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West Fargo celebrates 16th annual West Fest

The West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce and the West Fest Committee are placing the finishing touches on the 16th Annual West Fest Community Days with this year's theme "The City on the Grow" - "Proud to be an American City," which will be celebrated this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 15, and Sunday, Sept. 16, at a variety of locations throughout the City.

Grand Marshals are longtime West Fargo area residents Fred and Lavonne Selberg, who will lead the Grand Parade which gets underway at 1 p.m., starting at Main Avenue and Sheyenne Street and traveling to 13th Avenue.

Chamber Executive Director Chris Barton said one of the major changes this year will be with the parade line-up starting points. Dignitaries and sponsors will be asked to check in at the Davon Press location at 615 W. Main Ave., while everybody else will turn off at the Mid-America location at 601 W. Main Ave. for their line-up destination at the corner of 6th St. West and 2nd Avenue by the old City Shop facility.

Other Saturday activities include: the 5th Annual Mike McLeod Softball Tournament at Elmwood Park, starting at 8 a.m.; the five-mile run at 8:30 a.m. at Elmwood Park sponsored by Dakota Clinic/Innovis Health; the Kiddie Race at Elmwood Park at 9:30 a.m.; a two-mile memory walk at 9:30 a.m. at Elmwood Park, with pets welcomed, sponsored by the Alzheimer's Organization; a Horseshoe Tournament at 9:30 a.m. at Elmwood Park; Valley Vintage Car Club both Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Arena; Lunch and Munch on Sheyenne Street, starting at 10 a.m.; Penny and Pals at 10:30 a.m. on Sheyenne Street, sponsored by Chase Steel; Kids 4 Health, presented by Healing Touch Chiropractic, will be featured from 9 a.m. to noon in the West Fargo Pioneer parking lot; the 4th Annual Chili Cooking Contest Meal at the Shiloh Evangelical Free Church from 5 to 7 p.m.; and Big Screen Movie Night at North Elmwood Park starting at dusk playing "Dreamers" sponsored by Gremada Industries and the West Fargo Park District.

More family fun, with a variety of activities, will get underway at 2:30 p.m., with food vendors, Games Galore, clowns, food, bingo, entertainment, karaoke, and so much more, at the South Elementary Playground on the corner of 7th Ave. E and 1st St. E. There will also be a teenage community outdoor concert held at the Lodoen Center football field from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The 68th annual Fireman's Ball at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds will conclude Saturday's festivities from 8 p.m. to midnight in the commercial building at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds, with music by the "Front Fenders." Tickets are available in advance from any West Fargo firefighter; and also at the door.

West Fest sponsors include: WDAY Radio Am 970, Ohnstad Twichell Law Firm, IdeaOne Telecom, Peda Construction, Sign Pro of Fargo, Dakota Clinic and Innovis Health, Xcel Energy, Chase Steel, Western State Bank, Midcontinent Communications, West Fargo VFW, City of West Fargo, State Bank & Trust, Forum Printing Communications Fargo/West Fargo, West Fargo Pioneer, West Fargo Park District and Gremada Industries. The Rape and Abuse Crisis Center of Fargo Moorhead is the Hero Sponsor for the event, providing 20 volunteers.

The West Fargo Chamber of Commerce is still in need of volunteers for some of the West Fest activities. Anyone interested in volunteering or in more need of information about any of the West Fest activities can contact the West Fargo Chamber of Commerce at 282-4444 or visit their Web site at The Chamber office is located at 109 3rd. St. E. in the Lodoen Community Center.

Kids Awareness Event Set

On Sept. 15th, communities worldwide will participate in Kids 4 Health, a Health, Safety, and Environmental Awareness Day.

Dr. Tiffany Johnson will be sponsoring the activity locally in conjunction with the West Fest celebration from 9 a.m. until noon, in the West Fargo Pioneer parking lot at 322 Sheyenne St.

The event will provide essential information on crime prevention, Internet and child safety, and environmental awareness. There will be demonstrations on electrical safety by Cass County Electric, "edible stoplights" by SafeKids, and appearances by the Red River Zoo, Chuck E. Cheese and the Funbus, and Penny and Pals at 10:30 a.m.

The West Fargo Fire Department is bringing a fire truck and will teach fire safety tips to the children. Dr. Johnson will provide free health screenings, and will be distributing vital information on disease prevention and health promotion. "We will also provide free T-shirts, food and fun for everyone. There will be special give-aways and free prize drawings every half-hour. In addition, we are raising money for the Tornado Relief Fund in Northwood," Johnson said.

The event is free and the entire community is encouraged to participate in this unique, fun-filled community awareness event.

Valley Vintage Car Show

For the third year running, the Valley Vintage Car Show will be a key part of the West Fest festivities. Organizers are gearing up for their 31st annual event which will see approximately 100 vehicles of all makes and models from participants throughout the region featured in their two day showing, Saturday and Sunday at the Veterans Memorial Arena, 1201 7th Ave. E.

The action will also involve a number of related vendor displays as well as a variety of club displays with multiple entries.

Organized in 1973 as an independent club for car enthusiasts with the motto "dedicated to the preservation, restoration and admiration of all antique, vintage and special interest vehicles," Valley Vintage's popularity has grown through the years with a present roster of 180 members.

Club president Allan Oak, an 11-year member, and past president Rudy Radke, who is six months shy of being a charter member, said the group is once again excited about their 2007 endeavor. "We like to have a large variety each year." Radke said. "Valley Vintage takes in everything - classics, muscle cars, stocks, street rod, you name it. We have one as old as 1904 and others covering the years up to 2007."

He said this year the show will also include eight different club displays with four vehicles featured in each. A Car Corral will also be featured, allowing those who want to sell their vehicles to bring them by and display them in this special area for a minimal fee.

There will also be two 'special' displays - approximately 20 Pedal Cars and one group display of Ford Tractors, with the latter consisting of 'early year' restored Ford tractors.

Oak, himself, will also have his 'pride and joy' on display in the show - a 1948 red Plymouth Special Deluxe; while Radkes' 1954 3100 half-ton medium cream Chevy Pickup, that was originally purchased by the military guard unit in Minot in 1954, will be taking a break and sitting out this year.

Both Oak and Radke say the organizing process is running smoothly, very much in part to the expertise of the Veterans Arena staff, who are always so accommodating. "They are all just wonderful to work with," Oak said. "If we have a special need, it's covered."

Radke agreed. "We really enjoy working with Jamie (Olson, manager) and the staff at the Arena. The facility itself is tremendous for putting on a car show, with the big doors and lots of room."

All in all, the Club is thrilled to be a part of the West Fest celebration, adding that Chris Barton and everyone at the West Fargo Chamber of Commerce have also been great to work with. "West Fest is a huge plus to our show," Radke noted. "It's a synergistic fit and we are happy to be a part of it. It's wonderful to be able to connect with the public in such a large way, and be able to show off what I call artwork. The older vehicles are more detailed and part of people's history."

Valley Vintage will also be supplying a number of cars for use in the parade with the grand marshals and other local dignitaries expected to ride in them.

Valley Vintage Car Club showtimes are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. A concluding highlight will be the awards presentation Sunday afternoon, at approximately 4 p.m.

A portion of the proceeds from the show will be contributed to local charities and one cause in particular, the Northwood Tornado Relief Fund. The Club has already voted to donate $1,000 to the community that was ravaged late last month by a tornado. This donation will be among the presentations awarded after the conclusion of the show on Sunday.

Anyone wishing any type of vendor information about participating in the show is still welcome to contact Oak at 701-364-0310. If room remains, additional entries will be accepted.

Tickets for the show are available in advance at all area Stop-n-Go Stores for $5. Tickets at the door will be $6, with children 12 and under admitted free.

On a related note, a special Farmers Markets will be featured in the Veterans Memorial Arena Parking lot on Saturday during the Valley Vintage Car Show, after the 1 p.m. parade. A portion of the lot bordering 7th Avenue East is being reserved for the farmer's market vendors, who will have their produce and other craft items available for purchase from 3 to 6 p.m.

Local firemen 'pass the boot' for MDA

Members of the West Fargo Police Department will be marching for a special cause during the West Fest Parade this Saturday.

Squad members will be walking alongside the Fire Department Truck 'passing the boot' for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Donations collected will be presented to MDA during their regular telethon Labor Day weekend next year. This past week, Fire Department officials presented the contribution that was collected last year during West Fest.

Fire Chief Roy Schatschneider said that Fargo and Moorhead Fire Departments had been out collecting for specific causes, so the West Fargo crew decided to coordinate an effort during West Fest. "We are doing this in memory of Jeff Carriveau who passed away four years ago from ALS," Schatschneider noted. Carriveau was a longtime volunteer member of the West Fargo Fire Department.

Schatschneider described the response last year as "excellent" and he's hoping for the same reaction this year. "Once they knew it was for MDA, everyone, from senior citizens to little kids, started dropping their change and dollar bills into the boot. It is really nice to see that."