UPDATE: The West Fest street dance, featuring The White Keys and originally scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in the POW/MIA Plaza, is delayed due to the recent rain. Crews are working to dry off the stage to ensure safe conditions for the band.
The band will begin the concert as soon as they are able. The concert will still end at the original 9 p.m. time.
For the first time since ground was broke on Sheyenne Plaza and Pioneer Place at Sheyenne Street — what city officials hoped would be West Fargo’s downtown destination — the thousands of West Fest attendees will not have to be detoured around construction on Sheyenne Street.
Construction of the first mixed-use building, Sheyenne Plaza began in 2016, followed by construction of the city’s POW/MIA Plaza. Sheyenne Plaza became home to the West Fargo VFW in 2017, which opened the door for demolition of the old building next door. It also kicked off construction of Pioneer Place, a $12 million mixed-use building for retail and residential, mirrored after Sheyenne Plaza, which officially opened July 1.
Now, this year’s West Fest, the annual fall celebration of West Fargo, is set to bring the Wild, Wild West to the city of West Fargo Saturday, Sept. 21 through Sunday, Sept. 22, which will include one of the state’s largest parades down Sheyenne Street, and two full days of family-friendly activities, mostly along Sheyenne Street.
This year, Sheyenne Street will be fully closed between Third and Fourth avenues until after the street dance on Saturday, said City Spokeswoman Melissa Richard.
“We used to open it up after the parade,” Richard said. “Also, we will have no parking along Sheyenne street through the end of the parade.”
This year’s parade has about 125 entries, which is down from years past when parade entries were closer to 150, but will be more manageable for parade watchers, West Fargo Communications and Community Services Coordinator Ellen Russow said.
“We were getting close to more three hours for the parade and that can get long for people watching it,” Richard said.
The theme of this year’s West Fest was chosen earlier this year by the public and will be “The Wild, Wild West.”
“This year, the public picked a great theme that I can’t wait to see play out in parade floats and fun activities throughout the day,” Russow said.
The last Cruise Night of the summer will be held 4:30 to 8 p.m., on Sheyenne Street on Thursday. Other activities will follow on Saturday on Sheyenne Street before the noon parade, such as a soleMOTION Children’s Fun Run, 5k and 10k, a softball tournament, Penny and Pals performance and a drum-off between the West Fargo High School and the Sheyenne High School marching bands.
Richard said attendees are encouraged to plan for a day downtown Saturday. Activities on Sheyenne Street before the noon Grand Parade include a POW/MIA Plaza hosted Fargo FitLife boot camp session in the morning, the NDSU Bison vs. UC Davis game in the afternoon and a dance featuring The White Keys from 6 to 9 p.m. A craft and vendor show will be held in the south parking lot of Pioneer Place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Family fun activities will be spread out throughout downtown from 2 to 4:30 p.m. with bouncy houses and a magician on the west lawn of Blessed Sacrament and in the Pioneer Place parking lot there will be caricaturists, balloon artists, face painters, West Fargo Public Library activities and other community organization booths. The West Fargo Police Department, Safe Kids Fargo/Moorhead and the West Fargo Hockey Association will also be parked on Sheyenne Street north of Fourth Avenue West for children to interact with. Chalk will be available to decorate Sheyenne Street.
Also Saturday, Blessed Sacrament will host a pancake breakfast and a food court will be available on the east side of Fourth Avenue West from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. with eight different food options. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 22, the West Fargo Municipal Airport will host a fly-in with food trucks, free Young Eagles rides for children and airplane rides for all.
Events will be held rain or shine.
“There’s rain in the forecast but the event is rain or shine,” Richard said. “The only way we would cancel it is if there is a threat to the public in some way.”
For more details about the event and a full schedule, visit www.westfargond.gov/westfest.