Weather Forecast


Good crowds expected at this year’s Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo

Doc Tope puts the finishing touches on the Murphy Brothers Expo Tornado attraction Monday while gearing up for the Red River Valley Fair, which runs through Sunday in West Fargo. David Samson

More than 100,000 people will likely be visiting West Fargo this week for the Red River Valley Fair, which opened on Tuesday.

With sunny skies and temperatures in the low 80-degree range forecast for the week, Jodi Buresh, RRVF assistant general manager said last year’s crowd of 117,000 will likely be matched this year when fairgoers stop in for carnival rides, 4-H and animal exhibits, music, vendors and, of course, the food.

Weather always plays a part of the fair attendance, but this year a new mobile app was launched to help fairgoers prepare and plan for the fair.

“So if we have poor weather, it will send out an alert,” Buresh said. “We won’t bombard people by any means.”

The app, which can be downloaded to smartphones for free, alerts fairgoers if rides must be stopped or a concert is canceled.

The concerts, such as last year’s The Band Perry and Hunter Hayes – which garnered crowds of 21,000 and 18,200, respectively – have been huge draws for the fair.

Buresh said it’s hard to say if this year’s acts will draw the same crowds, but she has already started to field calls for some of the performances such as Five Finger Death Punch, scheduled for Saturday and country music radio-veterans Kellie Pickler on Thursday and Billy Currington on Friday.

“Our grandstand entertainment budget is $300,000 for six days so we can’t compete with places like We Fest,” Buresh said. “We try to get those new up and comers though.”

The fair may have lucked out when it booked Chase Rice for Tuesday night. When he was booked, The had no radio play but the co-writer of Florida/Georgia’s megahit “Cruise” now has two heavily rotated singles, “Ready Set Roll” and “How She Rolls.”

Along with the concerts, Murphy Brothers Exposition will have 43 rides and there will be a smattering of live shows each day throughout the grounds that include:

  • The All American Lumberjack show aims to change that with some good-natured contests between tree-cutting teams, including ax-throwing, sawing and log-rolling in a 10,000 gallon tub. The action happens daily at 1, 3 and 5 p.m., north of Harvest Hall.
  • The Minneapolis-based Mega Jump Action Sports BMX Show rolls into West Fargo looking to grab some air. The group pulls off two-wheeling tricks and sky-high jumps that will leave your jaw on the ground. Wheels go up at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. on the north side of the midway.
  • Veteran comics Kenny Ahern and Alex Clark will work the fairgrounds to wrestle up some smiles. Ahern uses his ability as a juggler and a balancing act to entertain. Similarly, Clark cuts up the crowd as a juggler, one who hurls knives and meat-cleavers as easily as he tosses out jokes. Ahern performs daily at 1:30, 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. between Exhibit and Harvest halls. Clark performs at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Today through Sunday between Exhibit and Harvest halls.
  • Kelly Smith of Piles of Smiles elevates face painting to a new level. Free.

Horse show schedule

Horse shows will be held nearly every day of the RRVF. The schedule is:

E 9 a.m. Today – 4H Horse Show, Horse Arena

E 9 a.m. Saturday – UBRA Barrel Racing Event, Schollander Pavilion

E Noon and 3 p.m., Saturday – Riding on Angels Wings demonstration, horse Arena

E 9 a.m. Sunday, – FM Posse Open Horse Show, horse arena

E 9 a.m. Sunday – UBRA – Barrel Racing event, Schollander Pavilion

A Fair lineup

All grandstand shows are free to all fairgoers. Gates open at 6 p.m. for these general admission shows. Openers start at 8 p.m., with beer garden shows starting at 10:30 p.m.

Tonight – Hard-rock tribute act Hairball with Tripwire in the beer garden.

Thursday – “American Idol” and “Dancing With the Stars” star and country singer Kellie Pickler (“Best Days of Your Life”) with American Young opening and Redline in the beer garden.

Friday – Country singer Billy Currington (“People Are Crazy”) with Jason Brown opening and October Road in the beer garden.

Saturday – Heavy-metal band Five Finger Death Punch (“Bad Company”) with Chaos in Question opening and Final Drive in the beer garden.

Sunday – Pop duo Karmin (“Brokenhearted”) with Bryce Vine opening. No act in the beer garden.

If you go What: Red River Valley Fair

When: Midway opens at noon daily today through Sunday.

Where: 1805 Main Ave. W., West Fargo

Info: Admission is $8 for ages 12 and older, $5 for ages 6 to 11 and free for ages 5 and younger. Free gate admission from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today through Friday at the main gate.

Forum reporter John Lamb contributed to this story. 

Wendy Reuer

Wendy reports for The Forum and West Fargo Pioneer, where she is also assistant editor. A University of Minnesota Morris graduate from North Dakota, Wendy started her career in television news and entertainment in Minnesota and at CBS in Television City, Calif. before working at newspapers in Minnesota and North Dakota. 

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