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Youngsters line Sheyenne Street in anticipation at the 2012 West Fest parade. David Samson / The Forum

New events enhance this year’s West Fest

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Organizers are excited to get the word out early about the brand new additions to the already strong slate of activities scheduled in conjunction with the West Fest community celebration set for a three-day run, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 19, 20 and 21. The 22nd annual event is based off the theme “Remember the Past, Envision the Future.”

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Larry Lubben, serving as volunteer publicity director for the city of West Fargo sponsored West Fest event, said the theme correlates in part to the old and the new high schools.”It definitely is going to be different with two high schools. In the past everything was Packer green, now we will be seeing the new Mustang orange and blue colors. We want everyone to remember the past but also want them to start start looking forward to the future and embracing it as it relates to the schools as well as all the other growth in the community.”

Lubben said the planning committee is also pleased to be announcing the inclusions to the West Fest line-up which include a new 10k Run/Two Mile Run/Walk, Streets Alive previously held a different day, and Packer Jam, held in the past at a Horace location.

Familiar Fargo Marathon founder and organizer Mark Knutson will be taking charge of plans for the 10k Run and Two Mile Run/Walk which will take place from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday with the route starting on the north end of Sheyenne Street and meandering through the Charleswood neighorhood before coming full circle and concluding on the north end of Sheyenne Street.

Knutson said he is “very happy and honored to be a part of this event. As a resident of West Fargo, I love the idea of being able to be involved with one of our communities largest and most fun events of the year.”

Knutson said he intends to work closely with the city and residents to focus on a quality race event. “With a 2 Mile Run/Walk and 10K Run/Walk, my hope is that we have many people participating. The course that is laid out is going to be awesome, and the piece that I love the most is that we are going to run this right down Sheyenne Street -- the heart of West Fest.”

Registration for the event will begin on June 1 with details to be announced prior.

Lubben said the race promises to also provide great viewing entertainment along

Sheyenne Street. “Spectators will be able to come and watch the race and then reserve their spot by setting out their chairs for the grand parade which will take place at 1 p.m.

The Packer Jam, scheduled for Friday night, isn’t a new occurrence but new to West Fest. Previously held at Horace, the event outgrew the space and will now relocate to the West Fargo VFW at 308 Sheyenne Street tying in with the West Fargo High School Class Reunion of 1973 as well as being open to the public.

 Lubben said the VFW should be a “nice transition location” for the event that features local musical talent.

Streets Alive, formerly a school promoted activity held in late summer, is also a great West Fest connection, taking place from 2:30 to 5 p.m. Saturday in the neighborhood surrounding Eastwood Elementary school on 10th Avenue East.

Not wanting any activity to interfere with the parade routes starting and disbanding plans, Lubben said the Eastwood area seemed to be the best position geographically for Streets Alive and the afternoon of Family Fun activity, which had previously been held at South Elementary School. “The playground, ample parking as well as plentiful space for all the vendors makes it a more suitable space for the two activities,” Lubben noted. “With all the open area available, there is just so much more room to work with.”

As for other West Fest happenings, the thousands of residents and visitors who annually attend will be treated to all the good old standing events featured every year, including: the ever-popular Cruise Night kicking off West Fest festivities Thursday night from 5 to 9 p.m. on Sheyenne Street; Friday evening Homecoming activities at West Fargo High School; and Saturday, the Park District Rummage Sale, Ministerial Association Pancake Breakfast, Horseshoe Tournament; Mike McLeod Softball Tournament, Penny and Pals performing, the parade, a Community Band concert, and the concluding Firefighter’s Ball at its new home last year, the Veterans Memorial Arena. Plenty of food will also be available in the Lunch and Munch Court which will be featured on 4th Avenue on the west side of Sheyenne Street.

Lubben said that a grand marshal selection to lead up the grand the parade will also be announced soon. The 2013 Civic Excellence recipient will serve as the grand marshall of the West Fest Parade with that award to be announced in mid-May.

           More information about all 2013 West Fest activities will be forthcoming as they are finalized. Various West Fest links, including parade registration forms and other correlating information, will be available soon on the city’s website at www.westfargond.gov.

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