November is a time to be thankful in North Dakota

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November is a month in which we take time to recognize things that enrich our lives, culminating in Thanksgiving Day celebrations with family and friends. Events geared toward the holiday season start early. They include the fine arts, arts and crafts, parades ringing in the Christmas season and heartwarming music.

One event has a little bit of everything and it’s too big to fit into one weekend. Dickens Village Festival (dickensfestival.com) opens Nov. 29 in Garrison. For that and two subsequent weekends, guests get to taste street food, shop for Christmas arts and crafts, ride horse-drawn wagons and the “Queen Elizabus,” listen to concerts and watch stage productions of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

Wahpeton is combining its Sesquicentennial (www.wahpeton150.com) with a holiday celebration featuring a parade of lights in Chahinkapa Park, a visit by Santa, hot cider, hotter music and a fireworks show on Nov. 29 and 30. Lights also are the central theme in Fargo’s Holiday of Lights Parade (https://downtownfargo.com/calendar/xcel-energy-holiday-lights-parade-2/) Nov. 26 and Grand Forks’ HollyDazzle Festival of Light (downtownforks.com/hollydazzle) on Nov. 24, complete with carriage rides, pony rides, music and fireworks. After stops there, Santa has plans to hit Mandan (ndtourism.com/events/santas-arrival-and-small-business-saturday-downtown-mandan) and Cavalier (ndtourism.com/events/cavalier-santa-parade) on the same day–Nov. 30. Gotta love those reindeer.

Holiday concerts fill our venues, theaters and town halls statewideElectric violinist Aaron Meyer and his Portland-based band will add a little electricity to your holiday planning. Meyers’ band will present Holiday Tales (bismarckmandansymphony.org/events/HolidayTales) Nov. 15 and 16 in Bismarck. Stirling’s Warmer in Winter Tour (ndtourism.com/events/lindsey-stirling-warmer-winter-tour) makes a stop Nov. 30 in Grand Forks. Find more music and concert information at https://www.ndtourism.com/listings/events.

And let’s not forget there is shopping to do. With Christmas just around the corner, why not get those hard-to-buy-for relatives out of the way with unique gifts from the Vintage Shoppe Christmas Open House at Buckstop Junction in Bismarck (website.buckstopjunction.org:5293/vintage-shop.htm) Nov. 16; Bismarck’s Big One Art and Craft Fair (thebigone.biz/bismarck-christmas.html) Nov. 22 and 23; and the Homemade Artisan Fair (ndtourism.com/events/homemade-artisan-fair) Nov. 23 in Forman.