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Be a part of it: West Fest 2010 one of a kind

West Fest 2010 is new and exciting in that this year's observance will be spread out over three fun-filled days.

It's been amazing to watch the event evolve, growing from what started out as a small community celebration to a much larger observance that has now turned into a 19-year tradition.

This year the mood is a little different and no doubt going to be packed with mixed emotions for those instrumental in seeing the event through.

Effective Oct. 1, the West Fargo Area Chamber of Commerce, who has been coordinating the event since the beginning, will merge with the Fargo Moorhead Chamber, all a very good thing, but bittersweet in the reality that West Fest will no longer continue to operate in its present form under the watchful eye and leadership of the West Fargo Chamber.

It has been said that the City of West Fargo will be taking over the event, but that is not yet a deal set in stone.

The city is leaning toward that happening, but it has not been officially approved. The topic is intended to be addressed at their next commission meeting in efforts to arrive at a plan that might work well.

Everyone who has been involved knows that West Fest requires great attention to detail and literally hundreds of man hours to pull the yearly event off.

Organizers have done an outstanding job and this year is no exception. Chamber officials Julie Yourczek and Mary Mertens, and their dedicated group of volunteers from varying segments of the citizen and business community, have been leading the charge in the absence of a full-fledged executive director.

The goal has been to mold the event into one of the best ever and those involved feel that mission is on its way to being accomplished. Weather forecasts, which can be 'iffy' this time of the year, seem to be giving the green light, with sunny skies and a little bit cooler temperatures predicted, which will be more than acceptable conditions for the plethora of outdoor activities planned.

With that in mind, West Fest 2010 indeed promises to be truly one-of-a-kind in its structure and content, covering the gamut of three days, Thursday through Saturday, instead of the traditional major day on Saturday.

Cruise Night, which kick offs the event on Thursday evening has been attracting droves of spectators, Friday evening will see the pasta feed in Elmwood Park served up for an excellent cause, and the grand parade on Saturday again promises to be a highlight, with well over 100 entries on board for the trip down Sheyenne Street.

On the whole, what is so remarkable about West Fest is that it provides the opportunity for part of the core area of 'old downtown' West Fargo to once again come alive, be revitalized, and reintroduced to visitors and citizens as a vital mainstay of the community, both from business and recreational standpoints.

All in all, West Fest is highly rated as one of the most enjoyable family-oriented community celebrations you'll find anywhere. So if you are looking for an absolutely fantastic way to spend this entire weekend, get caught up in the spirit and take in as much of the celebration as you possibly can.

You'll be guaranteed an absolutely wonderful time!