show – taking place Saturday and Sunday, August 13-14, at the Hector International Airport in north Fargo.

The Fargo AirSho has an incredible schedule and good forecast ahead of it.  Visitors will find interesting aviation exhibits and tours and should also consider stopping by the Fargo Air Museum.

The FM RedHawks also have a home stand this weekend against Minnesota rivals the St. Paul Saints.  Tickets are still available.  For more great options in Fargo-Moorhead, stop by the Convention and Visitors Bureau – featuring the original woodchipper from the movie Fargo.

If vacationing takes you across the state – find many more things to do at www.NDtourism.com.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Events, Family Fun

 

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Devils Lake – worth every moment

Last week, some co-workers and I had the opportunity to spend two days in Devils Lake and in short: those two days went far too fast.  We had an exclusive aerial tour of the lake, visited Sullys Hill, the Fort Totten State Historic Site, Spirit Lake Casino and the Lake Region Heritage Center.  We ate well (thank you Woodland Resort), slept well (thank you Fireside Inn) did a bit of shopping and got to go FISHING.

Our fabulous guides, Suzie and Katie from the Devils Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau, asked each person in our group what their favorite thing was on the trip and they heard all experiences echoed back.  Devils Lake has a reputation for being one of the best walleye, pike and perch fisheries in the U.S.  It has a mystique, being one of the largest natural lakes in the nation that in the last 20 years has risen nearly 30-feet and is now a 3,810 square-mile basin.  Although known for fish and water – Devils Lake has many cool visitor experiences.

We did not have the time to get everywhere, nor did we have a lot of time to spend at each location.  But what we got to do was fun!  Here’s a glimpse at our experiences:

  1. Sullys Hill National Game Preserve is a birders paradise with numerous viewing stations and opportunity for photography.  Portions of the auto tour are currently closed due to the high water, but trails are open including a 2,000-foot wheelchair accessible trail.  The new visitors center is currently open by appointment.  Just call ahead to make arrangements.
  2. Fort Totten State Historic Site was a military post, a boarding school, a Native American health care facility and a reservation school and visitors can explore the grounds and all of those unique stories.  A beautiful new exhibit in the visitors center has recently opened.
  3. The Lake Region Heritage Center is a gem – there’s a perfectly preserved federal courtroom, a U.S. marshall’s office complete with “holding cell,” a reassembled rural church, a barbershop, a dentist office, displays of Native American culture and much more.  When visiting “Lil’s room” be sure to ask about the ghost story!!
  4. The fishing!!!  Seven of us split up between two boats and two top-secret locations.  In our 3 hours on the water we caught two limits of walleyes and caught-released countless northern pike.  Our guide, Jason Mitchell, had to practically force us off the water.  Check out these “smiles”!

There is road construction on several routes in and around Devils Lake.  Visitors should be prepared for delays and are welcome to check road reports with the Dept. of TransportationGrahams Island State Park is open for camping, but the road to Grahams Island may be subject to closing.  Visitors are reminded just to plan ahead as to not let anything disrupt an awesome experience.

 

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Happy birthday COACH Erstad

Happy birthday to North Dakota baseball star (and now coach) Darin Erstad.  A native of Jamestown, Erstad spent 14 years playing Major League Baseball and was a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner.  Erstad was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1995 MLB Draft.  During his career, he helped the Los Angeles Angels to a World Series title in 2002 and two other American League playoff appearances.  He retired in 2009.

This week, Erstad was named Head Baseball Coach for the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.  He had previously been volunteering as an assistant coach with the Huskers.

In his hometown of Jamestown, visitors can see the World’s Largest Buffalo (statue) and three rare and real albino buffalo at the National Buffalo Museum.  Experience pioneering life at the Frontier Village and slide into the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame to see inductees such as Vikings football player Jim Kleinsasser, newly retired Lakers Coach Phil Jackson and homerun king Roger Maris. 

Special events include the Fort Seward Wagon Train  June 19-25, which gives visitors a flash-from-the-past covered-wagon experience.  The Tatanka Festival, July 7-10, will have wild west shootouts, parade, carnival and much more.

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2011 in ND in the News, Sports

 

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Crystal skulls on display at Dakota Dinosaur Museum

If your family was spell-bound by the latest Indiana Jones movie, bring them to the Dakota Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson for a look at real crystal skulls.  This temporary exhibit displays minerals and crystals from all over the world carved into the shape of human skulls; it includes Mr. Happy, a skull carved from coral, a valuable skull carved from a meteorite, and a one-of-a-kind white jade pirate skull.

A second temporary exhibit features minerals used for centuries as healing stones, and includes the “Grail Necklace” formed from rare white quartz.  The Dakota Dinosaur Museum always has on display 14 full-scale dinosaurs and many other artifacts.  The museum is open daily through Labor Day.

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2010 in Events, Family Fun, History

 

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