Fall Filled with Festivals, Football and Fun in North Dakota

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September is a festive month in North Dakota. Summer vacations are wrapping up, the harvest is underway and the weather is oh-so-slightly changing. It’s time to celebrate the things that North Dakotans find near and dear – food, football, friends and festivals.

The Potato Bowl (potatobowl.org) at UND embraces all the fun things about fall in North Dakota. This year’s week-long celebration in Grand Forks is Sept. 10-14 and concludes with a football game against Sam Houston State on Saturday. That’s only one of the many festivals in September. Also scheduled: Hazen Harvestfest (ndtourism.com/events/harvestfest-2019) Sept. 4-8; Harvest Festival at Dickinson (ndtourism.com/events/harvest-festival-fall-fun-entire-family) Sept. 13-14; Applefest in Bismarck (ndtourism.com/events/applefest) Sept. 21-22; Autumnfest Parade in Bismarck (ndtourism.com/events/autumnfest-parade) Aug. 21; Oktoberfest in Mandan (ndtourism.com/events/oktoberfest-mandan) Sept. 28; and the biggest fest of all – Norsk Hostfest in Minot, featuring Chicago, Clint Black and Nordic fun for all (ndtourism.com/events/norsk-hostfest) Sept. 25-28.

Festivals almost always include a blending of cultures and that includes the Native American Hall of Honor Induction Ceremony (ndtourism.com/events/native-american-hall-honor-induction-ceremony) at the North Dakota Heritage Center Sept. 5. That is held in conjunction with the United Tribes International Powwow (ndtourism.com/events/50th-annual-united-tribes-technical-college-international-powwow) Sept. 6-8 in Bismarck.

Some get-togethers aren’t known as festivals but bring people together in celebration – like North Dakota State football. The Bison are No. 1 in the FCS, the program was named a top 10 by ESPN and the tailgating before home games in on par with any program in the nation. See for yourself; head to the Fargodome on Sept. 7 (UND) and Sept. 21 (UC Davis). The game against UND will be an annual event beginning this year with UND joining the Missouri Valley Football Conference in 2020.

Is the only sound you want to hear the sound of silence – with an occasional hoot of an owl and or howling of distant coyotes? The Dakota Nights Astronomy Festival (ndtourism.com/events/dakota-nights-astronomy-festival) Aug. 30-Sept. 1 in Medora is right for you.

Adrenaline junkies looking for a rush have options, too. The Maah Daah Hey 150 (ndtourism.com/events/maah-daah-hey-150) mountain bike race Sept. 21-26 lasts six days and covers 150-plus miles on the legendary trail through the Badlands. If that’s too much, try something “easier,” like running a marathon, either in Bismarck on Sept. 21 (ndtourism.com/events/bismarck-marathon) or Grand Forks on Sept. 27-28 (ndtourism.com/events/wild-hog-grand-forks-marathon-2019).

Finally, let music guide you into fall. Grand Forks’ Greenway Takeover Festival (ndtourism.com/events/greenway-takeover-festival) starts rocking on Sept. 5 and keeps on rocking through Sept. 8. The genre varies based on the stage and time, with Everclear (“Santa Monica,” “Wonderful”) closing Friday night’s set. Dickinson gets into the act with the Fall Downtown Blues Festival and street fair (ndtourism.com/events/fall-downtown-blues-festival) on Sept. 7. Classic rocker Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band (www.ndtourism.com/events/bob-seger-silver-bullet-band) brings his “Roll Me Away Tour” to the Fargodome on Sept. 14.