Fargo Monthly November 2023

Page 1


Amy from y94!

zero from y94!

S ' O H W Learn More About Your Local Radio Hosts!





22 WHO'S ON AIR? 24 26 28 30 32

Big 98.7 Q 105.1 107.9 The Fox Y94 KFGO

14 Sponsored Content: A Perfect Pairing with D-S Beverages 16 Sponsored Content: Epic Places to Live


34 The FARGODOME Reimagined 36 Think Global, Act Local; A Conversation with Ms. Veera Khalil 38 Meet the Maker: Lil’ Hippie Co. 42 ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT 42 Rocking On with the Pawnbrokers 46 Small Towns & Big Stories—Meet Teen Author Lindsey Undlin 50 What's in My Sketchbook? With Artist Lisa Burns 54 HOME & DESIGN 54 Project Feature: ReadiTech Offices by Prairie Design Studio



58 FOOD & DRINK 58 Wine of the Month: Wildrose Winery & Vineyard 60 PARENTS & KIDS 60 A Journey to Fluency with Concordia Language Villages!


info@spotlightmediafargo.com 701-478-7768

All your favorite things in one spot. FARGOMONTHLY.COM Extended content, events, drink specials, giveaways and more.








Volume 13 / Issue 11

November 2023

Fargo Monthly Magazine is published 12 times a year and is free. Copies are available at more than 500 Fargo-Moorhead locations and digitally at fargomonthly.com.

Publisher EDITORIAL Editorial Team Lead Editors Art Director Editorial Graphic Designer

Mike Dragosavich Brady Drake Brady@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Geneva Nodland, Grant Ayers Kim Cowles Ty Betts

Creative Strategist

Josiah Kopp

Content Specialist

Gary Ussery

Contributors INTERACTIVE Business Development Manager Business Development Associate Videographer Director of Creative Strategies Graphic Designer Web Developer ADVERTISING VP of Business Development Sales Representative Sales & Marketing Advisor Business Development Representative Client Relations

Alexandre Cyusa, Ashley Morken Nick Schommer Kellen Feeney Tommy Uhlir Megan Suedbeck Ben Buchanan Austin Smith Paul Hoefer Paul@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Al Anderson Al@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Tori Helland Tori@SpotlightMediaFargo.com Austin Cuka AustinCuka@SpotlightMediaFargo.com ClientRelations@SpotlightMediaFargo.com

Client Relations Manager

Jenny Johnson

Marketing Coordinator

Jessica Mullen

Operations Assistant DISTRIBUTION Delivery

Miranda Knudson John Stuber

Fargo Monthly is published by Spotlight, LLC. Copyright 2024 Fargo Monthly and fargomonthly.com. All rights reserved. No parts of this magazine may be reproduced or distributed without written permission of Fargo Monthly and Spotlight, LLC is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on such information. Spotlight, LLC accepts no liability for the accuracy of statements made by the advertisers.

Spotlight, LLC 4609 33rd Ave S Suite #304 Fargo, ND 58104 or info@spotlightmediafargo.com ADVERTISING: 701-478-SPOT (7768)




eaders, happy fall in the Valley! While it feels like I should be saying happy winter with our coats and defrost on, I refuse to skip over the November fall time—which happens to be my favorite. To honor the best time of the year, we thought up a creative way to get to know the community a bit better. This month, we met some of the community's closest companions in an entirely new way. Most of us have a preset for our favorite local radio station, meaning we get to hear the same voices every day on our regular commutes. So, we decided we'd get to know those familiar personalities a little bit more. We asked our local on-air hosts about themselves, their favorites in the community, and even took a peek inside their studios!

with that, but I found that my advice was much harder to actually do than it was to write. I realized it's hard to come home in the evening, with barely an hour and a half of daylight left, and not head straight to my bed or couch and binge the entire evening away in front of a screen. Don't get me wrong—I am an advocate for those nights, we need them sometimes, but every night of that for a week, even a few days, and I found myself slipping into a pattern that affected my sleep, eating habits, and mental health. I felt as if I was isolating, with an excuse of living a slower life. Slow living is, at the same time, seasonal depression's worst nightmare and biggest supporter. So, I am making an amendment to my previous note to you all. Slowing down doesn't mean stopping.

In the last month, as the temps dipped and the days were shorter, I began to slow down, but I noticed that this "slow" made me a bit uncomfortable. Last month, I reminded everyone reading that we should slow down and that this time of the year is meant to make us break from the busyness of summer—and I do still agree

Upon this realization toward the end of the month, while it was unfortunate timing on my end, I started using the last drops of sun to go on short bike rides. With the ground covered in snow and ice, I'm not sure how many more of those I will have left this year, but I also took more time to start trying out new recipes for dinner, I reorganized


my bedroom, cleaned out junk drawers, picked up a book with a few chapters left, went to a few local events for the first time since summer—adding a few extra layers—and even bought all of the ingredients to bake a pie, before realizing I didn't own a pie plate when I got home. Now, I'm not saying I am the champion of beating the seasonal blues, I did all of that and still felt challenged some nights (and spent those watching TV in pj's by 6 p.m.), but I wanted to share regardless.

I guess my encouragement this month is to try to find that balance, the middle ground between taking time for yourself without disengaging yourself. Even if the only person you feel like you're having a conversation with after 5 p.m. is the host on the radio while you drive home, you're still listening. So, enjoy the slowness, but don't get too sucked in, stay warm, and Happy Reading!

Geneva Nodland Editor





Rendering of The Beacon Plaza in Grand Forks, set to open summer 2024.

By Josiah Kopp Unit photos by Josiah Kopp Renderings & Team photos provided by EPIC Companies

EPIC PLACES TO LIVE One of these three new apartment locations could be your new home No name better comes to mind when thinking about the best apartment developments in the Red River Valley than EPIC Management. Powered by innovation, out-of-thebox creative thinking, and vibrant living communities, it's no surprise that EPIC is continuing to expand with new, state-of-theart developments. Take a look at these three new and unique developments in the area, including the stunning new 1923 at The Beacon in Grand Forks! The leasing team at EPIC is excited to tell you more about each one. 16 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

DID YOU KNOW? The Don is named after Donald, who is the father of an EPIC owner. His family owned the land before it was developed. Each floorplan is named after one of his grandchildren and great grandchild. The community room is named after his wife.

THE DON • 5652 26th Ave S - Fargo, ND 58104 • 1 bed $925 - $1,125 • 2 beds $1,250 • 3 beds $1,600 - $1,675 Amenities include a fitness room, community room, rooftop patio, underground parking, in-unit washer/dryer and pet-friendly. Places within walking distance of The Don include Scooters Coffee, Sheyenne High School, Liberty Middle School, Cash Wise, and Holiday Gas Station. This complex is perfect for anyone looking to reside in the South/West Fargo area, becoming a part of a peaceful yet interactive community with direct access to nearby businesses.

Play fun patio games like this life-sized connect four on the rooftop patio!

BRANDON IREL AND, LEASING AGENT "Welcome to The Don, the newest edition to our Liberty Town Center Community! Living at The Don not only offers great convenience but also a great community. As a resident of The Don, you will have access to our Community Room (ready to rent for any event), the Rooftop Patio to enjoy Fargo’s amazing sunsets and the Fitness Room to get in the day's work out. Whether you need to grocery shop at Cash Wise, get gas at Holiday or enjoy a fresh brewed coffee at Scooters, The Don’s convenient location makes everything feel just steps away. Rent with us today and receive a $1,000 rent credit!" *All information is subject to change without notice. 17


THE ARCH • 300 Main Ave - Fargo, ND • 2 beds (1 story) $1,800 - $2,000 • 3 beds (1 story) $2,100 - $2,400 • 1 bed (lofted 2 story) $1,400 - $1,700 • 2 beds (lofted 2 story) $2,100 Amenities include a fitness room, community room, direct access to commercial, underground/covered parking, in-unit washer/dryer, trash chute on every floor, and pet-friendly. Within walking distance of downtown Fargo, Island Park, the YMCA, the Red River, and many coffee shops, and restaurants. This complex is perfect for anyone who enjoys the downtown lifestyle and community. The Arch has modern layouts and gorgeous views of the Red River and downtown Fargo.

DID YOU KNOW? The Arch is a part of Gateway Center. Gateway was named after the previous strip mall, Gateway Mall, being the Gateway from Moorhead, MN to Fargo, ND. The Arch was named after Veterans Memorial Bridge that connects the two cities and honors those who have served. Unite, a future building next door, is named after uniting all of the buildings together along with the two communities. *All information is subject to change without notice. 18 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


PAY TON ROTT, LEASING AGENT "A new building has officially entered the downtown Fargo skyline next to Gateway North. Right off the bridge to Moorhead, the new building, The Arch sits on the Red River riverbank. The building has two levels of parking, one floor of commercial, two floors of apartments and three floors of condominiums offering both renting and buying opportunities to anyone exploring to expand to the downtown community. For renters, the building holds brand new contemporary units such as our one and two bed 2-story lofted units. These units hold windows stretching tall, giving a gorgeous view of the Red River or a peak into downtown Fargo. We also have several appealing two and three bedrooms with spacious layouts and a large garden bed balcony. Units have stainless steel appliances, walk in closets, and in unit washers and dryers. The building is pet friendly and offers a fitness room, community room, and underground parking to all tenants. Not only is there community within the building, providing direct connection between residential and commercial, but all tenants will have direct access to downtown life. Within a few blocks is Island Park, boutiques, coffee shops, and some of Fargo's best-known restaurants, all within walking distance. The Arch is the perfect home for anyone to experience and thrive in the downtown lifestyle."

Connect with us to start your journey for your new EPIC home! epiccompaniesnd.com linkedin.com/company/epiccompaniesnd/ search "EPIC Companies" @epiccompaniesnd /EPICmanagementfargo @epicmanagementnd info@EPICCompaniesND.com 3140 Bluestem Dr Ste 101 West Fargo, ND 58078 701.866.1006



1923 AT THE BEACON • 150 N 8th St - Grand Forks, ND 58203 • Studio (1 story) $960 - $1,020 • 1 bed (1 story) $1,110 - $1,160 • 2 beds (1 story) $1,410 - $1,480 • 1 bed (2 story) $1,410 • 2 beds (2 story) $1,810 - $2,330 • 3 beds (2 story) $2,950 - $3,050 Amenities include a fitness room, direct access to commercial, plaza/event space, washer/dryer in-unit, secured mail room, trash chute on every floor, and pet-friendly. Within walking distance of downtown Grand Forks, Hugos, and the YMCA. Perfect for anyone looking for an interactive community atmosphere with our plaza, ice rink, and event space along with direct access to downtown lifestyle.

ALICIA SANDOVAL-DEL RIO, LEASING AGENT "At the beginning of fall 2023, the first phase of 1923 at The Beacon, located at 150 N 8th St, Grand Forks, ND 58203, was completed! It has added additional living in the downtown Grand Forks area with units varying from efficiencies starting at $960 to two story, 3 beds priced at $3,050! Residents are only expected to cover the electricity bill for their unit, and we cover the rest of the utilities. Some key amenities are the washer/dryer in every unit, available underground parking at an additional monthly cost, the fitness room available 24 hours, a secured mail room on the second floor, and so much more!

DID YOU KNOW? Opportunity & Inspiration in the heart of Grand Forks, North Dakota. The Beacon by EPIC is a master-planned, mixed-use development and entertainment district coming to downtown Grand Forks. The Beacon will consist of three buildings, a 60,000 square foot outdoor plaza, public parking, and event space.

Your furry friends are also welcome to live in the building! The Beacon is set to be developed in a similar fashion to the development of The Lights, located in West Fargo, ND. Residents will have quick access to a variety of events year-round like movie nights, farmers markets, free family events, concerts, an ice-skating rink during the winter months, and so much more. Take advantage of our current leasing specials, including short-term leases as low as 3 months with absolutely no application fees!" *All information is subject to change without notice.

Stay tuned for our next property Makt at EOLA in Fargo, ND to come online with apartments, condos, and commercial space early 2024. 20 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM



Who's On Air? We can recognize their voices through airwaves, we've laughed and sung along with them for years, we anticipate the bits for our commutes to and from home, and for some, we may even consider them more familiar than people we see every day—but do we really know our local radio show hosts? This month, we learned a little bit more about the people behind those voices we hear in the car every day! They've been our companions on the drive to work and they've delivered our local news and community updates, and now, we get to meet them in a whole new way. Get to know FargoMoorhead's radio show hosts! 23

BIG 98.7

amanda & pike

By Geneva Nodland

With a combined radio legacy spanning three decades, "Pike & Amanda in the Morning" boasts hosts with long-lived radio histories, let's meet them!

What is Pike & Amanda in the Morning? Pike & Amanda in the Morning is a show that prides itself on being authentic. The chemistry between Pike and Amanda is real and has been forged over several years of working together. They genuinely get along and are constantly making each other laugh. It's a very light-hearted listening experience that finds humor in almost any conversation.

Pike began his radio journey during high school at a local country channel, evolving from weekend hosting duties and occasional appearances as a frog mascot to helming the morning slot. His journey began at Big 98.7 at its very inception in 2013. After a 2.5-year sojourn in Orlando, Florida, Pike came back to Fargo in 2023 to co-host the iconic "Pike & Amanda in the Morning." Amanda's radio story began in Denver in 2008 when she interned for a morning show. The following year saw her relocating to Fargo to voice the morning slot on Froggy 99.9. She transitioned to Big 98.7 during its 2013 launch and hasn't looked back since.

Pike & Amanda's Local Picks

Live music at Dempsey's: Pike may be biased because his band frequently plays there, but catching a live show at Dempsey's is a must in downtown Fargo. Lots of great local bands come through, and you can't beat an Irish bar in the heart of downtown.


Tennis at Island Park: The park is full of beautiful trees and also tennis courts. Even if you're bad at tennis, there's nothing better than whacking a few tennis balls around with a friend on a sunny day in Island Park.

Trivia at Swing Barrel Brewing in Moorhead: One of their favorite breweries in town is Swing Barrel in Moorhead. They have trivia every Tuesday, which is always a great time. Swing Barrel Brewing hosts a TON of fun events throughout the week and weekends. Watch out for upcoming events on their Facebook /SwingBarrelBrew.

Who are Pike & Amanda—really? Rocker: Other than being on the morning show, Pike is also the guitar player in the local band Low Standards. They have been a staple in the Fargo bar scene since 2014, playing 90s and 2000 classics along with their own catalog of pop-punk originals. Golfer: He also is an avid golfer at Rose Creek Public Golf Course. DJ: Pike owns his own wedding DJ business called Pike Presents. Mom: Amanda is a full-time mom of 2 kids (Sidney, 4, and Briggs, 3). Wine-Fanatic: She also is a part-time "wino" (nights and weekends), and also has an addiction to Dateline.

Craziest moments on the Pike & Amanda in the Morning show? "Live radio is always full of surprises, and that's part of the fun! Every day brings new stories, and we're here to share them with all of you, our wonderful listeners. Amanda was once offered $100 for her dirty socks by a listener. Pike nearly died while getting tased live onair—the taser got stuck in his back and didn't stop pumping electricity for 18 seconds." - Pike & Amanda

Pike & Amanda's Local Food Picks

Pike & Amanda's Hidden Picks

Rustica in Moorhead: Go for happy hour and try the salmon dip.

The patio at the Grotto: It's one of the best patios in town with great drink specials and just a cool vibe.

Thai Orchid: The Pad Thai is delicious. Arby's in Moorhead: Pike would recommend the roast beef (he worked

there so he is very familiar with the menu).

Fill your Tuesdays with the sounds of live, local music at the Martini Blu at the Grotto! Every Tuesday from 5-8 p.m., check out live artists inside through December.


| big987.com | 701-280-1987 | /pikeandamandainthemorning | @pikeandamandainthemorning

Happy hour at Doolittle's: The wings are incredible and when you get them on happy hour, it's easily the best value in town. China King Buffet in West Fargo: This is the best Chinese buffet in the area (Pike has done the research).


Q105.1 Rocks

dan virchow aka Chow By Geneva Nodland Recognized widely as "Chow," Dan Virchow is the iconic afternoon drive voice of Q105.1 Rocks, having been with the station since its foundation in 2013. After completing his studies at South Dakota State University in 2012, Chow relocated to Fargo, but embarked on a global rock 'n' roll adventure. Not just a seasoned radio host, Dan is also a skilled photographer, collaborating with renowned bands such as Slipknot, Corey Taylor, and Cherry Bombs during their world tours as a dynamic content creator. Frequently broadcasting on the go, tuning in means you're always in for a surprise about where Chow is or the intriguing tales he's got to share!


| q1051rocks.com | danvirchow.com | /Q105.1 | @danvirchow

Craziest moments on Q105.1 Rocks with Chow? Milk Mustache: "When you work in radio, you tend to have access to a lot of concert tickets, and people will do just about anything to get their hands on them. Volbeat was playing in Fargo, and two of our employees were willing to do just about anything for a meet and greet with the band. My co-host at the time was a cat named Gunner Haznogunz, and his wife had recently had a baby. It was obvious to us what the two employees were going to have to do to meet the band: each drink a glass of his wife's breast milk. They gladly obliged!" Laying the Smackdown: "For some reason, rock radio and pro wrestling go hand in hand. Throughout my time in radio, there have been many instances where those worlds have collided. I've done in-ring introductions for IMPACT Wrestling and have even competed in local wrestling promotions several times. Two-time champion, baby! (Both reigns ended horribly.)"

Who is Dan "Chow"—really? Photography/videography: "Memories are the only real currency in life. Capturing moments in time is really my favorite thing to do." Music: "I love live music. A passionate concert crowd creates an unmatched energy. I also play in bands once in a while, and if you see a band I'm in on a stage near you, be prepared: the show is almost certain to be terrible!" Kickin' it with the boys: "Does hanging out with friends count as a hobby? It should. There's really nothing better than having a great time with your friends. You can see the world, accomplish all of your goals, and have all of your dreams come true, but none of that matters unless you have people you care about to share those successes with."

chow's Local Picks

Concerts at Bluestem Amphitheater: The Bluestem Summer Concert Series might be the most pro-attendee event you'll ever go to. Every need of a concertgoer is tended to, including food choices, unique beverage options, access to earplugs if you need them, and of course access to an unbelievable music venue. 26 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

Dia Del Taco at Fargo Brewing Company: Tacos and pro wrestling. That's it. That's the event. It's perfect.

SDSU Beating NDSU at FARGODOME: As an SDSU alum, this has become one of my favorite events to enjoy once every two years. Go Big, Go Blue, Go Jacks!

What is Q105.1 Rocks with Chow? Afternoons on Q105.1 with Chow can best be described as UNPREDICTABLE. Any radio standard or rule is entirely disregarded when he's on the air. Most days, even Chow doesn't know where he'll be broadcasting from! His show could emanate from a casino in Las Vegas, an ancient coliseum in Southern France, or amidst the roaring engines at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. It's adventurous, outrageous, and fun. It's an unstructured, renegade program— and he wouldn't have it any other way!

chow's Local Food Picks

Sickies Garage: Sickies started in Fargo and has since expanded all across the country because of its unique burger creations. I was fortunate enough to create my own firebreathing monster burger. THE CHOWZILLA. It's huge, almost too spicy, and has a bad attitude. Finishing a CHOWZILLA burger has been shown to improve mental clarity and enhance athletic ability. However, these studies were conducted by me (Chow) and your results may vary.

The Tavern: Let's put it this way; when my family comes to town to visit, I take them to The Tavern. Excellent variety and a reliably good dish. Plus, I always get a kick out of how massive the doors are when you walk in. Who doesn't love a cool door? Lucky's 13: Cool vibe, great food, and very festive. This place goes all out with the decorations each year during Halloween. It's awesome.

107.9 The Fox

Dave Jacobs & Moose Johnson

Craziest moments on The Fox Morning Show? Dave's incident with what he THOUGHT was toothpaste. Or, the time we convinced a caller we had to blow out his old radio lines when we switched to HD. - Dave & Moose

By Geneva Nodland "Ruining Fargo Morning Radio for almost 30 years!" as this duo put it, Dave Jacobs and Moose Johnson host The Fox Morning Show on 107.9 The Fox.

What is The Fox Morning Show? The Fox Morning Show has been waking up The Valley since 1995. All fun and no fuss, they offer the right mix of laughs, smarts, and good times. The perfect pairing with your morning coffee, they won't say no if you want to share a cup. Dive into real talk, interviews with big names in entertainment and music, and a sprinkle of the latest cultural buzz. Not too bad for a zero-dollar price tag, right?


| 1079thefox.com | /107.9 The Fox | @1079fox

Dave & Moose's Local Picks

Dave & Moose's Food Local Picks

Dave & Moose's Hidden Picks

The *ahem* Crypt at Jacobs Manor in Leonard, ND

Thai Orchid: Ooh, the Tom Yum Soup.

Suite Shots: Rooftop lounge at Suite Shots.

Dave created this 13 years ago in his backyard and builds on it all year long. All for charity, benefiting the YWCA Women and Children's Shelter. Find it on Google Maps, Facebook, and various media articles!

ValleyCon ValleyCon, birthed by the Red River Science Fiction and Fantasy Club (R2SF2) from the '70s fan-culture boom, stands as the biggest popculture celebration from Minneapolis to Seattle, embracing everything from sci-fi to gaming. ValleyCon hosts a variety of events held yearround, including the Pop Expo, which takes place in the spring!


Sickies Garage Burgers and Brews: Nothing like a burger from Sickies Burgers and Brews. Les Bahn Mi: Visit in West Fargo. Did you know? Sickies has a TON of weekly

deals, including Kids Eat Free Every Monday from 4-8 p.m., Late Night Wings on Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m.-close—feating All-YouCan-Eat traditional style wings and fries for only $17.99—Signature Bloody Mary's and Mimosas on Saturday and Sunday—including mimosas and pineapple mimosas and Sickies’ Signature Bloody Mary, a 22 oz. Bloody Mary topped with a towering garnish skewer—and more!

Hungry? Try the food and drinks at Suite Shots! Grab the lunch deal, which is $10 for a meal and side, or any of the seasonal drinks offered!

Shelter Pets & Exercise: Walking shelter dogs and playing with cats at the Homeward Animal Shelter, or any shelter. Pixeled Brewing Co. Located on the edge of NP Avenue, Pixeled Brewing Co. offers an entire bar filled with brews and arcade games. Did you know? Mondays are for the Killer Queens—Killer Queen League Night is every Monday night! It's free to join, full of nostalgia, and features some friendly competition!

The Morning Playhouse on Y94

Amy Kaye & zero By Geneva Nodland Zero and Amy Kaye are the dynamic duo behind Y94's The Morning Playhouse in FargoMoorhead. Amy, hailing from Illinois, has graced every time slot on Y94 since her 2015 debut, with a rich background from The Illinois Center for Broadcasting to hosting diverse segments in Taylorville, IL. Zero, an MSUM graduate, wandered into Y94 in 2003 and became an irreplaceable fixture, marking over 16 memorable years on The Morning Playhouse. From finding love at the station to venturing into fatherhood, his Y94 journey has been profound. Together, they've not only garnered top ratings but have also cultivated a "Playhouse Family," offering a unique radio experience for their listeners!

What is The Morning Playhouse on Y94? The Morning Playhouse on Y94 kickstarts listeners' mornings with laughter and entertainment, ensuring they're never out of the loop during office chatter. With Zero and Amy Kaye, the show serves up a rich blend of the hottest music, celebrity gossip, and interactive segments that are all about listeners. For those caught up in a dating dilemma, the "Second Date Update" might be a ticket to closure, or perhaps a second shot at love. For those in need of advice or just a heart-to-heart, "Group Therapy" and "The Love Doctors" are there to lend an ear and a helping hand. As Zero said, "It's your circus, we're the monkeys."

Amy & Zero's Local Picks

Red River Market: Enjoy the outdoors in downtown Fargo while the weather is nice. Go for the food trucks. Try spring rolls, bloody marys, juices, and hot dogs!


Downtown Wine Down: Sample wines, seltzers, and snacks. If you are someone who doesn't know much about wine, this is the place to start— you can sample them to find your favorites!

Love Your Locals Small Business Expo: Eat, drink, and shop—Find new small businesses from the FM area that you might not have known about. Hosted by Love Your Local FM Area, featuring food, drinks, local shopping, swag, and much more, this free, annual event hosts over 50 small businesses. Head to Facebook at /Love Your Local FM Area for updates on the next event!

Craziest moments on The Morning Playhouse on Y94? "At the Roughrider Ink & Iron Expo in Fargo I thought I should go all in and get a tattoo while I was live on air. It was more difficult than I thought, you could hear the pain in my voice. The tattoo was even drawn by a Y94 listener." - Amy "In an insanely special moment on The Y94 Morning Playhouse, My boyfriend Steven (now fiance) surprised me LIVE ON AIR during The Playhouse to propose! And… I of course said yes!" - Amy "I got to be part of helping Amy's fiance propose on live radio—and somehow I managed not to spill the beans before the special day! Nothing is more beautiful than THOUSANDS being part of the proposal but getting to be the only person with a front-row seat!" - Zero "Donna The Deer Lady is just one of those moments that as it's playing out, you know you'll be hearing about forever. I honestly think someday I could be in a nursing home, mention Y94 as a little old man and another little old man will go, 'They really should move those deer crossing signs dontchaknow!' and we'll have a good laugh over some Jell-O!" - Zero

Who are Amy & Zero—really? Trivia Master: Whether it's trivia at a local bar (Pub West on Wednesdays) or playing at home.

A little back story—Y94 caller, Donna, went viral for complaining about "deer crossing" signs, thinking that they were marking spots on the road for deer to cross... not realizing it was a warning for drivers that deer may cross the road!

Scattergories: I [Amy] love this game, it's usually just my fiancé and I playing, and I am usually winning. We just bought an updated version of the game but I like the original the best.


Day drinker: In the summer you will find me [Amy] on a patio with a beer and preferably live music

| Y94.com | Y94 #1 Hit Music Station | @y94official | @amyk.radio (Studio Line) 701-237-HITS (4487)

Dad: Oh I'm (Zero) a dad. That takes up all my outside Y94 time.

Amy & Zero's Local Food Picks GP's Greek Kitchen: No matter the season you have to order the Avgolemono soup—lemon chicken and rice, it's the best! Friendly staff and leftovers! Puerto Vallarta: Try the Queso Fundido! For now, you can only order it as the daily special, but I heard it will be added to the menu soon—the Quesabirria Tacos.

Amy & Zero's Hidden Picks

The Dove's Nest Boutique: The owner Kelli, is the sweetest person I [Amy] have ever met! She helps pair outfits together and find you the perfect fit. Jeans, dresses, sweatshirts—this place has something for everyone no matter the style you are looking for!

Glacial Peak Cryotherapy: It’s like a battery recharge for your body! Pam at Glacial Peak is wonderful and can help you find the right services to get the pep back in your step! The benefits I have noticed right away when I step out, are a mood boost, and it gives me more energy, and at night I am sleeping like a baby. Plus if you are like me and struggling with adult acne—try the Cryo-facials!


790 AM, 94.1 FM, 104.7 FM

doug & robbie By Geneva Nodland

The KFGO Morning Crew, with a legacy of hosts like Lem Hawkins, Larry Ristvedt, and Tom Wynn, now features Doug Leier and Robbie Daniels on air from 5-8 a.m., along with Sarah Heinrich, Too Tall Tom Szymanski, Don Haney, Jack Michaels, and others. Robbie, a radio veteran of 30 years, joined in September, while North Dakota native Doug has been with KFGO since 2009. Doug, from Williston and raised in LaMoure and Valley City, is an NDSU graduate and an ND Bottineau Game and Fish biologist. A husband and father of three, he's a devout Christian and a proud German, only puts mustard on his bratwurst, and wishes the Waltons was still on TV. Robbie began her radio career at KBTO in Bottineau, ND, then moved to KDSR in Williston, and has been in Fargo since 1991, serving as a morning and midday host.

What is the KFGO Morning show? KFGO and the Morning Crew are more than just who's on-air. Their listeners, who call, text, and message in, play an integral role in sharing important information to kickstart the day. With an award-winning News Center, a top-notch meteorologist, a highly respected figure in sports broadcasting, and an exceptional Ag team on air, they are committed to sharing vital information with listeners. Plus, they try to add a smile and laughter to the start of their audience's day, even if it's momentarily!

Doug & Robbie's Local Picks

Threshers & Baseball: Doug's favorite activities change with the seasons but he never misses going to Rollog, MN every fall and RedHawks baseball on sunny summer afternoons.

Every Labor Day weekend in Rollag, thousands travel to celebrate the annual Western Minnesota Steam Threshers Reunion—featuring 210 scenic acres of demos and exhibits—learn more about the historic event at rollag.com.


Red River: Any opportunity to be in or on the Red River is a strong suggestion because it's right in our own backyard. If you haven't canoed, kayaked, fished, or jet-skied the Red River—you are missing out on your own backyard! - Doug!

NDSU Pride: Bison Football Game & Tailgating. Museum: A few hours at the Fargo Air Museum (so much history). Music: A concert at Bluestem Amphitheater—such an amazing place to hear music, and there's no bad seat in the house. - Robbie

Who are Doug & Robbie—really? Biologist & Family Man: I [Doug] am a full-time biologist, so my side hobby is more about spending my time with my family neighbors and friends. Traveler: I [Robbie] love to spend time with my husband. He and I love adventure and will get into the car and just drive to wherever the road takes us. We find interesting places, people, and, of course, restaurants. Classic Cars & Lake Life: We also love classic cars—we have a 1962 Chevy pickup and a few others—plus, we love lake life and I (Robbie) am a huge reader. Craziest moments with the KFGO Morning Crew? "A few years back Don Haney and I were talking about how much we loved breakfast pizza. Without requesting or asking, a listener (in the middle of the night, mind you) went and got a breakfast pizza and brought it to the station at 6 a.m. One of the more serious and humbling [times] was having a couple of wonderful online listeners from Kansas drive all the way to Fargo for our KFGO picnic to meet us all! - Doug "I'm new to the show and finding out those little idiosyncrasies can be pretty humorous. Such as, I never realized I'm a loud yawner. Doug pointed that out." - Robbie GENEVA NODLAND

| kfgo.com | 701-237-5948 Text: 35270 | kfgo.studio@kfgo.com | /790kfgo | @kfgo790

Doug & Robbie's Local Food Picks Burgers: Any local hamburgers from places like the Cornfield Cafe in Dunn Villa to the Flying Pig in West Fargo. - Doug Dakota Vines Vineyard & Winery: Short drive south of Fargo, Deb and Bob created a place so quaint, with delicious wines, fantastic pizza, and a vineyard story that will make you smile. - Robbie

Doug & Robbie's Hidden Picks Explore: There are fun, odd things like walking over the I-94 walk bridge. It never gets old no matter the age, it's fun and exhilarating, and the price is right. Google places like Magnolia Wildlife Management Area, don't be afraid to go for a drive and find a spot to take a walk, gas is too expensive just to keep driving around. - Doug

The Garden of Healing: On 51st Street and 32nd Avenue near the SCHEELS arena, it's the sweetest little garden. A place to reflect, honor, and remember your loved ones. I [Robbie] had a brick placed there for my son who passed away a year ago. It truly is a little gem. Vintage Point: I love this little shop just off 13th Avenue. It's full of friendship and love. Seriously, you have to stop in and find out why.


By Brady Drake


On December 5, the city of Fargo is set to vote on proposed sales and lodging taxes in order to support $140 million renovation and expansion of the FARGODOME. To learn more about the proposed project, we spoke with FARGODOME Reimagined, an organization supporting the expansion.


More circulation space will be added on the corners. This rendering shows the existing exterior brick wall and the added space.

What will the expansion look like? • A southside addition of 90,000 square feet which will include 45,000 square feet of conference center flat space, a catering kitchen, a loading dock, and other service areas. According to the FargoMoorhead Convention and Visitor's Bureau, there have been at least 60 conference inquiries that the FARGODOME has currently been unable to accommodate. This renovation would change that. • More women's restrooms. • The project will offer improved accessibility for people with disabilities.

• Ultimately, the project should increase tourism in the area, which should increase revenue for local businesses. How will it be paid for? • The $140 million project will be paid for in the following ways: • $30 million will come from the FARGODOME's savings account. • A quarter percent (.25%) sales tax will be enacted for the next 20 years. This means that for every $100 spent you will pay $0.25 more—this excludes certain items like groceries. • A 3% lodging tax will be enacted. This means visitors staying in hotels

will pay $3 more for every $100 spent when booking a room at a hotel in Fargo. When will it be done? • If the bill passes, the project will take about three years to finish. The reason for the long timeline is because the FARGODOME will never cease operation during that time period. So keep those horns up Green & Gold faithful!


This rendering gives a look inside from the field level.

Where can I vote? Polling locations can be found at the following spots: FARGODOME 1800 N University Dr, Fargo, ND 58102

Ramada by Wyndham Fargo 3333 13th Ave S, Fargo, ND 58103

Fargo Civic Center 207 4th St N #4817, Fargo, ND 58102

For more information, visit fargodomereimagined.com



A Conversation with

MS. Veera Khalil Warm Greetings! During this month where we all share gratitude for each other, I wanted to connect with someone who inspires me with their exemplary attitude. Ms. Veera Khalil, an accomplished alumna of Minnesota State University Moorhead, has successfully earned multiple degrees. Veera's journey has been extraordinary from the outset, owing to her global upbringing and diverse experiences living across the world. Residing in various parts of Europe, she acquired a rich cultural tapestry. Fluent in seven languages, akin to her father who served as an interpreter for the US military, Veera's path has been both diverse and inspiring. In 2012, she relocated her family to the Fargo-Moorhead area, embarking on a new chapter. At present, Veera holds positions on the boards of directors for several non-profit organizations and is employed by the FMWF Chamber of Commerce as an Integration Strategist. Her unwavering commitment to community involvement, coupled with her remarkable background, continues to shape her journey. Veera is enthusiastic about sharing her distinctive experiences and insights. Next time you see her, ask her which community project is keeping her busy! Until next time, Stay Warm! Cyusa


Where do you call home? I have been fortunate to call many places home, including Europe, the Middle East, and the United States of America since 2012. In March of 2013, I relocated my entire family to the amazing Fargo-Moorhead area, and I am truly grateful for this opportunity. My childhood home in Kurdistan, "North of Iraq," holds a special significance. Being raised in a Kurdish family shaped my identity and instilled a deep sense of belonging. Each place I have lived became home through the bonds and experiences I forged along the way.

Your proficiency in seven languages is impressive, how did you learn all of them? My father had the talent and knew that it was very beneficial for his kids to pick up different languages, so he exposed us to a myriad of cultures and languages and sent us to a school that educated us from a very young age to use our language skills and learn more!

Why should the people in the FM community care about learning new languages? It's like unlocking a treasure trove of benefits! Imagine improving communication with diverse stakeholders, creating fantastic customer service experiences, and gaining access to exciting global opportunities. Embracing new languages brings a delightful touch of cultural understanding, making interactions a delightful dance of harmony. Safety and compliance become a breeze, while conflicts are deftly resolved with a sprinkle of linguistic finesse. Plus, it's a journey of personal growth, expanding horizons like never before! So, that’s my why!

You wear so many hats, what advice do you have for people wanting to successfully juggle so many roles like you? My advice is to embrace versatility with love and passion. Find joy in every role you take on, prioritize selfcare, and remember that it's okay

By Alexandre Cyusa Photo By Geneva Nodland

to ask for help. Surround yourself with supportive people and believe in your abilities. With love as your guiding light, you can gracefully juggle all your hats and shine brightly in each of your endeavors! I love to volunteer in many different organizations and non-profits any chance I get! I mentor and tutor and I am on the board of the New American consortium. I am a certified interpreter/translator and that was my way into the depth of the community and it also helped me connect with the needs and wants of others!

What are your fondest memories of this college journey you just concluded? I absolutely loved being able to cater to students' needs while I held the role of a senator, transforming their experience for the better and immersing them in activities that helped them momentarily set aside the stresses of life, even if it was just for a couple of hours!

Can you share some of the work you do now in the community? How can others get involved? I have a deep passion for community involvement, and I'm always eager to lend a hand in both for-profit and non-profit initiatives. Volunteering has been a cornerstone of my commitment to making a positive impact. Currently, some of the work I'm engaged in involves collaborating with local non-profits that focus on education and environmental conservation. I've had the privilege to contribute to tutoring programs for underprivileged students, as well as participating in tree-planting and clean-up campaigns to nurture our environment.

For those interested in getting involved, I encourage you to embrace the power of networking. Connecting with organizations and fellow community members allows you to discover meaningful opportunities. Don't hesitate to step out of your comfort zone—being present and assisting others has been transformative for me. Over time, it's led me to gain an in-depth understanding of the community, its needs, and its strengths. Remember, every small effort adds up, and the more you engage, the more confident and connected you'll become. Together, we can make a difference and create a stronger, more vibrant community for everyone.

What is your vision of the Red River Valley in 2030? My vision of the Red River Valley in 2030 is one of vibrant growth and sustainable development. I see a region that has harnessed its natural resources and embraced innovative technologies to create a thriving economy while preserving its unique environmental heritage. Communities thrive, enveloped in a nurturing cocoon of quality education, accessible healthcare, and the rich tapestry of culture. A symphony of renewable energy sources whispers in harmony with the breeze, caressing the landscape and powering our dreams. Along the river's edge, a serene transformation takes place—the gentle restoration of its essence, inviting everyone to find solace in its renewed embrace. This future, lovingly crafted, weaves together progress and reverence, creating a haven where prosperity and peace dance hand in hand, a true gift for generations to come.

Lil' Hippie Co.

Meet The


By Ashley Morken, Unglued Photos provided by Tylar Frame Photography


t can be really tricky to do a handmade business focused on a variety of craft categories, but Lil’ Hippie Co. here in Fargo is a fun example of how it can be done! From handcrafted candles to crocheted amigurumi, Taylor is curating a vibe that is whimsical, natural, and fun. Read on to learn about this local maker and catch her at holiday markets coming up!

Tell us a bit about yourself. My name is Taylor, and I am a local artist from Fargo, ND, although I am originally from Frazee, MN. I work as a Project Manager Assistant at Stantec, a local engineering and consulting firm focusing on environmental sciences. When I’m not working or creating, I enjoy visiting local breweries, attending concerts, tending to my plants, and going on hikes with my three dogs. I’m also a neurodivergent artist and am an advocate for mental health and wellness. I find peace in moving my body and have been practicing yoga since 2018. I am a 200-hour RYT (registered yoga teacher) and enjoy volunteer teaching yoga at local non-profits. Describe what type of products you make under Lil' Hippie Co. I chose “Lil’ Hippie Co.” as my business name because it’s just vague enough for me to create anything that falls under the “hippie” brand. I hand-wrap wire crystal and stone jewelry, such as rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. I also dabble in creating natural scents and create a variety of handpoured soy candles, oil-based rollon scents, room sprays, exfoliating scrubs, and soaking salts. Finally,


I also enjoy crocheting. I crochet market bags, headbands/bandanas, hats, and home décor, but my favorite thing to crochet is amigurumi, which is a Japanese word for “crocheted or knitted stuffed toy.” I love making crocheted friends that people can “adopt” and bring home! Tell us how you got started with your business. I’ve been dabbling in the arts since I was a wee tot, as it helped me communicate and manage my emotions. I’ve always loved using my hands to create things, even if what I’ve created isn’t always appealing to others. I really got into creating during COVID-19 and opened a small online shop in November 2021 that included only jewelry. I only sold to friends and family until I did my first show in Fargo in April 2022. Since then, I have received so much support from the community and Lil’ Hippie Co. continues to grow. You do a large variety of types of craft within your business! How do you determine the direction of your focus for each market you do? I’m still rather new at local markets and have been enjoying the guessing game. I’ve been trying new markets that I’ve never done before and keeping track of what’s popular, but it’s been super hard as I’ve received so much support for all my products. I try to bring a little bit of everything to my markets to ensure there’s something for everyone. Where do you get your inspiration from for what you create? I love getting inspiration from other artists through Instagram or TikTok, but I also really enjoy making things up as I go. I try to make a basic plan for my products before I go into it so I can remind myself of what I’m trying to accomplish, but most of the time I go in with a vague idea in my head and try my best to recreate it. What is your personal favorite item or piece you've created so far? I’ve been taking a lot of custom crochet Pokemon orders and I love them all! They turn out so cute and it’s really easy to connect with people over something I loved as a child and still love to this day.

What is something you've enjoyed the most about doing this handcrafted business? There is such a rich artistic community in Fargo, and I’ve connected with so many amazing and talented artists who’ve been so welcoming. I love connecting with customers at markets as well! Seeing someone’s face light up when they see something I’ve made is a feeling I’ll never take for granted. What is the most challenging thing? I struggle with keeping up on my social media and website. It takes a lot of time to take pictures, edit, and upload posts, and I find myself ignoring it all so I can continue creating instead. That’s way more fun. What is one craft or art medium you haven't really dabbled in yet that you want to try someday? I’ve tried embroidery, sewing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, jewelry, crochet, knitting, you name it. But I would really like to try rug making. I see process videos on TikTok and think it’s so cool how the rugs come together. What is a word that best describes you? Purposeful. What advice would you have given yourself five years ago? Don’t let outside forces determine how successful you’ll be. There is nothing more powerful than a woman who knows who she is and what she wants. Where can people find your work? I try to stay as active as I can on social media and respond to messages on my Instagram and Facebook. If you prefer to connect in person, you can find me at the Fargo Brewing Mini Makers Market on November 19th and December 17th. I am currently revamping my website and hope to have it updated soon, so keep an eye out! | lilhippieco.com | /lil.hippie.co | @lil.hippie.co


By Grant Ayers Photos Provided by The Pawnbrokers

Rocking On with

Blake English Mike Naylor

Tony Passanante


n the 1960s, The Pawnbrokers emerged as a new band that defied the era’s musical conventions, continually evolving while staying true to their musical roots and inspirations in Fargo-Moorhead. Born in the walls of Concordia College, Mike Naylor, Kent Richey, Steve Hanson, and Blake English went on to pioneer innovations in the local rock'n'roll music scene. Over the years, they’ve created a story worth telling that’s filled with passion, challenges, and a deep love for the art form of live music. Decades removed from forming the band, The Pawnbrokers are still rocking on and performing to this day. Join us as we dive into the highs, lows, and legacy of The Pawnbrokers.

When Blake began his college journey at Concordia College in 1965, he hadn't quite found his musical stride, yet fate had other plans. Friends from college, including Kent Richey and Mike Naylor, had a shared passion— to form a rock group. But with Concordia's conservative stances against rock ‘n' roll and dancing, it wasn’t smooth sailing. While looking to find ways around the system, they found Steve Hanson from Moorhead State, and thus, the Pawnbrokers were born. Blake fondly recalls the origin of the band's unique name, "Mike always joked that it was because we were always getting our gear out of hock, but honestly? We loved the movie (1964’s ‘The Pawnbroker’) with the same title and it seemed unique." It wasn't just about the music; it was about the presentation and dedication. "We were determined to give our audience and venue owners their money's worth," Blake said. As with any band, The Pawnbrokers had their influences. "Mike and Kent were heavily influenced by legends like Bob Dylan, the Stones, the Byrds, and the Beatles," recalls Blake. Their setlists comprised iconic songs from these greats, and their rendition of tracks like "Chimes of Freedom" and "Eight Miles High" always left the crowd wanting more.

The Fargo music scene was in flux during this time, transitioning from the 50s rockers and surf vibes into new territory. The Pawnbrokers emerged as leaders of the new era in the local music scene. Their rising popularity caught the attention of local DJ, Ron Yantz at KQWB, who became their manager and booking agent. This collaboration furthered the band's reach, playing gigs across Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. It wasn’t just local gigs, as the band had its share of star-studded experiences. They supported various national bands during their Fargo tours, and Blake still fondly remembers the time they met the Yardbirds. "Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page were so down-toearth; it was refreshing," he says. 1967 was a year that marked history for The Pawnbrokers. Mike, Kent, Steve, and Blake weren't just making music; they were creating waves. With the release of their first 45 rpm vinyl record, "Someday," which soared on local charts, the Pawnbrokers were more confident than ever and seemingly unstoppable. And not just in their music; they

The origin al band circa Left to Rig 1967. Hanson, K ht: Steve en Blake Eng t Richey, lish Mike Naylo, and r.

were trendsetters in other ways at the time as well. According to Blake, they were some of the first to introduce light shows in their acts, and also some of the first to break away from the era's top 40 format. Every local gig pushed their creativity and drive. The 1960s were good to The Pawnbrokers. Their music resonated with many, their performances were memorable, and their name echoed across Fargo's vibrant music scene as the fanbase grew.



A ‘Top 40’ record survey showing the Pawnbrokers' first recording, ‘Someday’, at #10 on the charts.

Left to Right: Blake English, Mike Naylor, Kent Richey, and Steve Hanson.

The late summer of 1967 saw the Pawnbrokers evolve, with Paul Rogne joining the band. This new addition diversified their musical range and their collaboration with another rock band, The Box Tops. However, the journey wasn't always smooth. As 1968 rolled around, the draft brought challenges. Mike Naylor was drafted and enlisted in the Army Security Agency, leading to changes in the band's lineup. The involvement of the Selective Service meant that Mike Naylor had some life-altering decisions to make. While he chose to serve, he found solace in forming bands even in the most desolate of places, like Alaska and Asmara, Ethiopia. Mike's resilience epitomized the spirit of The Pawnbrokers: always find a way to make music, no matter the circumstances.


Meanwhile, the remaining members of the band faced their own set of challenges. Without Mike's leadership, Kent, Blake, Steve, and Paul had to find their footing. In 1968, they recorded a new 45 at the Dove Studio in Minneapolis, including tracks "Smell of Incense" and "Realize." Kent's departure from the band later that year marked another significant change, adding members Terry Demmen and Tony Passanante. In 1969, the Pawnbrokers recorded their final 45 at KDSU Studio on the NDSU campus in Fargo, a cover of Boz Scaggs’ "Dime-A-Dance Romance." When the remaining members of the Pawnbrokers graduated college in 1969, the band officially ended their time together, that is, for the time being. Fast forward to 1994, and "Someday," their debut track, found its way into a compilation LP, 'The Best of IGL Folk Rock.' The band may have taken a hiatus after their college days, but their music continued to resonate with fans old and new. The LP was given a

When the original band played from 1965-1969, playing in bars was not an option except for the 3.2% beer bars in South Dakota. We played in many old-time dance halls, school auditoriums, local event centers such as the YMCA, armories, and outdoor county fairs. Today, we play in many bars (Fargo VFW, West Fargo VFW, the Fargo Elks, Dempsey's, and the Blarney Stone). We play outdoor street dances and at school class reunions. One local venue that is a throwback to the way entertainment was delivered back in the '60s is the TAK Event Center in Dilworth, MN.” - Blake English

limited release, therefore not widely distrubted. Still a hot commodity to fans and plenty of local music lovers, the release became a collector's item, enforcing the timeless appeal of the Pawnbrokers' music. This led to a 2006 reunion performance that set the stage for their continued musical journey, and as of 2023, the Pawnbrokers are still rocking, with a lineup that pays homage to the past while performing for fans old and new. Their 2006 reunion, held at the Fargo Theatre for the movie premiere of 'Fargo Rocks,' was not just a trip down memory lane but also a reminder of their love of music. "To think we could still pull off a performance after all those years was surreal," Blake said. The documentary 'Fargo Rocks,' which celebrated Fargo-Moorhead's rich rock and roll history, featured the Pawnbrokers, amongst other legends, as a tribute to bands and artists that made Fargo's music scene what it was. Sharing their stories were the very musicians who lived through those golden years, painting a vivid picture of the era. The story of the Pawnbrokers didn't end with the reunion performance, which reunited the five orignal Pawnbrokers. Inspired by the reception and love from fans, the original members regrouped and embarked on their second chapter. Collaborations with

The five original ed Pawnbrokers reunit ’ for the ‘Fargo Rocks documentary at the6! Fargo Theatre in 200

members from Blake's new band, Blues Tonic, marked the rebirth of the Pawnbrokers, leading to performances that reignited their old spark. By 2019, the Pawnbrokers entered another chapter, with Tony Passanante rejoining and infusing fresh energy into the band. Fast forward to 2023, and the lineup now boasts talents like Mike Jenkins and Don Nustad, who continue to charm audiences with their music. Also this year, the Pawnbrokers signed a record deal with a California company, Permanent Records Roadhouse, authorizing them to re-issue two Pawnbrokers' songs, "Realize" and "Dime-A-Dance Romance," on a compilation LP and in a digital platform.

Upon retirement in 2016, I moved to Fargo. One night while searching for live music, I happened to run into Blake and his band setting up at Lucky 13. I got up and played a few sets and a couple of weeks later he called to ask me to join the Pawnbrokers one more time and here we are playing a lot of classic rock, blues, and country tunes in the FM area again.” - Tony Passanante The band continues to perform at local venues all across the area. Check out local bars' event calendars, such as the ones above, to see when you can support them next!

Their journey from playing at local Fargo venues to signing a record deal in 2023 has been nothing short of extraordinary. What stands out in the Pawnbrokers' narrative is their connection to the community. From playing at class reunion events to taking local stages, they've always been rooted in their origins. The local community has, in return, showered them with support and admiration. According to Blake, it's this mutual love and respect that's kept the Pawnbrokers going. "It's been one heck of a ride. From those initial jam sessions at Concordia to touring and recording, every moment has been a lesson. And through it all, it's the music and our fans that kept us going.”



riting has always come naturally for Lindsey, who started her writing journey when she was young. She built characters and stories, taking in what is around her in her rural community and its neighbors and turning it into adventure and mystery.

the pen and paper altogether, Lindsey was eager to begin "Stolen" and start building the storyline of what would become of the series in the future.

That's exactly what she did with her books, "Stolen" and "Spiral," the first and second installment of a fourbook series called Priders, which she plans to release two spin-off books for. "Stolen" was released on March 22, 2022, and "Spiral" on October 3 of this year, published by W. Brand Publishing—a publishing company based in Nashville, TN, and founded by JuLee Brand.

It was no coincidence that Lindsey was on JuLee's radar, as the publisher hails from the same state. "Yes, I am from ND. I publish authors from all over the world but I have to admit I have a soft spot for the homeland and the stories that come from there," she said. But it wasn't the shared home state that hooked JuLee, she was intrigued by Lindsey's skill.

When Lindsey was finishing out the summer of 2020, right before she went into seventh grade, she began writing and planning that first book—a time when some middle schoolers avoided


And at the humble age of 13, Lindsey self-published her first book, which was titled at the time, "Ruby Arthur." But shortly after self-publishing, W. Brand Publishing reached out to Lindsey's mother with the hopes of connecting. JuLee Brand was introduced to Lindsey's work through a mutual friend, Ardelle Schmidt.

"Lindsey's character and worldbuilding skills are far beyond her years. I saw her potential to grow as an author," JuLee said.

There was no one person or experience that inspired Lindsey to write and to keep writing this series, but she drew it from around her. "The characters and story absolutely inspired me to keep writing, especially since some people relate to the stuff that I write about sports," she said. "The characters are not based on any real people, but they're mostly based on experiences that I've had with school, school basketball, and travel basketball. The towns [in the book] are also inspired by some of the cities that I've been to and the traits of each city that I've seen." Some of those cities include Fargo, ND; Rugby, ND; Rapid City, SD; and various places in Montana and Minnesota, creating a mix of northern Midwest representation in the books. Finding that inspiration all around her, Lindsey's storytelling manages to take readers to that rural setting but with an added flair of mystery and intrigue to create something different from any small town you've experienced before.



As readers are thrown into this universe of sporting intensity paired with deceitful mystery, it can come as an abrupt reminder that Lindsey was only beginning middle school when she wrote it. Looking back, she appreciates the time spent with her publisher and what she learned. "I've learned how to take better criticism and learn about other people around me," Lindsey said. "Learning about other people around me has basically changed my view on life, and also helped me write way better stories and way better characters." Another skill that Lindsey has developed throughout her journey of writing and working with a publisher is that of public speaking, ironically enough. To promote her work and share her story of self-publishing and working with an established publisher, Lindsey has spoken to groups in schools across North Dakota, including NDSU, Harwood Elementary School, and Bishop Ryan Catholic School in Minot, as well as speaking at an event at the Minot Public Library. "[When I speak], they're very interested in what I have to say," Lindsey said. "I mainly talk to kids and I get feedback that I've been an inspiration for those kids." The book, "Stolen," is centered around a newcomer, Cali Horn, and her move to the town of Swallowsville, North Dakota—a place often hailed as the basketball heartland. Amidst charming boutiques and bustling cafés, there lurks a deeper, darker secret and Cali soon discovers that everything isn't as it appears. Cali quickly finds herself befriended by Ray, an intense basketball player whose eagerness to connect makes Cali suspicious. After being pulled into Ray’s world, she encounters challenges she hadn't anticipated and questions if she will earn a spot


on the coveted Varsity team and impress the fiercely competitive Coach Talivikki through the experience. Navigating the perplexing town and its social norms, Cali realizes her new acquaintances have their own secrets. She's left to fend for herself, grappling with her new environment and the pain of her brother's mysterious death. And when a shocking event shatters Swallowsville, Cali begins to suspect her new friends, including the town's golden girl, Harlow, and a former varsity player, Ruby, may be involved.

In addition to speaking about her experience as an author, she has held various book signing events across the state, including Ferguson Books in West Fargo and Barnes & Noble in Minot. She has had her hands-on experience in marketing her book by selling at various fairs around North Dakota, like Pride of the Dakota, Norsk Hostfest, and the Fargo Downtown Street Fair. Lindsey has also been able to visit Tucson, AZ for a festival as well as the Chicago Printers Row Lit Fest recently.

"Lindsey really shines when she talks about her books to potential readers," JuLee said. "You can tell she has a real passion for the story." As Lindsey continues to write and publish her series, she plans to visit more festivals and shows in Minnesota to continue selling her books, as well as continue to work on developing her characters through experiences outside of her own. "I think it's important for me [in writing characters] to reach out to more athletes or have athletes come to me and tell me their stories about their experiences with travel basketball. And also do more character development with those fictional athletes that I write stuff for instead of the main characters," she said. In these early stages of her writing career, Lindsey is ready to dive into pages of the "Priders" world and continue writing, yet she has to balance that with where she gets her inspiration from in the first place. "I feel that Lindsey has a real talent for writing but there is

never any pressure for her to meet a 'quota.' It is important for her to have a great high school experience, and if her book muse inspires her to write, I will welcome the next story but never at the cost of added stress to an already tough time to be a young adult," JuLee said. If you're interested in diving into the world of basketball mystery in Swallowsville, you can purchase Lindsey's work on Amazon, Barnes & Noble in Minot, and Ferguson Books in Bismarck, Grand Forks, and Fargo locations! Lindsey is willing to share her personal story of writing and publishing alongside her fictional story of Cali's unpredictable life. If you're interested in inviting this young, published author to speak to a local school or university, you can reach out on Facebook. Keep an eye out on that socials to see where Linsday is speaking or selling her books next! | @lindsey_undlin


By Josiah Kopp Photos by Josiah Kopp

with Lisa Burns

A Look Inside the Unpublished Works of an Artist I name each one [of my sketchbooks]—I'm a perfectionist so it kind of gives me that freedom to not be a perfectionist." Lisa Burns is a remarkable local artist from Downer, MN, with a fondness of several genres, but especially the farm life, flowers, and bees—all of which are plentiful subject matter in the Red River Valley. She began pursuing art as a career during her college years at Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM), and has since won awards like the Hawley Art Show Merit Award in 2019 and 2022. Lisa has also been a part of several art collectives, such as the President of the 50 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

Red River Watercolor Society (RRWS), a Gallery4 premier artist, Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists (FMVA), and Outdoor Painters of Minnesota (OPM) member. Lisa's workflow for sketches and projects is organized into different "themed" sketchbooks to help her stay organized and help each book best serve her needs and what she is out to accomplish. She works in steps of concepts, starting with a rough sketch to work out the values, then another sketch to experiment with and develop the colors, and finally the finished piece.

This beekeeper piece is a perfect example. As the Treasurer and former President of the Red River Valley Beekeepers (RRVB), Lisa has a deep love and appreciation for our local honey-makers. The goal of the RRVB is to bring both professional and hobbyist beekeepers together to create education and support for local beekeeping and pollinating. A lot of Lisa's works reflect her love for the whole apiary ecosystem, including flowers.

"I call this sketchbook 'license to fail," Lisa said, showing me another beekeeper sketch. "I struggle with perfectionism, and I was reading an article that talked about how you have to give yourself a license to fail." This approach helps Lisa approach concepts without letting overly high expectations get in the way of creativity flowing.

This project Lisa created for a client was one of the most unique and challenging pieces of her portfolio. The painting, which was completed on an antique sawblade, took her a year to complete. Lisa initially tried using enamel but switched to acrylic and sealed it when finished, to protect the paint, since the sawblade would be hung on display in the barn that is painted on it.

Continued > 51


A common approach renowned American nature artist Terry Redlin did was taking photos of different scenes and morphing them together into a painting— Lisa has also experimented with this approach, which can be seen here where the dragon art was actually an aerial view of chalk art on a Fargo parking lot, and Lisa incorporated it into this piece of her grandson. Again, you can see the workflow, showing the sample colors and how the concepts developed into the final piece, which Lisa showed on her phone. "Just because this [piece] was so complex, I did three [versions] but most of the time I'll only need to do two," she noted. And wherever she goes, her phone is with her to capture photos to help guide her process of stitching concepts together. "I'm constantly taking reference photos; I have like 10,000 photos in my phone," she laughed. 52 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM

When doing workshops and instructional sketches, one thing that a lot of artists struggle with that Lisa actually leans into is having minimal direction and giving more freedom to concepts going on their own little journey. Being more loose with direction helps Lisa be less of a thinker and let the feeling influence the movement of her work.

These corn stalks are another great example of how Lisa plays around with colors, working with primaries and secondaries to develop a cohesive color palette. Though her concept sketches are loose and vague with lines, her final pieces are rich in detail. Lisa's interest in plein air art is apparent in much of her work. Plen air (pronounced plin-ee-ir) focuses on landscapes, plains, compositions, and depths in a painting—basically ditching the four walls of a studio and painting anything related to the outdoors. From farmscapes, wildlife, plants, and beekeeping, Lisa has found a niche that finds perfect harmony between structured order and the organic fluidity of nature.

You can support Lisa Burns work by visiting her website at

lisaburnsvisualarts.com To connect with Lisa about a custom piece, email her at

lisaburnsvisualarts@gmail.com | @lisa56514

| /LisaBurnsVisualArts



ReadiTech Office, Horace, ND

By Josiah Kopp Photos by Dan Francis Photography When Chelsey Johnson and Leah Peterson of Prairie Design Studio (PDS) were designing the ReadiTech building, the owners requested a smaller second level and no flat roofs with a modern feel reminiscent of the tech industry. The design they came up with takes into consideration the direction of the sun and winter winds, along with creating a comfortable working environment for their employees.

n the front sidewalk is a large block wall to protect from northwest winter winds and also serves as a planter bed. Upon entering the facility you are greeted with large windows, the reception desk, and a seating area where staff can meet with clients and guests. The facility has a mothers' room, two conference rooms, private offices, 54 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


and open workstations. There are a couple of transitional spaces where employees can get away from their desks and hang out, one on the second floor showcasing a beautiful curtain wall of glass and views of the growing city. The second-floor conference room has a corner wall of glass overlooking the custom steel staircase, open lobby, and their logo in stained glass fabricated by a local artist, Darla Rufer, owner of Stained Glass Overlay. They also have an exterior patio off the lobby for outdoor gatherings and company events. PDS collaborated with Chase Alec on the interior design, using

neutrals along with the company colors of blues and greens. "The lighting in this building is a key component to the design," the Prairie Design Studio team said. This includes colored LED lighting in the vestibule and LED mimicking neon on the exterior, along with statement lighting on the second floor visible from the highway at night. They also integrated LED in the acoustical ceiling of the offices, and of course, all the natural light that pours into the building. The aluminum windows are tinted to avoid glaring sun and window treatments are included as well in the desk areas.

Want to learn more about the Prairie Design Studio team? Check out their stories from "The People Issue" on our sister magazine, trendsetters.com. On the site, search "Chelsey Johnson" and "Leah Peterson" to read each of their features. 56 | NOVEMBER 2023 | FARGOMONTHLY.COM


Wine of the Month.


Photos by Josiah Kopp

carmin Jewel Cherry



This cherry wine is a semisweet 2023 vintage made from Carmine Jewel cherries. They are naturally tart, which lends a full, earthy flavor, reminiscent of homemade cherry pie. In fact, the taste of cherry pie was what inspired me to create this wine. All it is missing is the whipped cream! The best way to enjoy this wine is with dark chocolate and a crackling fireplace.


A smooth finish with hints of vanilla and cola

Top notes of dried cranberries, cinnamon, and cherries


The Review Okay… I could barely take notes, I was enjoying this wine so much! It's just like its name—Cherry, but is also so much more. A pale ruby color in the glass and a nose of dried cranberries, cinnamon, and of course you guessed it, cherries! This wine is medium-bodied with very little tannins and a lot of layers of flavor. The palate has ripe strawberry and blueberry, but also a hint of fig, baked fruits, and cinnamon. There are also notes of vanilla and cola, which hint at oak aging. When I think of what I can compare this wine to, a few things pop in my head; fall in a glass, caramel apple pops, cherry Lifesaver gummies, and an apple or watermelon Jolly Rancher. Even though those are all sweet treats the wine itself has a nice balanced sweetness and acidity. I enjoyed this wine with quite a variety

of cheeses! A light cheese like mozzarella or goat all the way to Manchego, Cotswold, and Cheddar. It also pairs nicely with spicy, salty, sweet, or simply on its own. An overall delight!

Cellar 624 | 624 Main Ave

Suite 4B, Fargo

| cellar624.com

Shop Small Business Saturday at Cellar 624's Pop Up Market! Enjoy wine, mimosas, shopping, food and more on November 25 from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. Hosted by local artist, Turquoise Rising, and Cellar 624—shop small and be merry!


By Geneva Nodland Photos provided by Concordia Language Villages

A Journey to Fluency ust 130 or so miles outside of Fargo, a set of villages are giving individuals a linguistic and cultural experience through immersive language programs. In partnership with Concordia College, this regional initiative, aptly named "Concordia Language Villages" brings learners from all walks of life to visit its villages and explore. With an innovative blend of immersive experiences, passionate instructors, and an unwavering commitment to fostering linguistic fluency and cultural understanding, the program promises a transformative journey that goes beyond traditional language learning boundaries.

Where conversation intertwines with culture and language skill and understanding blooms, students of the Concordia Language Village program embark on a language learning adventure unlike any other in the area. A majority of the students that the program serves are 18 and under, but it does have additional programming for adults—offering the experience of expanding one's global horizon no matter what stage of skill or life they're in. Students take a step beyond the confines of traditional classrooms and dive headfirst into a world of cultural intrigue. This all-consuming learning experience is brought about by the 14 villages crafted by the program. While students



are traveling to right outside of Bemidji, MN to the site location, as soon as they step into the village of the language they're studying, they feel, speak, eat, and learn like they are in another country. Across almost 900 acres, with almost 4 miles of lake shore on Turtle River Lake, students live and explore bustling markets, lively mealtimes, authentic customs, and traditions. These camps create an environment where language learning becomes an immersive journey into vibrant culture. Concordia Language Village's Executive Director Mary Kosir joined the team at a time when the idea of immersing yourself in a hands-on experience seemed almost impossible. She started in October 2020, in the thick of it all, but the team and program reminded themselves why the opportunity for this kind of learning existed in the first place. "The mission of the organization is to inspire courageous global citizens," Mary said, "We do that through programming, primarily in person, but also virtual programming, that really has a unique philosophy and teaching emphasis around language and cultural immersion."

The program runs year round, offering programming in the summer and academic year. They serve anywhere from 3,000 to 4,000 students from all across the United States in the summer program, and during the academic year, September through May, the program offers a series of high school youth programs on the weekends, a number of adult workshops and adult language weeks, cultural weeks, as well as working with a number of military groups on intensive language training for critical languages like Russian, Chinese, Korean, Arabic, and Farsi. "We really offer a wide array of languages and cultural experiences that immerse a person in the world of those different cultures," Mary said.

Mary Kosir

But, what does immersing yourself in a language village really mean? Well, it really means fully engrossing yourself in the culture, to the point that it feels like a

student is actually living in another community—and the program is offers you just that. Upon arrival, which is by car, bussed in from the Twin Cities, or flown into the Bemidji airport, you enter your appropriate village— each have their own name—and leave doubts behind. "If you were going to come to our German camp... whether you have five years of German or no experience at all in German, from the minute you walk through the doors of Waldsee, you're going to be speaking German. As you can imagine, there is a lot of using our hands and gesturing and using pictures to illustrate what we're talking about," Mary said. The first thing students do is create a nametag. They have students do this as a way to encourage them to forget any doubts or fears they may have about language learning by embracing this new "persona" for the period of time that they're at camp.



The students are essentially living a grand simulation—they experience cultural cuisine that's appropriate to the language they're learning in and shop in the village stores with the euro. Students figure out how to find the bathroom or their cabin and have mealtime and group lesson time with peers at their level, while still speaking and engaging in the language they're learning. Mary said the camp utilizes the outdoors and tries to bring that experience into learning. The camps bring an array of immersion so the students truly feel like they're entering a new place, be it a week or two, or even a day. Mary said that about 95% of students come and stay for anywhere from one to four weeks, but the program does have day camps that run for five days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., in just about all of the languages for those who may not be ready for an overnight experience or just want a taste of what it's like. Each village's size varies per interest, Mary noted the largest village is usually the Spanish village, El Lago del Bosque, with hundreds of villagers throughout the season. The Danish program has about 35 and the Italian has about 70 students, and closer to the Spanish number, the Chinese and Japanese villages have about 200 to 250 villagers.




"There's typically hundreds of students there all summer long in variety of programs that are all overlapping," Mary said. "So that's why we have such a high number of staff who are usually with us, and we usually we have about one staff member to every six villagers—so we have a lot of staff on site." Considering how many staff are needed to run a variety of camps across villages at the same time, it's impressive that the program has a strong history in their 60 years of hiring native speakers—something that gives the language learning camp an edge to its competitors. "Our staff is a mix of authentic Native speakers with those who may have learned the language in college or through study abroad or something like that," Mary said. "[We find staff] through word of mouth, advertising, the work of previous staff, and through the contacts of our staff, including deans who lead each village. They're getting word out to key heritage communities where that language is spoken, so that we can recruit effectively for those villages. It's really a sizable effort, considering that this summer, we brought in 700 staff." While the program has been around for over 60 years, in the past few years it has underwent and faced changes and challenges as did the rest of the world. As with just about any other field of work that involves youth—the program has taken note of the weight on their students' mental well-being in those recent years. "We're a lot more in tune with the mental health and wellness of our youth, and not only our youth, but our staff, particularly coming out of the pandemic. We've certainly seen that we're dealing with an increased level of mental health challenges with our villagers, so we're spending a lot of time making sure that we're being intentional about our orientation, and as we're training staff, and counselors to work with the youth as


they're going to be dealing with some challenging situations—some things that maybe weren't as prevalent, even a decade ago, as they are now." Mary said that the program is being more intentional as they grow, so that the health and wellness aspect of the organization has appropriate time and investments in people and in services. "While we're not a therapeutic camp, we're working to acknowledge and realize that we're living in a time and a place where those challenges are part and parcel with just being a human being, so the navigation of that is really a priority of ours," she said. The uniqueness of the program paired with innovative structure is at the forefront of immersive language education. Students enter an environment that fosters genuine

connection, profound understanding, and global awareness matched only by visiting the countries themselves! Learn more about the programs at concordialanguagevillages.org!

| 8607 Thorsonveien Rd NE Bemidji, MN 56601 | 218-586-8600 | concordialanguagevillages.org | /ConcordiaLanguageVillages | @conclangvillage | @ConcLangVillage

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.