North Dakota summers burst with activities and often leave folks feeling a little down as the weather and fun cools, but September is promising area residents a host of events to look forward to.
Here are some of the highlights of the month.
The Downtowners celebrate this month with the 40th anniversary of their annual street fair. This year’s Downtowners’ Street Fair will be 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sept. 13 and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 14 spread over seven city blocks of downtown Bismarck.
The two-day street fair attracts on average between 30,000 and 35,000 people with its food, arts and craft vendors. Kate Herzog, associate director of the Downtowners’, says when the weather is nice, the festival has hosted as many as 40,000 patrons.
This year’s fair will feature about 180 vendors, a “full show” of food and handmade, or artistically enhanced, products. Downtown businesses will remain open throughout the fair, and a few, like the mobile clothing retailer Koo Koo’s Nest, will participate in the event as vendors.
The Downtowners’ Street Fair, which Herzog estimates is the oldest street fair in the state, is an event that attracts children, families and residents of all ages. The “Monster Mural,” a 6 foot by 20 foot canvas for children to paint, is a favorite among kids who attend the festival.
“Street fair is a good, family event,” Herzog said. “People run into almost everyone they know.”
The Downtowners also will host a special “surprise” activity to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the event, Herzog said.
Herzog would like to remind the public that the downtown streets affected by the street fair will close at 5 p.m. on Sept. 12 and remain closed for the duration of the festival. She also encourages fair attendees to use the parking ramps in downtown Bismarck.
September is the month to celebrate long-standing community events, as it also will host the 44th Annual United Tribes International Powwow Thursday to Sept. 8, including the Parade of Champions, to be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday kicking off from the State Capitol grounds. Both events promise to highlight the rich American Indian culture in the state.
The kids will find their fall fun at the Furry Family Fun Day at Raging Rivers from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sept. 8 and Papa’s Pumpkin Patch opening weekend Sept. 9-10. The Central Dakota Humane Society merges family fun with fundraising in their pet-friendly event. Entrance costs $10 per person, children 3 years old and under are free. Papa’s Pumpkin Patch offers dozens of photo opportunities, their signature bale mazes, Papas’ville, pony rides, horse-drawn hay rides, pumpkin cannons, and obstacle courses, among other activities. The patch is open 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily. Entrance is $3 per person while children 2 years old and under are free.
Another family favorite, the Dakota Zoo, will host its final full day of the summer season on Sept. 29.
The “All American” Autumnfest Parade, featuring floats, bands, and beauty queens, will set off down the parade route beginning at the state Capitol grounds at 10 a.m. Sept. 21.
Buckstop Junction will host Applefest, a benefit for the Bismarck Cancer Center Foundation, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 21 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 22. The event will feature live music, children’s activities and games, craft and food vendors, hay rides, and a silent auction.
For those theater and history junkies, Dakota Stage Ltd. presents “Living Masterpieces” Sept. 28.
Mandan is hosting its own Fall Festival Sept. 28-29 in Dykshoorn Park. The weekend festival will include bands, craft vendors, beerfest, kids’ games, a hay maze, German food vendors, and hay rides.