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6 Festive Events: What to Attend During the Next Two Weeks

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With Thanksgiving gatherings concluded, the Christmas season is officially upon us. Despite Fargo’s frigid temps, annual events draw crowds and provide opportunities for a much-needed brain break from this season’s demanding to-do lists. (We all have ample time to buy those gifts, right?)

Instead of running to that big box store or staying late in the office, give the gift of presence to yourself and loved ones and consider attending one of these festive gatherings in Fargo. Here’s a breakdown of six jovial events happening during the next two weeks.

Two Holiday Markets

Outside the Christkindlmarkt where you can make s'mores
Outside the Christkindlmarkt where you can make s'mores
  1. Folkways Christkindlmarkt

Inspired by a German tradition dating as far back as the 1500s, Christkindlmarkt is organized by Folkways, a local community building organization known best for their Red River Market in Downtown Fargo.

“The Christkindlmarkt gives our community a chance to slow down and enjoy what can be a chaotic time,” says Simone Wai, Christkindlmarkt’s co-organizer.

The four-day event takes place at the Stone Building on First Avenue in downtown Fargo. The Christkindlmarkt will feature indoor and outdoor activities such as a “Winter Wonderland” featuring trees decorated ornately with lights and a fire where people are encouraged to roast s’mores. In addition, visitors can expect to see live blacksmithing demonstrations by Ralf Mehnert-Meland and glass blowing by Kirby Berg.

Inside, you will be greeted by handmade items from local artists and traditional German food served by Red Silo. Upstairs, Front Street Taproom will have a selection of locally crafted and German inspired brews to accompany live music acts such as Matt Hodek and the Dakota Dutchmen, Meat Rabbits and The JT Kennelly Band. If beer isn’t your thing, try homemade mulled wine that can be purchased in a commemorative Christkindlmarket mug.

Here’s The Facts Jack

Where: Stone Building, 631 1st Avenue N, Fargo ND
When: November 29th-30th 5:00pm-9:00pm, December 1st-2nd 12:00pm- 5:00pm

Info: Event is free and open to public. Free Parking is available at Roberts Commons Garage at 217 Roberts St N. Click to see the latest updates.

2. Holiday Art Market at APT

The second annual Holiday Art Market is open Thursdays and Saturdays through January. The Holiday Art Market will be hosted at the Creative Incubator in downtown Fargo. Shop paintings, apparel, jewelry, wood carvings and more from more than 27 local artists.

“Giving local art as holiday gifts not only supports local artists, but is much more personal gift that has a story behind it because it was made by someone right here in our community, likely right in the studio where you bought it,” says Chelsey Ewen, Communications Coordinator at The Arts Partnership.

Enjoy arts and crafts at the Holiday Art Market
Enjoy arts and crafts at the Holiday Art Market

On the weekend dates, families are encouraged to join and make crafts with kids in their designated craft room which will have a light show display courtesy of Livewire. Thursday evenings are geared towards more “Adult” participation with beer and wine on sale for a more relaxed vibe.

Here’s The Facts Jack
Where: APT, Creative Incubator,225 4th Ave. N. in downtown Fargo
When: 5 – 8 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Saturdays November 29 – December 15, January 3 & 5

Info: Admission is free, but The Arts Partnership reminds of the limiting parking available. Click to see the full schedule.

Two‘FUNdraisers

1. 25th Annual Jingle Bell Run

On December 1, Courts Plus Community Fitness is hosting their holiday-themed 5K race raising money for The Arthritis Foundation.

A runner from last year fully decked out in festival clothing
A runner from last year fully decked out in festival clothing

Participants are encouraged to wear their ugliest holiday sweaters or tie jingle bells to their shoelaces to fully embrace the festive mood. The race will start and finish in front of Courts Plus on 32nd Avenue. For those inclined to stay warm, there will be space to run and walk indoors.

“It’s a wonderful event, bringing awareness and advocacy for those fighting arthritis each day,” says Brittany Ingersoll, Jingle Bell Run coordinator.

The Arthritis Foundation has raised $27,00 of their $36,000 dollar goal this year. The money raised during this year's Jingle Bell Run will go towards helping people of all ages with treatment for afflictions related to arthritis.
Here’s The Facts Jack

Where: Courts Plus 3491 University Dr S, Fargo
When: Saturday, December 1st 8 AM – 11 AM
Info: Click to register. Fees vary depending on race.

2. 8th annual Fargo SantaCon

The 8th Annual Fargo SantaCon pub crawl hosted by Friends of the Gladys Ray Homeless Shelter is a fun and easy way to donate to Fargo’s homeless population. Participants are encouraged to donate warm gloves and hats, coffee, hand warmers, scarves, toothpaste and razors.

Participants are encouraged to embrace their festive side on the pub crawl
Participants are encouraged to embrace their festive side on the pub crawl

The Fargo SantaCon began in 2010 when a group of friends who heard about the event in other cities got excited by the idea of bringing it to the downtown area. During previous SantaCons, an estimated 250 completed the crawl.

Brittney Goodman, one of several co-organizers of the event, says it’s a pub crawl mixed with the spirit of giving. This year, they are partnering with the the Gladys Ray Shelter and Veterans Drop-In Center as their charity.

The Pub Crawl will start on Saturday December 8 at 1 p.m. Participants are encouraged to wear a Santa suit, elf costume, or “anything in the spirit of the season”.

The Pub Crawl will start at the Downtown Fargo VFW and move to Rooters, The HoDo, Dempsey’s, The Empire and The Bismarck (you are to choose your poison on that one) followed by Sidestreet and finally the Pickled Parrot where prizes will be given out at approximately 7:30 p.m.

“All we ask is a good attitude, tipping servers, nothing out of hand, and that you wear something holiday themed,” says Goodman.

Here’s The Facts Jack
Where: Pub Crawl starts at Downtown Fargo VFW and ends at the Pickled Parrot
When: Saturday, December 8 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Info: Pub Crawl is free but accepts cash and check donations for the Gladys Ray Shelter. During the crawl, prizes including a football signed by Fargo celebrity Carson Wentz will be awarded. Participants are encouraged to call a ride-share service or elect a sober driver. Click to update your RSVP on Facebook.

Two Family Friendly Events

  1. The Classic Nutcracker presented by the FM Ballet

On December 15, the FM Ballet will present The Classic Nutcracker under the orchestral direction of Christina Chen-Beyer at North Dakota State University.

Fargo ballet dancer in the role of Clara during a performance of The Nutcracker
Fargo ballet dancer in the role of Clara during a performance of The Nutcracker


The ballet is being choreographed by Matt Gasper who is also the Artistic Director for all of the other FM ballet events.

“It’s a classic story that is mesmerizing and entertaining and makes for a magical experience especially for the family,” says Gasper.

The festive staple will be backed by the professional Wonderland Orchestra comprised of 32 professional musicians from FM area.

“It’s really a special and unique event because these amazing performers are coming together and perform at a caliber that you would see in a bigger city,” says Gasper.

Here’s The Facts Jack

Where: NDSU Festival Concert Hall
When: Dec.15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.

2. Holiday Lights in Lindenwood Park

This year marks the 19th anniversary of the Holiday Lights display in Lindenwood Park. Drive through the Roger Maris Drive stretch of Lindenwood Park and enjoy over 65 Christmas light displays from the comfy warmth of your own vehicle.

The display will be open to the public starting on November 30 through December 31. The park will be open daily from 5 to 10 p.m.

Admission this year will be $7 per car or $6 with canned goods for the local Food Pantries and $11 for buses or limousines.

Here’s The Facts Jack

Where: Lindenwood Park 1905 Roger Maris Dr, Fargo
When: November 30-December 31, 5:00pm-10:00pm
Info: Find out more at fmsertoma.com/holiday-lights



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