Fargo’s Summer Recap

What happened over the summer in Fargo

The thirtieth annual Fargo Airshow took place on July 20.

Missing Bison

Over the summer, locals noticed that the bison statues that were placed all around downtown Fargo were missing. It was confirmed that one bison would make its way back to downtown this fall after construction, but the other locations were still a mystery.

The painted bison statues were commonly used for pictures and were an attraction sight to show the North Dakota State University pride that runs throughout the city of Fargo. They were part of a project called “Herd About the Prairie” which started in 2005 by Hans Gildorf. The first bison statue he made was named “Beach Buff”. This was the first bison statue out of 39 plus one calf that were placed throughout downtown Fargo. Forty artists around North Dakota and Minnesota painted the statues with their own designs. All the statues were then debuted during the 2006 Fargo marathon. Afterwards the statues were kept by their sponsors or auctioned off.

The Fargo Forum was able to confirm 4 more locations where the bison statues were moved. One was donated to the Circle of Nations School in Wahpeton so their art department can restore and display it at the school. Another statue was placed outside of the Rourke Art Museum in Moorhead while a tiger-themed bison greets people as they enter the Red River Valley Zoo. There is also a bison statue that now sits inside of the West Acres Mall.

2019 Fargo AirSho

The thirtieth annual Fargo Airsho took place on July 20 and 21 at the Hector International Airport. The event usually entertains close to 30,000 spectators with military displays and activities for children. Among some of the performers were the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the Red Bull Skydive Team and the Leap Frogs U.S. Navy Parachute Team.

The U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds were the major act during the two-day show. This was the second time the Thunderbirds have come to Fargo. The last time they debuted was for the first Fargo Airsho back in 1989. Though the Thunderbirds performance was somewhat delayed due to technical difficulties, the audience was thrilled when the F-16’s took to the sky performing formations and tricks keeping the audience entertained. All the ticket and parking proceeds made during the two-day event were donated to charities.

Fargo sues opioid manufacturers

Fargo joined with various cities and counties across North Dakota and the United States to sue the OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma. The company has an alleged role in the opioid addiction crisis that has been ongoing in the U.S for almost a decade.

The city of Fargo wants damages to be paid for by Purdue Pharma and other defendants that were involved in the distribution of the prescription drug. The city claims these companies have caused economic damages by falsely advertising opioids to the public. According to KXNET, Fargo wants to regain money for the costs of providing medical treatment and the increase of law enforcement. Last year Fargo police responded to 30 drug overdoses and crime rates were up 3%. Most of these crimes were burglaries and theft which Police Chief David Todd correlated with drug use and addiction.      

Fargo Among the Top Ranked Cities

This summer Fargo ranked in the top ten best-run cities in the United States. A survey that WalletHub conducted rated Fargo sixth out of one hundred and fifty of the most populated cities in the U.S. for quality of city services. Among some of the categories that Fargo excelled at were the educational opportunities ranking at 9 and Fargo’s economy which ranked at 10. Wallethub also listed Fargo as one of the cities with the lowest unemployment rates with Madison, Wisconsin and Burlington, Virginia amongst the other cities with a similar rating.

Wallethub measures the quality of service within cities across the U.S. by deciding what cities operate efficiently and how city officials spend and manage public funds. Just earlier this year Wallethub rated Fargo as one of the happiest cities in America. 

Grant for nursing school

A federal grant of more than $1.5 million was received by the North Dakota State University School of Nursing. The grant will help create a program for nursing students to practice in rural clinics. NDSU has teamed up with Essentia Health to make the program work for the nursing students.

The grant will not only help the nurse practitioners, but the community will benefit as well.  “I think it’s going to help patients the most because they’re going to be able to access really high-quality care close to home,” Mykell Barnacle, an assistant professor for the school of nursing, told WDAY. The new program will help rural clinics become more equipped with the care patients need. This includes mental health offerings, emergency care skills and medical-assisted treatment. The program will start this semester.

A walk through the past

A gallery of historic photos let locals view what life was like in North Dakota 100 years ago. The art show was a part of an outreach exhibit from the North Dakota Museum of Art and was free to the public. It came to the Spirit Room Gallery in downtown Fargo on June 27 and stayed open until July 20.

Paul Gronhovd grew up hearing about Elmer Thompson, a North Dakotan native and electrical engineer, from his father. Thompson took photos throughout his life on the prairie in the early 20th century. Thompson’s glass negatives were then passed onto Gronhovd’s father after he interviewed Thompson in 1980. It wasn’t until Thompson’s death in 1983 that Gronhovd wanted to bring Thompson’s work to life by printing photo’s from Thompson’s negatives and creating the exhibit for others to see. This resulted in 30 prints dating from 1910 to 1920. Gronhovd told the Fargo Forum, “You can still read personality in these photos that are over 100 years old.”

Leave a Reply