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Grand Forks spots among notable places highlighted in campaign celebrating N.D.'s 125th anniversary

Red Pepper

Grand Forks’ Red Pepper is among the state’s most notable places highlighted in a campaign celebrating North Dakota’s 125th anniversary this year.

Members of the event’s planning committee are spreading the word ahead of two statewide events held Aug. 16 and Nov. 2, the state’s official birthday. Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley and Sara Otte Coleman, director of the state’s tourism division, were in Grand Forks Tuesday to talk about the events and the promotion of it.

Tourism isn’t restricted to the Badlands or bird watching, Wrigley said.

“For some, it’s about coming here and watching a Red Hawks game, or coming up here and watching the hockey team play,” he said. “They come to restaurants and stop at places along the way. That’s what tourism is about — what interests you and your family, or whoever you’re traveling with.”

On a new website offering “125 Ways to LUVND,” visitors to Grand Forks are advised to eat a grinder at the Red Pepper and participate in extreme racing, among other suggestions, including, of course, seeing a UND hockey game.

The website highlights the best the state has to offer, said Wrigley.

“There’s a lot of history, culture to tap into,” he said. “This helps simplify that.”  

Asked whether the department of tourism is concerned about the way oil has affected the state, Wrigley said there are some “real complications,” but he largely believes this is a great opportunity for North Dakota. They still want to preserve its best features — its history, natural beauty and quality of life, he said.

For the August event, several acts are scheduled to perform at the Capitol grounds, including North Dakota musicians Tigirlily, Chuck Suchy and The Burning Hills Singers.

In November, the state will commemorate the birthday with the grand opening of the new North Dakota Heritage Center. Public activities will be held for both.

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Jennifer Johnson

Jennifer Johnson is the K-12 education reporter for The Grand Forks Herald.  Contact her if you have any story ideas or tips and visit 

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