Fargo Monthly October 2023

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MUFON, Flying Saucers, and Investigations

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Think Global, Act Local; Mr. Ian Childs

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October 2023 Volume 13 / Issue 10
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e said goodbye to the summer heat (kind of—besides the record-breaking temps on October 1) and hello to the autumn energy that comes in October in the Valley. It's orange and yellow everywhere, it's warm and cozy, it's cinnamonpumpkin-spice coded, it's a warm mug and a fuzzy blanket, it's the final grabs at the farmers' markets, it's the early sunset and the late sunrise, it's the struggling to get out of your warm bed but doing so because of the seasonal flavors at your favorite coffee shop, it's football and baking, back-to-school and holidays, it's living life a bit on edge thinking that winter could hit at any time... that one might be a bit dramatic, but nonetheless—our loving fall-time has a tendency to get cut short, so we compiled your guide to area's best fall and Halloween attractions for families, friends, and yourself!

Let me preface this next part by saying this might just be me, but this year, it feels like fall snuck up on me and at the same time, like it has been a long time coming. And to be honest, I feel a bit pressured to jump into a pile of colorful leaves, a pumpkin spice latte in hand, wearing my cable-knit sweater, while carving a pumpkin, and simultaneously watching the entirety of Gilmore Girls—like I need to get it all in before I'm stuck inside with feet of snow surrounding me. But, I think I have that approach to the season all wrong, I think the whole point of fall is to slow down. Yes, we're going to be inside more during winter, so during this time of year, we have the opportunity to start winding down from our busy summer lives, start breathing in crisper air, and clear our heads to prep for the next season. I am going to try to spend the month enjoying the view of the leaves, even if it's just as I pass

them on my walk to my car. I'm going to try to get one, at least one, sugary-spiced coffee, and maybe grab a pumpkin at the grocery store even if I don't make a dent it in. Oh, and I'm already on season 3 of Gilmore Girls, so I'll probably be good on that end.

All of this to say, enjoy fall however that looks to you, and take this time to let your body catch up with your mind before the winter season. P.S. If you're into aliens, head to page 26, you're going to love it.

Happy fall, and Happy Reading!


Fall is in the air! Amidst our Oktoberfest celebrations, we can start thinking about the Thanksgiving menu, drinks included. D-S Beverages compiled some of their favorite holiday recipes and paired them each with the perfect sip—check it out!

According to a survey done by YouGov in November of last year, in the U.S., the age-old question was answered—Pumpkin or Apple pie? 82% of Americans would love or like apple pie served at Thanksgiving, while 70% feel the same way about pumpkin pie! What are you eating for the harvest holiday?

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With winter high on our tails, we have to enjoy the fall season as much as we can before we're stuck in parkas and snow boots. Lucky for us, the FM area is buzzing with fall activities for all ages—from pumpkin patches that the entire family will enjoy, to spooky, haunted farms for friends to explore (if they dare), and even solo activities like investigating the paranormal! Keep this guide close to soak up all of the autumn season before the last leaf drops, plus check out an exclusive interview with the new state chapter director and learn more about the international organization, MUFON. From this month's cover, can you guess what unknowns we looked into this spooky season?


As one of the most popular fall-tivities among children and adults of all ages, visiting the pumpkin patch is essential to complete your fun fall to-do list. Whether you’re taking the family out for the afternoon while the ground is still snow-free or making sure you capture the best “fall vibes” for your Instagram, there are plenty of patches to pop into and pumpkins to pluck in the FM area, check them out!

Buffalo River Pumpkin Patch

Geared towards Kids & Families

These pumpkin patches are especially perfect for family outings! Check out each patch’s activities and events to see how you can plan your family’s next day out.

Lil’ Bitz Pumpkin Patch

A classic in the FM area, the Lil’ Bitz Pumpkin Patch is open until the end of October and has plenty of activities for the family to enjoy! Go on a horsedrawn carriage ride, play games like mini golf, farm animal croquet, and so much more (over 25 different attractions), take home pumpkins to decorate your home for the fall, and snap lots of great photos at their

Special Hours:

October 19

& 20, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Heading a little further into Minnesota, check out the Buffalo River Pumpkin Patch! Enjoy the patch’s petting zoo area, cheer at the duck races, take a barrel car ride, stroll through the enchanted forest, and more. Kids can participate in Cowboy Camp where they try activities like roping a steer head or other rope tricks! Spend a perfect fall day out in the beautiful scenery through the end of October, $6 general admission, $3 horse-drawn carriage rides, and $2 barrel car rides!

14447 Highway 10 Glyndon, MN Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thea’s Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze

many photo opportunities throughout the patch. They even have bonfires for families to enjoy, as long as the weather cooperates of course. $12 general admission (under 2 is free) and $10 military admission.

7414 40th Ave N Fargo, ND Fridays and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Janu's Pumpkin Patch

Another wonderful pumpkin patch is Thea’s Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze! Find 7-10 acres of pumpkins to browse for the one you’ll take home, and check out the many kids' games and attractions too. With the wide pumpkin varieties they offer, the pumpkins cost anywhere from $1-$10. General admission to the patch is $10, and kids under four are free! Learn more about Thea’s corn maze on the next page!

19982 Appaloosa Rd

Pelican Rapids, MN

Daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Nestled in the lake country of western Minnesota, you'll find Janu's Pumpkin Patch, a charming and exciting destination for fall enthusiasts of all ages. Choose from an array of pumpkins in all shapes, sizes, and colors, and get into the autumn mood with activities like gourd painting, pumpkin bowling, and more with the entire family! Make sure you stop at the picturesque seasonal decor to get a photo with your loved ones! Whether you're seeking a family outing, a cozy escape, or a backdrop for seasonal memories, head to Janu's, plus there are no admission fees—you do have to purchase your pumpkins though!

404th Ave Frazee, MN

October 7, 8, 14, 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.


For Anyone

Although these pumpkin patches are perfectly fine for the kiddos, they also have some fun events for adults! In addition, we’ve included a few farmer's markets and shops where you can find the perfect pumpkin, gourd, and fall decor!

SheyWest Garden Center

This gem in West Fargo offers great finds for your home goods and gardening needs, and they don’t disappoint for the fall season either. Look through their pumpkin patch to find the perfect pumpkin to pair with your other autumn decorations.

225 40th Ave W West Fargo, ND

Visit daily and find the store hours at facebook.com/sheywestnd

Learn more about SheyWest in their feature story at fargomonthly.com/sheywest-more-than-just-a-garden-center!

Lost in the Valley Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

This fall destination has made itself a fan favorite, offering family and friends fall fun at the Lost in the Valley Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch! Hop on a tractor ride to the pumpkin patch and venture through the rows of gourds to find the perfect one to take home! Visit through the end of the month, and pick your pumpkin for $5!

in the Dell of the Red River Valley pumpkin patch for a self-serve pumpkin patch! Visit the farm, find your pumpkin, and stop by the stand with the cashbox. From there, it’s up to you if your pumpkin will become a spooky jack-o-lantern or a perfect fall centerpiece in your living space!

7378 40th St N Moorhead, MN September 25-29, October 2-6 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Red River Valley Fairgrounds, 1805 Main Avenue West, West Fargo Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Mother, Goose & Bean's

Head a bit to the south into Minnesota on your hunt for unique pumpkins and gourds for autumnal decor, activities, and whatever else! Mother, Goose & Bean's offers a huge selection and variety of pumpkins to choose from their 5-acre patch, each with its own character and color. You can also get your hands on delicious sweet corn, as well as tasty kettle corn, which comes in a few different sweet and salty flavors to enjoy. Finally, you can even stock up on your holiday decor, like wreaths—with no admission fees, just pay for what you go home with. This stop is the ultimate fall destination!

16607 340th St Erhard, MN

Tim's U-Pick

One of the ultimate pumpkin-picking patches is just over a half hour away at Tim's U-Pick! Enter at no fee, pick and choose a gourd of your liking (or 2, or 10), stock up on seasonal decor, and pick a handful of beautiful flowers. Enjoy all that the fall season has to offer with your family and friends!

1750 155th Ave SE Hunter, ND

Open Daily

Mark your calendars for September 23-24 for the Fall Festival at Farm in the Dell of the Red River Valley! With tons of activities for the family, goods for sale, and special events throughout the day—you don't want to miss this!
Find more info about the Corn Maze & events on the next page!

Corn Maze Corn Maze Corn Maze

Another crucial outing to complete your fall festivities is winding through a corn maze! These fields are bearers of laughs, determination, and sometimes even spooks. Despite the Valley’s plentiful harvest, a few fields have been dedicated to corn mazes that have been whipped up for this classic autumn event, check them out!

geared Towards Kids & Families

Traditionally, corn mazes and Halloween go hand in hand… in a spooky way. But there are corn mazes around the community that vary in levels of spook! Find the right one for you!

Lost in the Valley Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch

As part of the Lost in the Valley Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch, the Red River Valley Fair hosting Dazed in the Maze events again this year! Make your way through the corn stalks and search for local breweries, wineries, cideries, and meaderies hidden throughout the maze! Catch the last night for this amazing event in the midst of celebrating the spooky season on Friday, October 27! This is a ticketed, 21+ (with valid ID) event, find ticket info at redrivervalleyfair.com!

Back again is the Lost on the Valley Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch! Venture through the winding, twisting corn maze by the Red River Fair Grounds through the end of the month. If the corn maze is a bit daunting, take the kiddos through the kid’s straw maze! Try out pumpkin bowling, classic corn hole (yes, it's corn hole at a corn maze!), snap a photo at their photo spot, grab some snacks from the local vendors, and more. No matter how you plan it, you’ll want to spend some time at this maze! Admission is $10 + online fees, $15 + fees at the gate, and children 2-year-olds and under are free! Find tickets at redrivervalletfair.com

Red River Valley Fairgrounds, 1805 Main Avenue West, West Fargo Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thea’s Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze

Make a stop at Thea’s Pumpkin Patch Corn Maze sometime now through the end of the month. Travel into Minnesota and you’ll find this 11-acre corn maze, along with other great activities like a petting zoo, hayrides, face painting, food, and more! Open through the end of October, you don’t want to miss the one-of-a-kind, annually-designed theme for the corn maze. Those who want to explore after dark can take part in the Twilight Maze. Plan your visit this season! General admission to the patch is $10, and kids under four are free!

Learn more about Thea’s pumpkin patch on the previous page!

19982 Appaloosa Rd, Pelican Rapids, MN

Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays Twilight Maze is open until 10 p.m.

Find more info about the Pumpkin Patch on the previous page!


For Anyone

Anyone can enjoy a good stroll through the corn stalks… but make sure you’re brave enough to visit these ones! Here are some of the spookier corn mazes around town, and you know, where there’s a spooky corn maze, there are bound to be some other hauntings going on!

Haunted Farm

Join in on the scare at the Haunted Farm just outside of Moorhead! Travel through spooky spots like the Dark Maze, Haunted Woods, the Insane Clown Room… and, of course, the Haunted House. There is no lack of scares at this destination, open through Halloween… visit if you dare! General admission for the Big Show is $22 per person, plus head to their website for a coupon for $2 off!

1947 130th Ave South, \Moorhead, MN 56560

Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. hauntedfarm.com

Acres of Terror Corn Maze

If you’re up for some scare, head to the Acres of Terror Corn Maze! This corn maze features creatures like ZiggyD Wolf the bus driver or Striker the mass murderer to help create a frightful night in the maze! Until the end of the month, visit for $30 per adult and $15 per youth (10 years and under). To celebrate the maze's 20th anniversary, guests received a free t-shirt every Friday of the month of September, and in October, they will get a free gift! And if you need some fuel for your journey, load up on Wild One Food Truck treats!

108 ND-18 S, Leonard, ND Friday and Saturday from 7:00 p.m. to midnight

The Crypt at Jacobs Manor

Spend another scary night at The Crypt at Jacobs Manor! Although the entertainment is spooky, many have said it’s a great spot for families who enjoy the scare! For the little ones who want in on the action but don't want to be scared, The Crypt offers a lantern to guide the kids and to tell the staff to not scare them. But, if you want the full experience, don't worry—you'll be spooked! Admission to The Crypt is a suggestion. Mark your calendars for the last two Fridays and Saturdays in October!

307 1/2 Railroad North, Leonard, ND Oct 22, 23, 29, & 30 from 7–11 p.m.

Check out regional corn mazes to explore this fall!

Mother, Goose, & Bean’s 16607 340th St, Erhard, MN

Otter Berry

Farm Corn Maze

38132 470th Ave, New York Mills, MN

Valley Corn Maize

42969 160th St NW, East Grand Forks, MN

Country Blossom Farm Corn Maze

1951 Englund Rd SW, Alexandria, MN

A-Maze-N Clown

Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze

3523 82nd Ave SE, Jamestown, ND

Nelson’s Pumpkin Patch & Corn Maze

2448 20th Ave NE, Emerado, ND

Event List

Geared towards Kids & Families

Boo at the Zoo

The animals are celebrating Halloween this year too! Visit the Red River Zoo for the annual Boo at the Zoo event. This special event series will feature the ultimate trickor-treat adventure as kids tour through the zoo and fill up their goodie bags! The event also features vendors and educational activities for the entire family! Visit the zoo on October 15, 21, or 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. for great treats and to say hi to a few animals!

Grab your tickets at redriverzoo.org/boo-at-the-zoo today!

Red River Zoo, 4255 23rd Ave S, Fargo

Princesses & Superheroes Halloween

Celebrate some magical Halloween fun at the Princesses & Superheroes Halloween event hosted by the YMCA! Dress as your favorite superhero or princess and enjoy themed crafts, games, a scavenger hunt, an obstacle course, treats, a photo booth, and more! Mark your calendars and grab your capes and crowns on October 17 from 5-7 p.m.!

Schlossman Branch, 4243 19th Ave S, Fargo

Skies over Hogwarts at the MSUM Planetarium

Take an enchanting journey into the world of Harry Potter under the stars of the MSUM Planetarium! Learn about how the beloved series has ties to astronomical objects and see them for yourself on a tour of the sky. Explore where all of your favorite characters got their names at this magical event on October 21, 22, or 28 at 11 a.m., or on October 29 at 3 p.m.

MSUM, 700 11th St S Bridges Hall, Room 167, Moorhead

Trunk or Treat with a Giant Skeleton!

Join in on Riddle's Jewelry trunk-or-treat event with a big surprise! Wear your costumes and trick-or-treat with vendors in the parking lot. Play exciting games, jam to music, and snag photos with their 12-foot skeleton to celebrate the spooky season! Make sure to visit the store for special coupons and giveaways too. Head to Riddle's on October 22 from 1-4 p.m.!

Riddles Jewelry, 4055 13th Ave S, Fargo

Trunk or Treat Around Town!

Add these stops to your Halloween trick-or-treating route!

Trunk or Treat at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd

Friday, October 27, 6-7:30 p.m. 4000 28th St S, Moorhead

Trunk ‘N Treat at Jeremiah Program

Friday, October 27, 6-8 p.m. 3104 Fiechtner Dr, Fargo

Trunk or Treat at Grace United Methodist

Saturday, October 28, 3-4:30 p.m. 1120 17th St S, Moorhead

Trunk or Treat at Bonanzaville

Take the family out to Bonanzaville for the afternoon to enjoy the third annual Trunk or Treat festivities! Whether you’re taking a hayride, participating in a "doughnut" walk, playing old-time festival games, or trick-or-treating, you’re bound to have a happy Halloween at Boo-nanzaville! Wear your costume, get that bag (of candy), and mark your calendars for this free event on October 29 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.—happy trunkor-treating!

Bonanzaville, 1351 Main Ave W, West Fargo

Spooktactular Night at Family Wellness

Join the team at Family Wellness for a thrilling Halloween night filled with spooky fun activities. All ages are welcome to join in and enjoy a festive snack, Halloween games, prizes, and more! It's a free event for members and nonmembers, but space is limited, so don't miss out on October 30 from 5-7 p.m.!

Family Wellness, 2960 Seter Pkwy, Fargo

Trick or Treat at Serenity Assisted Living & Memory Care

Celebrate the day with spooky and sweet at Serenity Assisted Living & Memory Care on October 31 at 3:30 p.m.! With a goodie bag in hand, trick or treat at Serenity in the warm indoors! Visit the ladies and gentlemen who will have candy ready and are excited to see your costumes! Plus,

For both the little hearts and the not-sofaint of hearts, find all sorts of Halloweenrelated events around the Valley this month. From safe and even educational trick-or-treating events to some pretty scary nights planned for the bravest, plan your and your family's Halloween activities! Spend your energy on the perfect costume, not the perfect itinerary.

new this year is a kid-friendly haunted house!

Serenity Assisted Living & Memory Care, 125 Oakwood Dr, Dilworth

Monster Mash - Trunk or Treat

Head to the Moorhead Center Mall Parking Ramp for the monster mash! Calling all ghouls, witches, and zombies to trunk-or-treat their way through the night on October 31 from 5-7 p.m.!

Moorhead Center Mall Parking Ramp, 510 Center Ave, Moorhead

Red River Market Closing Day/ Halloween

Close out the farmer's market season and celebrate Halloweekend downtown at Broadway Square! Wear your best costumes and prepare for a festival closing day before the night gets too spooky. With performances from the local band, Walking Pheonix, at 10 a.m. and the FM Ballet at noon, this is sure to be a hauntingly good time!

Broadway Square, 201 Broadway North, Fargo

Terror-iums at West Fargo Library

Middle and high school students, head to the West Fargo Public Library to create something terrifying.... their own terroriums! As part of the TEENtober event series, students can come and build their very own Halloween terrariums! This event is first-come, first-serve for seats and materials and only open to teens ages 12 through 18 first-come, first-serve for seats and materials on October 12 at 6:30 p.m. WF Public Library, 215 3rd St E, West Fargo

Check out more mazes around the FM area in our Corn Maze Guide!
For Anyone

We're all a little bit curious about what's out there, right? Looking up at the night sky at its endlessness, makes us wonder what, or who, might be looking down at us. We had the opportunity to sit down with someone who has taken the time to explore, research, and experience those exact questions.

Meet the state director of the Northland Mutual UFO Network (MUFON), Anna Scott. Northland MUFON is a cooperative chapter of ND and Northern MN MUFON. Anna has been involved with MUFON for six years, but her intrigue of the beyond spans much longer than that.

Anna moved to Fargo from the Twin Cities about 20 years ago—she attended NDSU and lived in the area for a few years before moving back to the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. She recently moved back to the Valley in pursuit of a new career in a home health agency and saw the opportunity to be a part of something else—the resurgence of North Dakota's MUFON Chapter. Now, she's spearheading efforts to get the local organization off the ground and even expand its reach.

"I've always had an interest in [ufology]. I have an interest in astronomy, science fiction, all of that—I grew up with that. I gravitated towards MUFON because it's an international organization, it's been around since 1969, and it has stability in how it functions. There are a lot of groups that pop up and go away and pop up and go away, and they don't have good organization, and I really appreciate that about MUFON. I joined in 2017, officially, although I've been doing my own research for decades, and have seen a lot of crazy things I still can't explain. I don't know what they are, I have no idea, and I can't say they're aliens, but I have no idea what they are. I became a field investigator right away and worked my way up the ranks, so I'm currently the new state director for North Dakota. I'm still the chief investigator for Minnesota, and I'm also on the executive committee for the Experiencer Resource Team (ERT), which is an international portion of MUFON," Anna said.

Here are some dictionary terms for you!
This is our second annual Halloween issue where we explore the spectacular and spooky. Believe or not, it's totally up to you!

This group came about in 2011 with the purpose of studying the people who have had experiences with UAPs, but has developed into a resource for those who have had an experience. They offer a questionnaire for experiencers to fill out and then their experts can provide guidance on where to go next. They can refer individuals to vetted mental health professionals and trained professionals in the field of UAP experiences to provide guidance. If anything, they are a nonjudgmental, listening ear for anyone who has had a UAP experience.

Besides a small group of office staff on payroll, the organization is volunteer-run. Each state has an official director and mostly operates state-by-state. Anna's experience as a field investigator across Minnesota, along with her personal move to the Valley, brought her to become the state director for the North Dakota chapter.

Northland MUFON will be hosting its first meeting on December 9 in the lower level of the Moorhead Public Library from 2-4 p.m. All are welcome and there is no fee but donations are always welcome. There will be a simultaneous meeting in Grand Rapids at the YMCA. Search /Northland MUFON (North Dakota/Northern Minnesota) on Facebook to learn more.


"There's one in Cavalier, ND that I could talk about."

"It's probably been three years now, maybe even four, I went up to Cavalier, up by the Canadian border. I have an interest in the air station there. My own interest is based on whether or not part of the reason that installation was put in place was to monitor UFOs coming in from space. I say that because a lot of that project was started after their were sightings of UFOs at military bases in Montana and Minot. And then all of a sudden, they have this radar system that can see stuff coming in, and they've pumped a lot of money into that whole thing. The Mickelson safeguard installation was all started in the '60s, and it was finally finished in '74 or '75, it was operational for one day and they decommissioned it. Eventually, they shut it down about six months later after pumping millions and millions into the facility. There's a lot of stuff that seems weird. They said they shut it down because they signed a treaty with Russia. Maybe that's true—I don't think so."

And, the Cavalier Air Station had a radar facility, and it still does, and it was upgraded recently. And most of the time, it's been staffed by Americans and Canadians... There's something questionable. It's now operated by Space Command, and it's staffed with contractors and its function is to track space debris and all of the little nuts and bolts and asteroids, and you name it out in space. So, I mean, it's always had that ability.

"So, that's the reason for my interest. Every couple of years, I would make a little trip to Cavalier for a couple of days. I was there, staying at a little motel, and

decided I wanted to go out for a walk in the neighborhood. I'm walking along and all of a sudden, I'm thinking, 'What is that?' And I couldn't quite tell, it looked like a warehouse that was above the ground—so it got my attention. As I was walking, I was able to get a little bit clearer view because I was right at the edge of town, and there were homes there. I got to the spot where there was kind of an empty lot and I had a better view. So I'm standing there, looking at this thing, and my brain is trying to figure out what it is I'm looking at, because it looks to me to be white but it was being illuminated by the setting sun. And it was huge. It was about the size of a big warehouse or like a football field or something. It was really hard to determine how close it was to me because it was so big. My brain was trying to find a reasonable explanation for what I'm seeing. I'm standing there in the street and I noticed, 'Oh, no, the Oz Effect.' I don't hear anything, I don't hear crickets. I don't hear dogs barking off in the distance. What I can hear is a swing, going back and forth, squeaking. There was a little girl in the backyard, swinging on a swing set. I looked at her, she looked at me and she got off the swing. In my mind, she's probably wondering, 'I don't know this person. Why is she staring up there?' So, she starts looking at it, and then she starts yelling to her mom, 'Mom, what is that? What is that?' Her mom comes out and she takes her by the hand and runs her into the house. I'm still standing there, looking at that and thinking, 'What's going on?' And it drives me crazy, but did I take a picture of it? No. Did I even think to take a picture of it? No. And even stranger, I started feeling bored. Like, I was losing interest in what I was seeing. It was moving

very slowly. So, after maybe 10 or 15 minutes of standing in the middle of the street, I start moving. And I started walking, I'm thinking, 'Okay, that's interesting.' I'm watching it, I keep looking up between homes where I can see it, and it's gradually getting farther and farther away. I notice that the only sound I can hear is just my feet on the pavement and my breathing. I'm looking around for other people and I don't see anybody or anything. There's nothing moving. I'm weirded out by that and think, 'It's time to go back to reality here.' So, I stopped again, and I watched it for a couple more minutes, and it was really getting far away by that point, I thought it must be over Canada by then because it was going in that direction and it appeared to be in Canadian airspace."

The Oz Effect (or Oz Factor) is a term coined by Jenny Randles, ufologist and author, to describe the sensation of shifting from everyday reality to a slightly altered, disconcerting environment that feels isolating and transportive—a common report among UFO and paranormal experiences according to ufologists!


is wholly welcoming.

The energy of this artistic oasis downtown is not by chance, this is what the founder and team hoped when they opened Parachigo—an all-ages DIY art and music venue, to say the least.

The birth of Parachigo comes from a need. Anj explained that because most music venues are 18+ for entrance and local art venues and galleries can be difficult for minors to display or sell their work in—the idea of creating an all-ages venue wasn't even a question. What developed, and continues to develop, is again, just a response to need.

Some may say a descendant of the Red Raven, the concept of Parachigo was initially born while Anj worked at the old cafe.

"I worked at the Red Raven for almost six years, and it was like the love of my life, I really enjoyed the co-op environment," Anj said. "When I was there, I discovered that a third space is really necessary in downtown Fargo. We have a big homeless population and we don't have good mental health systems in place for a lot of people— most people just need a place they can sit during the daytime or the evening time, and we also don't have a dry space in Fargo. We don't have very many queer spaces. We have good queer spaces where they are, but the quantity is very limited."

Anj also worked for Plants for Patients, or p4p, a local organization striving to break social stigmas against those who have experienced abortion by offering patients a handmade ceramic planter, a small plant, and a handwritten note of support to promote emotional and physical healing and to establish an anonymous connection with their community.


p4p was looking for a new space and toured the emptied women's clinic, Anj was on the tour and something clicked. While the space didn't seem to fit p4p's needs, they thought it might be the perfect art studio. With individual cubicles and access to a kitchen upstairs and private rooms with their own sinks inside throughout the building, Anj saw the beginnings of what Parachigo would become.

"So, it just hit the ground running," Anj said. "We have been completely community-funded. Our paint has all been donated from people's extras. Artist, Leslie Did That, did [our mural] for free, this installation was a donation—basically, everything's been donated by local artists."

From its start, Parachigo has been fueled by its community. From donated furniture to decor to personal time, the venue has been brought to life by the hands of its community, for its community. Anj's main focus upon starting was on artists and making space available.

"I wanted affordable art studios to be a primary focus... I wanted an accessible place for people to sell their art outside of Instagram because of the algorithm. I think it can taint people's quality of their art because they have to turn things out so quickly. Having a space, that's not $200 to get a four-by-two shelf or something, for DIY artists downtown was important to me."

The interest was unquestionably there, as the studio spaces filled almost as soon as Parachigo opened. They usually have around 18-20 artists renting, and about 21 artists is full capacity. Anj said they even have a waitlist. The studios vary in price as they vary in amenities. There are smaller cubicle rentals and larger private room rentals. The studios run on a 30-day bracket, so 30 days notice to come and 30 days to leave. From an artist doing circuit values, to an animator, a dark room to be opening soon, clothing designers, and even tattoo artists, the mediums in the space are largely varied.

In addition to studio space, artists, renting or not, can sell their art in the storefront. Upon walking into Parachigo, art is decorated on the walls both for aesthetics and for sale. The long hallway off th front is filled with anything you can think of to make and sell. Physical art pieces, wearable fashion pieces, buttons, magnets, stickers, jewelry, cards, and so much more. There's even a miscellaneous area in the back, where people can bring in gently used items and materials to sell.


The other push was for a music venue to be available for affordable rent at Parachigo.

"A DIY venue was important to me. We don't have any all ages venues in the area. Bars do all-ages stuff occasionally, but most upcoming musician [shows] are 18 through 21. Especially after COVID, it's just a scene I didn't want to see dwindle. So, we have $25 an hour rentals for renting the stage. That was very important to me, to make sure kids and not wealthy artists have an opportunity to put their art in Fargo,"

Parachigo hosts about three shows a week, filled with the bands' fans, regulars, and the college crowd for the most part. Anj said that the ambient and metal music scenes are pretty strong in the FM area, so those shows are usually fairly full. The store stays open during those events, and bands can put any merchandise they want to sell at the front.

The music stage had previously been upstairs in a smaller space, but the team has been working to move the shows to the basement—a more secluded space with extra room, practice space to be made available, and even storage space for local bands.

In addition to the renovation in the basement for the new stage, the underground spot is newly home to a community kiln. Anj hopes to do some community workshops once the kiln area is set up.

Upstairs there are a few other community amenities that have morphed and taken shape as Parachigo opened, including a dry bar and cafe, and a

The dry bar and cafe are the newest to Parachigo and one that is forming day-by-day. They currently offer prepackaged, grab-and-go sandwiches (with vegetarian and vegan options), bakery items, coffee, tea, and other concession items. The sandwiches are sold by recommended donation., they invite everyone to come visit and eat!

Inside the community room, there are a variety of games, a Nintendo Wii, table space and materials for crafting, and more. Anyone can use the space and if groups are interested in utilizing its space, it's available for rent for $25 an hour—although Anj said that the rate is on a sliding scale, if there is a cause that warrants or needs the space for a lower price than they are more than willing to work with the group on that to keep it affordable.


That philosophy of having a sliding scale and being flexible in renting runs throughout the entirety of Parachigo, due to its initial goal—being an accessible space for all. Just like any new business venture, Anj said it was nerve-racking to start, but the response has been incredible.

"We weren't sure if it would take off, but we hit the ground running and we had so much support. It took about a week to fill up our entire art studio with people who needed a spot," Anj said. "It's a necessity that's been underrepresented in downtown Fargo. There were a lot of grassroots raffles, where people sold art and then donated the proceeds. We asked maybe two people to do raffles for us, but we had about 10 total. We mostly got a bunch of furniture donations and got a discount on some merch. It's been it's been really supportive, and we're breaking even right now, which is awesome."

It can be hard to fathom the idea of a business that profits very little, doing well. Since most transactions go right back into the facility or the vendors inside. But it's a testament to the passion and drive that people like Anj and the rest of the Parachigo team (which isn't a lot by the way), have for supporting their community—no questions asked, no tangible benefit taken. It's equally a testament to the desire for a space like this to exist in the community. A space where anyone, regardless of financial ability or age, can get their art out in front of people. Where they can meet and collaborate and support other artists all

The best way to find out what's going on each week at the venue is to visit their Instagram page, . You can direct message the account parachigo4@gmail.com for any interest in studio, stage, and community room booking. Finally, you can support Parachigo in a variety of ways. There link in the account's bio, and the goal of that fundraiser is to help secure a safety net of three months' expenses while upgrades are made, loans are taken out, and the project centers itself around sustainability.

and peruse the shelves of the storefront, attend a show, follow along online, or tell your friends about the venue! Of course, one of the best ways to support your community's local art is to

512 1st Ave
Fargo, ND

Mr. Ian Childs: When Soul Food Meets Soul Music

Happy Fall!

I hope you are enjoying the changing colors of the outdoor scenery!This month,I visited with a community connector and activator.Meet Mr.Ian Childs:an entrepreneur,serial shower singer,and foodie who strives to build community through good food and creative expression.Childs moved to the area to start his career and has called Fargo home for almost five years.Ian is the Executive Chef of Sugar Hill Catering,an up-and-coming business that specializes in southern comfort food and brunch.His love of eating is rivaled only by his love for music,which he creates with several recording and graphic artists through a creative community known as Space Shack.

Find his music on Instagram @musicbyian

Order some food on Facebook or Instagram @sugarhillfargo

Next time you run into him,be sure to ask him about one of his secret family recipes!



Where do you call home?

Man, that’s a great question. I was raised in the Charlotte, NC area, and spent almost 20 years there before moving for college. I’ll always call the 704 my home, but I also have so much love for Fargo after living here for almost five years. There’s such a sense of community, hard work, and openness that I haven’t felt anywhere else I’ve traveled. Fargo is where my heart is, where I’ve been able to do all of the things I dreamed about and look at building a future.

What's your journey of growth and what are some lessons you've learned before coming to Fargo?

My life has been super unique (at least I think so!) and I’ve learned a lot through this journey we call life. My journey has taught me to love the life you have and trust your gut above all else. I’ve also learned that understanding how to handle being uncomfortable has brought out the most growth in myself in certain situations, whether that’s performing on stage or starting life in an entirely new state.

What's the story of your passion for music and catering?

Growing up, there were a few constants in my life: the two biggest ones for me were good food and good music! My mom taught my older sister and me how to sing by having us harmonize to songs on the radio while we were sitting in traffic. As I got older, I started getting involved in the school choir. My chorus teacher, Ms. Hunter, was super talented and she had high expectations of everyone in the class. She was really hard on us, but when we went to competitions, we almost always came back with first place trophies. By the time I got to college, we had done such high-level music that the college choir felt way too easy for me. I ended up joining a band and we performed on campus and around town until I graduated. So many of my life experiences have involved music, and for me, it has also been a way of expressing myself and showing people who I am. Once I got to Fargo, a coworker of mine introduced me to an audio engineer and that’s when I really started to pursue music as a lifestyle and career.


My mom will tell the story of how when I was little, she had to cook with one arm because the other arm had me in it, haha. I have always been fascinated with cooking, it feels like an art form and a science that can turn individual items into something magical and delicious. So many people in my family are good cooks, and when we came together for the holidays, the dinner spread was nothing short of amazing. Having your dish be a part of family meals is a badge of pride, and if Grandma asks you to bring something: you better make sure it’s good because my family WILL let you know if it doesn’t pass the test! My grandmother has always been the pinnacle of excellence in the kitchen, and she inspires me to be the best chef I can be. I named my business Sugar Hill Catering because that’s the name of the hill her house is on, where my mom and uncles grew up, and the inspiration for so much of the food I love making and sharing with everyone.

How do you juggle all your “hats” in civic engagement and being a serial entrepreneur?

People who have known me for a long time know that I have always been a juggler and that I always had more than a few projects going on. In the space I’m in now, however, I want to take everything I’ve been juggling and bring it all together. One thing that I’ve learned over the last few years has been balance. The importance of that, for me, has been not taking on so many projects at once, and giving each project its own space and season of focus.

Why should and how can people learn about other instruments and melodies?

Learn about these things as a hobby or as a way of creative expression! Most instruments are fairly easy to master if you dedicate the time to

learn and practice. If you’re interested in picking up an instrument, a mic, or even a paintbrush, you can find so many lessons and great advice from professionals on YouTube.

What is one thing this area could benefit from that you liked in other cities you lived in?

Some good ol’ Southern cooking! When I got here, I learned that the culinary options in Fargo are much different than what I was used to, and that challenged me to cook more of the things that I enjoyed from North Carolina because they were hard to find here. I think Fargo could use some more of that and that’s why I decided to start Sugar Hill, to share my culture and food with everyone.

What is your vision 2030? Where will you be and why?

The world as we know it has changed drastically in my lifetime, and how newer generations must approach living our lives is so much different from the previous ones. I want to help people navigate that transition. People value themselves as service providers, as creators, and I want to empower individuals to have successful careers as entrepreneurs and creators by helping them establish connections and make money.

Being an artist, I’m very passionate about helping build the creative community and creating opportunities for people to showcase their talents and passions, so they can live a lifestyle around the things that they love. That’s the biggest thing I’ve been working on this year, and I want to expand the creator and gig economies here in Fargo and elsewhere. By 2030 I believe the impact of that will be felt all over the country, even all over the world, and I see myself traveling to support that. I’m not sure where I’ll be by then but maybe somewhere a bit warmer in the winter haha…

Photo By Josiah Kopp


Ibet you’re familiar with a particular Mario Wall mural in downtown Fargo—and if not, you definitely need to hit up the alley between 3rd and 4th Ave off Broadway! Lauren of Starling Artistry is the painter behind the famous scene along with other large murals that are often interactive— plus pet portraits, classes for pet portraits, and beyond. Meet the multi-talented maker behind the colorful, whimsical fun this month!

Tell us a bit about yourself. The "where are you from" question is always the hardest for me—my mother was in the military, so I've been all over! I was born in Germany, was raised for part of my childhood in South Carolina, and moved to Minnesota as a teen. I moved to the FM area for college in the fall of 2011, and I've been here since!

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a focus in Psychology and an emphasis in Juvenile Justice from Minnesota State University Moorhead. I am interested in furthering my education in Art Therapy. The majority of my work experience is in the mental health/human services/ case management field. I love the intersection where art meets mental health. I currently work at a treatment center for teens and being able to work hands-on alongside them and watch their progress over time is incredibly fulfilling.

Most of my free time is spent drawing, riding bike, taking pictures,

Starling Artistry
Photos provided by Ashley Morken

listening to nerdy podcasts, crushing high scores in Beat Saber, and walking around town playing Pokemon Go with my friends. I love writing poetry and spoken word. From 2016 to the start of 2020, I was hosting open mic poetry nights monthly. I haven’t started them up since then, and I really miss the community that was built, so I’m looking for another all-ages venue to host them again.

Tell us how you got started with your business.

To be honest, I had no intention of actually starting a business! At one of my previous jobs, my coworker asked me if I could paint a portrait of her dog. I said sure, and over time, the more that I did, the more my other coworkers wanted work done, too—whether it was a pet portrait or a mural in their own homes. All of these organic referrals over time allowed me to build a diverse portfolio. As time went on, I was getting so much work that I didn’t have enough time to have both a full-time job and keep up with my art. I’ve never paid a single cent on advertising—all of my business has come via word of mouth and referrals, and I’m grateful for the relationships I’ve built along the way!

I painted my first large-scale wall in 2016 titled “Perspective.” This wall was tucked away on a rooftop, so no one could really see me unless they were on the ground way far away. While in the middle of painting the piece, however, they must have seen me—the owners had erected a fence so that the rooftop was no longer accessible. So, I eventually just climbed over the fence and kept painting until I felt it was complete.

The second mural I did was in 2017 titled “Create!” It was, once again, without permission. I received a “Cease and Desist” letter from the property management company, and, once again, I continued to paint until I felt it was finished. Nothing bad ever came of it, thank goodness, but the Fargo Moorhead Visitors Bureau had it on the front page of their website for several months, so that’s got to mean something, right?

The third mural I did (finally with permission!) is the one almost everyone knows me for—the #FargoMarioWall in 2018! Ever since then, the desire for murals in Fargo-Moorhead exploded, and I’m proud of having a hand in sort of creating

the second wave of their rise in popularity in the area.

My favorite type to do are the interactive ones, where you can pose and play as if you were in the world of the painting! Seeing families and individuals interacting as if they were truly there is fun and rewarding.

I've started getting into creating ZIP code murals that have a similar feel to those ones with the retro postcard-style font. I think it's a fun way to showcase the unique aspects of the town and area. I’ve researched to see if the concept is prevalent anywhere else, and I’m not seeing any anywhere else, so I’m excited to make my mark in this unique, individual way.

What is your personal favorite item or piece you've created so far?

My favorite piece that I’ve done so far is a large canvas piece for a friend of mine of a crown broken into two pieces. It’s messy and splattery, a bit abstract, and has some graffiti aspects, and is very personal for me, as it represents the transition of our friendship and the different ways it takes shape now.

You teach painting classes—tell us more! I started teaching classes solo in 2019 when my friend Rachel, who organizes “Downtown Dogs Fargo-Moorhead,” a local dog owner meetup group that hosts dog-related events, suggested that I combine peoples’ love of their furry companions and the fun of painting with friends!

So I specifically teach pet portrait painting classes—specifically, on how to paint a picture of your pet! I named the events “Paws, Paint & Pints” as sometimes the events take place in a bar or restaurant; I include a free drink with each ticket.

Where can people find your work?

| patreon.com/StarlingArtistry

| /StarlingArtistry

| @starlingpaints

My StarlingArtistry.com website is still under construction, but keep an eye out for it coming soon!



Welcome to the vibrant world of Tailspin, a rock band that knows how to put on a show like no other. When they hit the stage, audience members are bound to recognize plenty of iconic cover band hits and essentials. But wait, there's more! Amidst the familiar tunes, Tailspin delights their audience with their own original music, adding a unique twist to the average cover band setlist. In this article, we take a closer look at the electrifying music journey of Tailspin, where the lines between covers and originals blur, and the spirit of rock 'n' roll shines bright. So buckle up and get ready to rock out with Tailspin!

• The Man by Tailspin

• Give Me My Car Back by Tailspin

• War Pigs by Black Sabbath

• House of The Rising Sun by The Animals

• Basket Case by Green Day

• Creep by Radiohead

• Mr. Brightside by The Killers

• Mashup of Dani California by Red Hot Chili Peppers and Mary Jane’s Last Dance by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

• Mashup of Tiny Dancer by Elton John and Young, Wild, and Free by Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa


It all began with Grant and Briar, who met through the local heavy metal band, In Spades. While Briar continues to rock on as the band's drummer, Grant decided to explore new musical horizons. Seeking guidance from Joe Rudd, a seasoned member of the band Front Fenders and a mentor to Grant, he delved into the world of cover bands.

Joe, who had been Grant's guitar teacher and has a guitar shop, shared valuable advice with Grant for making a name for himself in the local music scene and even sold Grant his first PA system. He explained that from a cover band perspective, it was easier to secure live shows and bookings. Intrigued by the idea of playing more gigs while still working on original music, Grant shared his plan with Briar and they slowly expanded their circle.

It was through Delta Tau Delta at NDSU that Grant crossed paths with Owen, and their musical connection was instant. They quickly bonded over their shared vision and creative direction for the band. As time passed, more like-minded musicians joined the group, including Austin, Abbi, and Lars, aligning perfectly with their musical journey, resulting in the band they have become today. Driven by their passion, they decided to team up and thus began the formation of Tailspin.

Tailspin is currently hard at work on crafting original music to add to their cover setlists, offering a blend that hits bold old and new tracks. Their main goal? Finding the perfect producing and recording space to lay down their tracks and create their record.


When performing live, Tailspin positions themselves as a cover band, drawing in music enthusiasts to experience the magic of live music. But don't be fooled; they love weaving their original songs into their sets, adding a unique touch to every performance. Grant shared, "One of our newest songs, 'The Bar Fight,' perfectly encapsulates this vibe. It has a catchy hook that goes, 'I'm gonna start a bar fight at [insert name].' Dempsey's, Windbreak, wherever. It helps get the audience moving and it’s something small that’s catered to them."

Adapting to different venues and audiences, Tailspin makes sure to tailor their music accordingly. Grant explained, "When you have to know 60 songs, you tend to just do 60 songs. We’ll definitely add and switch a few songs around here and there to tailor our music to the crowd. Dempsey's is more of a college bar vibe, whereas we do more of a punk rock vibe at the Harwood Bar and Grill, for example."

To stay at the top of their game, Tailspin dedicates themselves to regular practice sessions, experimenting with new music, and honing their craft as a cohesive unit. "We like to practice at least once a week, if not more. We’re experimenting with new music and seeing what works and what doesn’t as a band," Grant, said.

With a perfect blend of covers and original tracks, Tailspin is taking Fargo by storm, leaving audiences captivated by its musical ambition and electrifying performances. Keep an eye out for this talented band, as they continue to soar to new heights in the local music scene. Rock on, Tailspin!


Who are some of your biggest mentors to you as a band?

Anomic has been so supportive of us as a band. When our rehearsal and practice space flooded, they opened their arms up to us and gave us a safe place to store our equipment. They’ve been so helpful in teaching us the ropes of music in Fargo since we’re just starting out and they’ve been in the scene for a while. Also, we wish there were more bands like Walking Phoenix with an indie-pop alternative sound. We take a lot of influence and advice from local bands and really appreciate that so many are willing to show us the ropes and welcome us into this community since we’re still pretty new. We’ll go to their shows and see what would and wouldn’t work for us, and we’re so thankful for them to help us out along the way.

Who does the songwriting for Tailspin’s original music?

“I've been doing solo singer/songwriter music for a long time, playing Arts in

the Park in Mandan and those sorts of fun events. Now, I've been trying to make more music that's oriented towards the music that we’re hitting and finding our niche. I write the lyrics with some super simple, basic chords and bring them to practice. They’re a rough outline more than anything else. They’ve all been really supportive of the ideas that I bring to them, and they’re all really great, super collaborative musicians who can make our ideas happen in real life. Watching all of them bring the energy by adding these crazy baselines and drums and switching it up by bending the genres—it’s awesome to see.”

Do you ever face writer's block when writing music? If so, how do you work through it?

“Writing can be really hit or miss. I’ll write 10 songs and maybe only 1 or 2 of them are decent enough to bring to the band. I used to go months without writing a song because it’s so hard to

sit down and write something that I like sometimes. What I found is that forcing myself to sit down and write a song a day when I’m facing writer’s block helps me through it. It’s just a matter of continuously going at it and attacking it, otherwise, it could be six months without a new song. You can always wait for inspiration to come, but you also have to be present and actively trying to do something new and original.”

What are your biggest challenges in the Fargo music scene? If you could change or add one thing to the Fargo music scene, what would it be?

Fargo could benefit from larger venues and stages. We love The Aquarium, Dempsey’s, and the other venues around town, but it’d be sweet to have a more prominent, devoted location for small and medium-sized acts. The bigger ones that come to town will


perform at the SCHEELS Arena, Fargodome, or Bluestem [Amphitheater] in Moorhead, but this area could benefit from having something one notch lower for smaller acts to really grow. When you have a drummer, bassist, guitarist, singer, keyboardist, and equipment, that stage fills up pretty quickly. We like to move around and get the crowd hyped up, so we really appreciate having bigger stages.

As a local band looking to expand in the 21st century, how are you handling social media management?

We're promoting the show beforehand, making posters on Canva, posting them to our socials, and sharing them with our friends before the show. Immediately following performances, we take a group picture for social media. We'll also take videos of our performances to post on Facebook and Instagram at the same time I just posted a picture and video of us having a great time at The Windbreak, so thanks to everyone

who came out. Our following has been slowly increasing and our name’s been getting a little bigger, so we’re looking forward to seeing where that can take us.

If we get one new follower on our socials after a show, it was already more than worth it since they might become a fan who will be on the lookout for our next show. We’ve had some people in the crowd request music and we instantly recognize them from past shows, which we love seeing.

We’ve played for some smaller bars before with little to no people in them, which we love doing since we still treat it like a sold-out show. It doesn’t matter if there are 5 people or 500 people; we’re still going to give each show our all and bring that energy that people love seeing us live for.

What pushes you all to keep doing what you do and continue making a name for Tailspin in the local music scene?

We're all fans of music ourselves and know what

it's like to go to a concert and have a special moment with the band. Something as small to us as throwing a guitar pick into the crowd could make that person’s night. Those things go a long way for some people in the crowd, so it’s huge to us now that we’re on the other side and can give that feeling to someone else.

For example, a very nice lady came up to us after the show and asked for a picture. As we were gathering everyone to get a picture together, she said, ‘It's my 30th birthday tonight. You guys are so awesome and this was such an amazing time. Thank you so much.’ Then, she posted us on her page and thanked us for making her 30th the best it could have been. We obviously didn’t know it was her birthday, but we performed like we knew it was, and we couldn’t have been happier to hear that compliment at the end of the show. It’s the little things that go a long way in our eyes.

Stay updated with the latest news and performance highlights on Instagram!



thought-provoking work existed long before the current director joined.

"Something that stuck with me was that the founders' intention for the company was to present work that wouldn't be seen in the community

discussion around what the group collectively wants to work on and put their time towards," Colt said. "That makes us unique, not just in Fargo-Moorhead, but that makes us unique in some ways across the whole theater landscape."

Colt Neidhardt
Monika Browne-Ecker

intimate stories going on with audience and artist, we're all being present in that moment to the story and to what's happening, we're not being driven into the future or worrying about the past."

Connect with them via email at info@theatreb.org or on social media at /TheatreBFargo /TheatreB

West Fargo Esports Team meet the

This past season, the West Fargo high school esports team had a fantastic season which culminated in a League of Legends state championship!

Let's get to know a few of their returning players a little better.

What do you love about esports?

I love all of the friends I made and it was an overall good experience.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

It’s allowed me to develop some competitiveness and let me make really good friends.

Tell us about a challenge you overcame or an accomplishment you have had while playing a game.

I was really nervous to join because I felt I wouldn’t

be as accepted for being a girl—everyone was really nice though and I felt very welcome and comfortable.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?

University of Maine

What type of career do you plan to pursue?

A career in conservation/ wildlife ecology.

What are your other interests/hobbies?

I love cooking, sewing, painting, hiking, camping, and just being outside in general.

Photos by Josiah Kopp

What do you love about esports?

The progression of technology as a means of entertainment is well reflected within the creation of esports.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

It has led me to explore different hobbies, games, and make new relationships with people I wouldn't otherwise interact with.

Tell us about a challenge you overcame or an accomplishment you have

had while playing a game. Perhaps team-building, and agreeing on strategies.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?

I'm not sure if my committed university has an esports program.

What type of career do you plan to pursue?

Corporate/International Law

What are your other interests/hobbies?

Exploring, arts, literature, and traveling.

What do you love about esports?

I like being able to play games for my school.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

It has allowed me to meet new people.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs? UND

What type of career do you plan to pursue? No clue.

What are your other interests/hobbies? Cars

next page>


What do you love about esports?

I get to play games.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

I meet new people and get to know them better.

Tell us about a challenge you overcame or an accomplishment you have had while playing a game. I won Fenworks state chess.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?


What type of career do you plan to pursue?


What are your other interests/hobbies?

Playing the piano and weightlifting.

What do you love about esports?

I get to play games with my friends and actually get something out of it.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

It helped me learn more about the game and work together with my team.

Tell us about a challenge you overcame or an accomplishment you have had while playing a game. One of the challenges was working together as a team

and listening to each other. We all had to learn how to play with each other not just do our own thing.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?

NDSU and Concordia

What type of career do you plan to pursue?

Physical Therapy

What are your other interests/hobbies?



What do you love about esports?

How easy it is to pick up.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

It made me more aware of other ways to get scholarships.

Tell us about a challenge you overcame or an accomplishment you have had while playing a game. A challenge would be team coordination.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?

Dickinson State University, University of Jamestown, NDSCS

What type of career do you plan to pursue?


What are your other interests/ hobbies?

Fishing, hunting, and gaming next page>

West Fargo Esports

What do you love about esports?

Gaming with friends.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

It’s given me time to have fun with friends outside of school. Because of gaming, I learned to not take things super seriously, and it has made my life more fun.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?

NDSU and Jamestown University

What type of career do you plan to pursue?

No idea.

What are your other interests/hobbies?


What do you love about esports?

The environment when playing games and being around likeminded people.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

I have been able to better communicate with others to reach goals and set up trainings.

Tell us about a challenge you overcame or an accomplishment you have had while playing a game. Trying to win a tournament, our team lost the first match but

was placed in the losers for the chance of reaching first if we didn't lose a single game. We fought through five straight games until we won first place.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?


What type of career do you plan to pursue?

Computer Engineering

What are your other interests/hobbies?

Taekwondo, running, and hiking


What do you love about esports?

I love that I can play like I always play, it's not that much pressure when you're playing on stage. It's just play to your strengths and work with your friends.

How has esports made a positive impact on your life?

It changed my view about how the games work and how it's run—very interesting stuff that made me want to go back to the tournament.

Tell us about a challenge you overcame or an accomplishment you

have had while playing a game.

I had to work not just to my strengths but also to my teammates. It was a huge game-changer when I was playing.

Which specific colleges are you looking at with esports programs?


What type of career do you plan to pursue?

Mechanical Engineering

What are your other interests/hobbies?

I love to go to the gym after school when I'm not hurting. I also love to walk my dog.

Fargo Esports

First Avenue Market

ntrepreneurism is contagious, infectious, and, overall, better with company. Matt Estin knows this, and knew he wanted to bring this entrepreneurial epidemic to downtown Fargo in a shared space—leading him to open yet another venture, First Avenue Market!

In 2021, Matt opened a business fueled by passion, healthy treats, and his pup, Gunner, Bark'n Biscuits, a pet bakery offering healthy, handmade treats, toys, and other items for the furry friends of Fargo. Now, two years and four locations later, Matt is expanding from just serving pets to serving the entire community in partnership with local, small businesses.

First Avenue Market is a storefront housing and selling a variety of local makers' products, all in one spot.

"A lot of people are excited that we have a marketplace downtown, it's nice to have grocery-type items," Matt said. "On the

bottom floor, we have sandwiches and local meat, which is grass-fed, so we're trying to offer food options for people who live down here as well as the rest of Fargo. Then, the top floor has gift and boutique items. And of course, Bark'n Biscuits is here—can't leave your dog out—with a dog bakery and toys. So overall, it's just a nice place for everybody."

Inside, you'll see coolers, racks, shelves, and more all filled with products made and loved locally. Matt met most of the vendors through local markets and vendor shows, and some even reach out to him through social media or word of mouth to get in on the opportunity. For

some of the vendors, First Avenue Market is the first physical location these makers have sold in.

At the time of writing, there are currently 18 different vendors selling products in the market, but the sky's the limit when it comes to making more space for local business according to Matt. He said the market will bring more vendors in if any are interested, the focus is creating space in and for the community. The only stipulation is competition, so no two types of products being sold are the same.

And you'll notice, when inside, because of that, that the space feels cohesive.

Matt Estin, CoOwner of Bark'n Biscuits and 1st Avenue Market

Bark'n Biscuits has four different locations now, check out what sweet (and a little baconey) treats these bakeries have to offer!


Bark'n Biscuits

4035 40th Ave S Suite D, Fargo

Bark'n Biscuits | Inside Brewhalla 1702 1st Ave N, Fargo

12673 Co Hwy 17, Detroit Lakes | Shady Hollow Flea Market

This location is part of the Shady Hollow Flea Market in Detroit and Pelican lakes area! This 53-yearold market runs every weekend Memorial weekend through Labor Day weekend, and every Saturday in September. Check it out next summer!

First Avenue Market

612 1st Ave N, Fargo

There are items for those looking for a bite to eat, a shopping boutique-like area, a whole room dressed like a gift shop with local creative's work, and, of course, a doggy bakery—all woven together with antique furniture and display pieces to create a "country" store feel.

"I didn't want everyone to be segregated by their business. So what I do is I have merchandised the store to what makes sense. Everybody's product is kind of spread around in whatever makes sense," Matt said.

The business space offers lots of room for said products to be displayed, and you might be able to imagine it, even if you haven't visited. The market is in the same location that Pounds was previously located in! With great downtown foot traffic, plenty of window displays, and a full kitchen, the availability of the space couldn't have come at a better time.

Originally looking to just expand their business, Matt said they were looking for spaces downtown as they operate their baking out of Square One Kitchens

when they heard about an opening. We were inquiring about a building downtown and the owners of this building said they had a restaurant bar that was closing down, but they didn't think we would be interested," Matt said. "So, I asked what the building was and they asked if I knew Pounds. They said Pounds was looking to relocate and they're going to have a lease available for the building, and we jumped on the offer."

Once they realized how much space they had, they came up with the idea to open a marketplace.

The market is open daily from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., stop in for coffee and visit Chucken Coffee Co.; swing by and grab some lunch packaged by The Red Silo or Maria's HomeStyle Mexican Food; shop Luna.Tique.Boutique, Up North Mercant ile, It's in the Bag!, or so many others; or grab a refreshing and oh-so-comforting bottled drink from Namaste Chai—there's simply too much to do in one trip, so make sure you plan a few! |

We want to offer a place for local businesses to thrive, and there are a lot of great businesses that don't have a brick-and-mortar store—so we wanted to offer that to them."
-Matt Estin, Bark'n Biscuits & First Avenue Marker Co-Owner
Ave N,
Fargo |

Wine of the Month.


Chill Red


Wind Chill Red is a full-bodied, semidry red wine, made with a blend of Marquette and King of the North grapes. Chosen for its cold climate hardiness, the Marquette grape offers complex notes of cherry, berry, black pepper, and spice. The blending of the King of the North grape helps add a fruity, rich, and aromatic finish to produce a full-bodied semidry wine. The addition of North Dakota sweet clover honey during fermentation adds a unique flavor twist and helps mellow the high acidity in the cold climate grapes.

rich, fruit, and aromatic finish


The Review

Bright cranberry! A pale ruby red wine that has a dense nose with notes of red fruit, a bit of eucalyptus, and hints of oak aging. The standout characteristic of the Wind Chill Red is cranberry. This wine is basically a superfood! A nice dry, acidic, full-bodied yet light red that is very versatile. At first sip, you will experience the likeness of biting into a juicy strawberry or enjoying cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving dinner. As for pairing this wine, the options are quite endless. The Wind Chill Red will compliment many appetizers, charcuterie, Mediterranean fare, woodfired pizzas, as well as hearty holiday dinners including ham, turkey, seafood, and chicken. My top charcuterie pairings would be goat cheese, smoked salmon, salami, or aged cheddar. I also imagine enjoying this red with


shrimp and mushroom linguine. A very approachable red for holiday meals and on a warm summer day!

Cellar 624

| 624 Main Ave Suite 4B, Fargo

| cellar624.com

Fluffy WineryFields & Vineyard

| 2708 21st Street E Dickinson ND 58601

| fluffyfields.com

| /fluffyfieldsvineyard

| @fluffy_fields


Learn about Moorhead's newest independent bookstore, More Than Words!


"I'm a lifelong Fargoan! And both of my parents actually grew up in Moorhead. I graduated from Davies High School and then hopped across the river to study multimedia journalism & communication at Concordia College. My first postgrad job was as a communications coordinator in Moorhead too! Growing up, I felt certain that I would move away, but something always seemed to keep me here—and wow, I'm so happy about that now! Fargo-Moorhead has evolved a lot since I was a kid and I’m glad I stuck around to witness it. I’m eager to see how this community continues to evolve in the years ahead— especially as a small business owner here now!"

Owner Sydni Kreps There are several places to sit and read throughout the store, including this cozy chair near the Young Adult section!
Inside More Than Words, you can find a cafe, offering snacks and a variety of grab-and-go beverages, including a selection of fun N/A options!


"I've dreamed of opening my own bookshop for as long as I can remember! I actually took my first step toward a bookish career when I went back to grad school at NDSU to become an English teacher. But, nothing about that went according to plan—the week before my first year teaching, my dad was killed in a car accident and, as you can imagine, that changed everything. The grief eventually caught up with me in a big way and I had to take a leave from teaching to take care of myself. I did a lot of reflecting during that time and had an epiphany one night while looking at a tattoo I'd gotten in my dad's handwriting that said 'more than words'—he said that phrase a lot, like 'I love you more than words.' I realized that for so many reasons, 'more than words' was the perfect name for the bookshop I'd always dreamed of—and I also had a new understanding of just how short life can be, so I decided to go for it. And here we are! Our logo is the same as the tattoo that started it all, and now my dad's handwriting greets me every day when I walk into the shop. It's a reminder of his 'more than words' love despite his absence, and it's also a reminder that books are so much more than just words too. Reading offers so many opportunities for guidance, comfort, exploration, and understanding, and I'm beyond grateful to be able to spend my days helping others find the right books for whatever they might be needing in life."

I'm excited to be working in an industry that's persevered against all odds and is actually continuing to grow! For every indie bookstore that's closed since 2020, more than THREE new ones have opened—and many of those are in Minnesota with us! Books aren't going anywhere!"
- Sydni Kreps, Owner

Events, Partnerships, & The Future of Community At More Than Words

"It's still very early days with the bookshop—we're about 3 months old! So, we're beyond eager to continue learning what the FM community needs and to keep creating fun, new opportunities for connection. As a former teacher, I'm especially looking forward to continuing to build relationships with local schools, educators, and students. We're also excited about kicking off our own More Than Words book club very soon as well as some programming for younger readers to enjoy. The list of events, workshops, and other activities we hope to host is long and I can't wait to get started! If you're reading this and you have an idea for how we might collaborate or make some magic happen, please reach out—I mean it! I'd love to brainstorm with you!"


"More Than Words is an inclusive space for all readers—whether you're an avid one or trying to become one. Everyone is welcome and respected here! We're continually working to make sure our shelves reflect our community while also offering new perspectives to consider too. I like to think of the bookshop as hopefully more of a community gathering space rather than just a retail store. So far, we've loved sharing our space with book clubs in the community looking for somewhere to meet, using it to host fun events that provide an opportunity for fellow book lovers to connect, and offering a cozy place for people to sit and chat with a friend or even get some work or studying done. We've also had fun collaborating with some schools by inviting students into the shop, hosting book fairs, and being involved with book studies!"

If you're worried about your kids being bored in the bookstore, don't fret! This kid's corner of the store offers comfortable, kid-friendly seating and activities for your little ones to enjoy. If you're looking for a space for your small book club to meet or you and your bookloving friends to chat, this corner of More Than Words will be perfect for you!
If these last few years have taught us anything, it’s that people yearn for community and authenticity. In a bookshop setting, that means they want real recommendations from real readers—and we offer that plus so much more!"
- Sydni Kreps, Owner
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