Preview: What to See and Do at the Roughrider Ink and Iron Expo

RIIE is more than tattoos and motorcycles.

The ninth annual Roughrider Ink and Iron Expo (RIIE) returns Sept. 28-30 to the Veterans Memorial Arena in West Fargo, bringing with it fresh ink, motorcycles and more.


Thinking about getting some new ink? The Roughrider Ink and Iron Expo is the excuse you’ve been waiting for. Over 60 renowned tattoo artists spend three days completing stunning tattoos. Artists compete against each other for awards such as “Tattoo of the Day” and Tattoo of the Show,” as well as other genre and subject-specific categories. Virtual portfolios are available for all artists on the RIIE website. You are responsible for contacting the artist you choose to set up an appointment and check availability. You can even win a free tattoo from Fargo-based Amarok Tattoo Studio.

For more information or to enter, visit the RIIE website.

If you aren’t sure if you’re in the mood for a tattoo, you can still get a shiny new piercing. These are available as walk-ins. Local Fargo piercer Brittany Kronbeck of Bees’ Nest Tattoo and Art Studio and Bismarck’s Aileen Fritz of Alchemist Tattoo are some of the piercing talent available throughout the weekend.


When it comes to motorcycles, gearheads rejoice because the RIIE has you covered. The second branch of the expo is dedicated to showcasing amazing bikes. From a cherry red Ducati 999 to souped-up dirt bikes, they have them all. Not all entries are selected for the showcase, so you are guaranteed only the best of the best.

Another unique event for the RIIE is the helmet silent auction. Each year artists (tattoo or otherwise) decorate impressive and unique designs on bike helmets to be part of the auction. Last year saw 12 entries, a number that is expected to rise this year. Proceeds from the silent auction and ticket sales will go to the North Dakota Make-A-Wish Foundation.


What are those who aren’t getting tattooed to do while they wait for the friends, spouses or relatives? A lot actually. Get some coffee from Thunder Coffee, or perhaps something stronger from Fargo Brewing Company. Browse the vendors to pick up some crystals or enjoy a relaxing massage.

Looking for something more exciting? How about listening to some live music or taking in a burlesque show? Both are possible during RIIE. Dirty Sexy Riot will perform at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m., 6 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on Saturday. In between, the stage is filled with local and regional musicians, such as a solo set from Channing Minnema (of The Knotties) and Jaw Knee Vee and many more.

Die-hard Bison fans can rest assured knowing Saturday’s game is set to livestream from the Sailor Jerry/Jack Daniels lounge.

Special guests, radio show personalities Lex & Terry will also have a meet and greet as well as a live podcast on Saturday.

A full list of stage performances and times is available on the RIIE website and various social media platforms.

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