Committee moves forward on plans for Ox Cart Days in Crookston

Members are planning for a full schedule of events, but looking at different scenarios if the pandemic necessitates changes

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A painted mural on a brick wall welcomes visitors to Crookston, Minn. (Grand Forks Herald photo)

CROOKSTON – The committee that organizes Crookston’s annual Ox Cart Days is moving forward with plans to host the festival, with the theme “Fun in 2021,” on Aug. 16-22.

Several main events planned for the 2020 festival were rescheduled, due to COVID, for this coming August, according to Jess Bengtson, Ox Cart Days Committee member.

Committee members are working on a few different scenarios for events, keeping in mind Minnesota’s current pandemic-related restrictions and figuring out how long they’ll wait until they alter plans, if necessary, Bengtson said.

“Like last year, we are trying to stay optimistic as long as possible and will keep everyone informed of how the third week of August will look in Crookston,” she said in a news release. “While we’re planning for the full festival with all events and hopeful for little to no restrictions, we have to keep in mind that could change.”

If the mask mandate is in effect in August, “we’ll oblige,” she said. “If restrictions don’t lighten up, our community’s organizers will consider another alternative week with social-distance-friendly events.”


Although the festival’s main events in 2020 were postponed until 2021, separate organizers stepped up to host a few successful events last August, including the Kids Lemonade Stand Contest and the Food Truck Fest, which will return this year, Bengtson said.

The upcoming festival will include events such as the Saturday night street dance with the rock tribute band, “Snake Oil,” circus-themed entertainment Thursday with trapeze artists, fire-breathers and stilt-walkers, and more, she said.

For more information on Ox Cart Days, go to or check the festival’s social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Anyone who would like to become involved with the Ox Cart Days Committee, sponsor an event, or who wants to know more about the festival is invited to contact Bengtson at (701) 610-6454.

Related Topics: EVENTS
Pamela Knudson is a features and arts/entertainment writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

She has worked for the Herald since 2011 and has covered a wide variety of topics, including the latest performances in the region and health topics.

Pamela can be reached at or (701) 780-1107.
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