Grand Forks Downtown Business Association gets ready to go ‘Back to the Wild West’

The Grand Forks Downtown Business Association is putting on a wild west-themed event on Friday, Aug. 9.

(From left to right) Kathy Boisvenue

The Grand Forks Downtown Business Association (DBA) is putting on a wild west-themed event, which will feature several fun events for the whole family, on Friday, Aug. 9.

The DBA, which formed in January, held a board meeting on July 18 to discuss several projects, including the upcoming the wild west event.

“Our Back to the Wild West Day is really coming together,” said Carol Lajoie, chair of the DBA. “It’s been a lot of work but we’re making great progress.”

The board meets once a month and has seven board members and two liaisons, one with the city and one with the Boundary Country Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The idea for the wild west came out of the old moonlight madness event.

“We were struggling to get that going this year,” said Lajoie. “Maureen Paquet of the GEM Theatre was really keen to organize a downtown event and we had the Kettle River Festival of the Arts committee approach us about doing an event. So we took some of Maureen’s ideas and the Kettle River Festival’s ideas and our past experiences with moonlight madness and created the event we’re planning. The wild west theme was Maureen’s idea and we thought it would be a fun theme; an easy theme. It’s something everyone can get involved it. It’s also tied in with the movies she’s bringing in that week.”

The Lone Ranger will be playing at 7:30 p.m., and Fievel Goes West is playing at 2 p.m.

Some of the many events planned include a pancake breakfast by the Masonic Hall; a bicycle obstacle and safety course; a cow milking contest; a performance by the Hip Sisters and a Luminosity glow and fire show.

“The planning is going great,” said Lajoie. “We’re very excited. We really want to get people out to the downtown core. We expect the stores are going to have some great deals on during the event. Hopefully it’ll create some great buzz for the downtown.”

Attending the meeting from the Kettle River Festival of the Arts committee was Karen Mauro, who was impressed with the planning so far for Back to the Wild West.

“I think it looks really good,” she said. “I think they’re getting really excited about it. We have such a pretty town. We have so much down here and people don’t pay attention. If they can get stuff happening downtown, people can bring their kids at 10 a.m. and set them loose to have fun. I think it’ll be fun. I don’t think we appreciate our town enough.”

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