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Pioneer Days crowds down, but ‘not bad’

Waving to the crowd while riding in a convertible, Miss West Fargo Outstanding Teen Ashlen Wright, Miss West Fargo Abby Berglund and Little Princess Grace Klimek take part in the Pioneer Days Parade on Saturday at Bonanzaville. Dave Wallis

About 1,800 people enjoyed Bonanzaville’s annual Pioneer Days last weekend.

Emily Wehlander, interim executive director of Bonanzaville, said attendance of Bonanzaville’s biggest fundraiser has steadily declined in the past five years.

This year’s attendance was down slightly from last year, she said.

“There’s just so much going on the same weekend in this area,” Wehlander said. “And on Saturday, it was pretty warm. Still (1,800) was not bad.”

The 56th annual Pioneer Days is a tradition to teach attendees about the history of the pioneers who settled North Dakota.

Demonstrators showed how to weave baskets, grind corn, make sauerkraut and square dance.

Bonanzaville is a pioneer village and museum that is open year-round and operated by the Cass County Historical Society.

A separate fund has been created to help raise money for one of Bonanzaville’s landmark sites: St. John’s Lutheran Church. The church was damaged by fire earlier this summer.

Donations can be made to the church fund at any Bell State Bank & Trust.