Advertise in Print | Subscriptions
Published February 26, 2010, 12:00 AM

North Dakota Winter Show returns

Valley City event has deep roots
The state’s oldest farm show is still going strong. 73rd annual North Dakota Winter Show – expected to attract 50,000 to 60,000 visitors in Valley City – prides itself on its farm ties.

The state’s oldest farm show is still going strong. 73rd annual North Dakota Winter Show – expected to attract 50,000 to 60,000 visitors in Valley City – prides itself on its farm ties.

“We bring an insight and educational viewpoint to agriculture,” said Nancy Allen, Winter Show manager.

Many farm shows are offered in the region, but people who attend the Winter Show always “remember it and the fun they’ve had,” she said.

The Winter Show retains its focus on agriculture, with everything from company exhibits to crop, livestock and farm toy shows.

But the Winter Show has broadened its appeal, a reflection of the state’s changing demographics.

North Dakota’s rural population has been declining for decades, with the number of urban residents growing.

In 1980, the state had about 418,000 rural residents and 234,000 urban residents, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures.

By 2008, the state had an estimated 330,000 rural residents and 311,000 urban residents.

The ongoing effort to appeal to a wider range of people includes diverse entertainment.

For instance, the Timberworks Lumberjack Show will be staged at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The show features, among other things, axe throwing and log rolling.

Other entertainment includes a Christian concert and musical tributes to Elvis and Neil Diamond.

Don Schlotman, a 61-year-old Valley City-area farmer/rancher and a member of the Winter Show’s board of directors, said he’s attended about 50 of the annual shows in his life.

“They’re a celebration of agriculture and community,” he said.

The Winter Show’s popularity with people involved in agriculture remains high even when the farm economy is struggling, he said.

Winter Show organizers keep working to attract a wider range of people as the number of farmers and ranchers declines, he said.

Schlotman encouraged people who aren’t involved in agriculture to check out the Winter Show’s list of events.

“You’re going to find something you like,” he said.

Though Winter Show officials are focused on the upcoming show, they’re also excited about an upcoming milestone.

“We’re looking forward to working on our 75th, which is in two years,” Allen said.


If you go

- What: North Dakota Winter Show

- When: Tuesday through March 7

- Where: Valley City

- Info: Free main door admission, free parking, handicapped accessible. For more info, visit www.northdakotawintershow.com


Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530

Tags: