Opinion — March 31, 2014 at 12:00 am

Arts-rich Fargo-Moorhead Community has Much to Offer

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“There’s nothing to do in Fargo.”

This is a statement I’ve heard countless times while growing up in Fargo, from middle school onward. It’s a widely held belief, but a sharply erroneous one. For years, I believed it until I was exposed to the Arts & Entertainment scene in Far­go-Moorhead, and I must say, this belief could not be more false.

Here is why. The first thing needed when finding A&E events in Fargo is a knowing where to look. We have concerts, plays, musi­cals, operas, recitals, restau­rants, art shows and other events coming out of our ears here in Fargo. But to go to these, you have to know about them first.

The many established en­tertainment venues in Fargo all have websites, from The­atre B to NDSU Fine Arts to the Fargodome. Yeah, find­ing something to do in Fargo involves a little work on your part, but hey, it’s worth it. You can hardly say there’s nothing to do in Fargo if you’ve made no attempt to find something. We’re very arts-rich here. We have the­atre productions. We have art shows. We have concerts. All of which are on a weekly basis.

Multiple area theatre companies throng The Stage at Island Park with produc­tions every year. There are usually one or two shows a month at this downtown venue, home of the Fargo- Moorhead Community The­atre. When there’s nothing going on at The Stage, it’s a sure bet there’s something at one of the three college companies (NDSU, Minne­sota State University Moor­head or Concordia College), Theatre B (another down­town theatre venue) or an area high school.

A&E in Fargo doesn’t stop there. The Fargodome always has some heavy-hitting acts lined up on its calendar, and in seven weeks this year, Fargo was visited by top acts ranging from Lady Antebellum to TobyMac to Pink. Even Jus­tin Timberlake penciled us in for his 20/20 Experience Tour this year, and Katy Per­ry’s calling on us in August. Fargo’s on the map for con­cert tours; there’s no doubt about that.

Another aspect of A&E in Fargo: restaurants. We are not lacking for eateries here, especially downtown. Restaurants are bursting out of the brick fronts on Broad­way, and there’s something for every taste — Mexican at Juano’s, Italian at Mez­zaluna, sweets at Nichole’s Fine Pasty, pizza at Sam­my’s Pizza and more.

Coffee shops and bars also riddle the streets in downtown Fargo. While there are definitely better things to do than drink a weekend away, it’s always an option and our status as the drunkest city in Amer­ica was not earned without cause. Obviously some peo­ple have found a good time.

Now to address some other fun options on the A&E scene in Fargo; there are bands, orchestras and choirs. As if the area’s three colleges don’t offer enough, we have the F-M Symphony, the Great Plains Harmony Men’s Chorus, the F-M Gay Men’s Chorus; the list goes on. There’s no lack of music in Fargo-Moorhead, end of story.

Art also has its place on the A&E scene in Fargo and in Moorhead with the Plains Art Museum, Rourke Art Museum and the numerous galleries in downtown Fargo lining Broadway. Crafting has no shortage of outlets either, as several craft sup­ply stores have their places downtown too.

Clearly there are many things to do in Fargo. After knowing all this, my mind is boggled as to how this myth that there is “nothing to do in Fargo” even got started. There is plenty of fun to be had in Fargo and on any night of the week.

It also helps to keep an open mind when planning a night on the town or your next date. Go to a musical. Go to an art show. Expand your horizons, expose your­self to new things and break out of your comfort zone. Yeah, many of the events in Fargo do cost a bit of dough, but a little advance planning and saving can take care of any fiscal fears.

With that, I highly rec­ommend venturing out into the sea of A&E that is Far­go-Moorhead. Every night of the week there is some­thing going on, from poker to karaoke, plays to chamber orchestra, jazz bands to art shows and ballet to opera. There’s no excuse for this myth of nothing to do in Fargo, and experiencing the A&E scene firsthand should shatter this belief for anyone willing to try.

Jack is a junior majoring in journalism.

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