From folkfests to horsefests, North Dakota knows how to kick back when the weather warms up and people have a good time. You can easily dance, drink, and eat your way right across the state as it celebrates its rich colorful heritage of Native American and pioneer culture in countless rodeos, state fairs, pow-wows, and other special events.
Cabin Fever Days
Should you happen to be in North Dakota in the dead of winter there is a glimmer of relief at Jamestown’s fun winter festival called Cabin Fever Days. For the first week each February the town gets outside for sledding, ice sports, sleigh rides, and anything else you can do involving snow and ice. It’s a lot of fun both for families and for partiers who roam the town’s bars after dark.
Music and cars are the focus of this popular festival held each June in the historic town of Mandan. In an average year around 500 vintage automobiles drive to Mandan’s Northern Park to show off their goods. This impressive assembly of horse power is accompanied by a nice schedule of live music, a beer garden, and lots of good festival food during this long weekend celebration.
Nearly everyone in North Dakota eats meat, and many favor the finger-licking variety of ribs served up throughout the state. For a long weekend at the start of June the city of Fargo puts on Ribfest. The best rib cookers from around America come here to see who is the most skilled on the grill. But there’s also great live music, entertainment, kid’s activities, and of course other kinds of food to enjoy at this big fun street fair in downtown Fargo.
Rough Rider Days Fair and Expo
Harking back to the wild frontier era of the state, the town of Dickinson hosts one of the more interesting North Dakota holidays over two weeks at the end of June and early July. A full PRCA rodeo is at the heart of the event, backed up by livestock shows, a demolition derby, fun foot races, stock car races, a carnival, and fireworks displays. This is a big event, and well worth planning a trip around if you want to see how the residents of this state like to kick up their heels.
North Dakota State Fair
A real highlight of North Dakota’s summer is its annual state fair, held every July in the town of Minot. There’s a fantastic mix of events, activities, and edibles on hand that appeals to everyone from families to young folks. Parades, rodeo events, live music, a car show, and loads of tasty fair food attract thousands of visitors from around the state to this big event.
United Tribes International Pow Wow
Every weekend just after Labor Day in September the capital Bismarck hosts one of the world’s largest gatherings of Native American people. This massive pow-wow attracts representative from over 70 different tribes, who come to either perform their own traditional dances and music or simply enjoy the amazing culture on show. More than 1,500 drummers and dancers perform during this major festival at performances every day.