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Take a trip back in time at Vintage Pioneer Day

Harlan Berstein from Walcott, N.D., works on starting up a Rumley tractor during the thershing demonstration during Pioneer Days at Bonanzaville. File Photo

All ages are invited to come out to Bonanzaville and experience and celebrate the history of the area as the pioneer village hosts its 55th annual Pioneer Days on August 16. 17 and 18, offering up a few new elements as well as the ever-popular stand-by activities. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p. m. on Saturday and Noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Bonanzaville, village conveniently located on the west edge of Main Avenue in West Fargo.

Breaking from tradition last year, organizers added a Friday event -- the Crossing of the Red River Ceremony -- which will continue as the second annual this year on Aug. 16. The ceremony will celebrate the settling of North Dakota with five covered wagons and riders crossing the Red River and making their way to Bonanzaville. Spectators will be able to watch the wagons begin their voyage at 3:30 p.m. by the Hjemkomst Center at the First Avenue North Bridge. As the wagons cross the bridge into North Dakota, they will be welcomed and presented with the North Dakota flag. The pioneers will then begin the two-hour journey to Bonanzaville bearing the North Dakota flag as a symbol of the settling of the state.

Upon arrival at Bonanzaville, there will be closing ceremony, followed by a street dance from 6 to 8 p.m. with music provided by the band Poitin.

Aug. 17 and 18 events will include a Jr. Miss, Miss, and Mr. Bonanzaville pageant, productions of the "Orphan Train" by the Fargo Moorhead Community Theater, and a Native American Powwow each day at 4 p.m.

The Pioneer Days Parade will be a highlight each day at 2 p.m. and on Sunday morning a German Church Service will take place at St. John's Lutheran church at 10:30 a.m. for those wishing to attend.

The popular two-day event will also feature the Kringen Accordian Band, square dancing in the Lucien Barnes event center, Singing Cowboy Pop Wagner on the outdoor stage; Costume Contests in Dawson Hall, demonstrations by a variety of participants, vendors, plenty of food, children's games, pony rides, Dakota Kid Clown, WWI artifacts, barrel train rides, horse drawn wagon rides, a presentation on European Migration to the Red River Valley, and much more.

As the region's largest historical attraction with 43 buildings, visitors to Pioneer Days will also be able to leisurely tour the collections housed in many of them which include a car museum, air museum, tractor museum, model railroad, along with Fargo's First House, the Case Eagle, and the Houston House.

Admission is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors/military, $7 for children, age 6-16, and children 5 and under are free. Advance tickets are also available at any Stop-N-Go location. $10 for adults, $8 for seniors/military, and $5 for children (6-16).

The wagon route and a full schedule of events are available on the website at or Facebook page