Doing The Holidays Downtown

Meredith Wathne, MSUM Multimedia Journalism and Integrated Advertising/Public Relations

It’s the holiday season, and that means the allure and charm of downtown increases that much more. There are plenty of fun events taking place for the whole family to enjoy.

Nov. 26 – Holiday Lights Parade

One of the downtown holiday season staples is the Xcel Energy Holiday Lights Parade. This year, the parade’s theme is “Olde Fashion Holidays.” Last year’s float winner, Moore Engineering, Inc., is competing for the title again this season. According to the events official media release, Moore Engineering is as excited as ever because preparing for this event has become a tradition in the office.

A photo from last year’s Holiday Lights Parade. Photo courtesy of

This event is a tradition for many local businesses and families in the area.

“My family and I have attended the Holiday Lights Parade for as long as I can remember,” said Nate Gilbraith, MSUM sophomore and Harwood, N.D. native. “I don’t remember why we went the first time, but it’s become a family tradition. So it’s a must each year. No matter how cold it gets, we always manage by bundling up in a few extra layers or by purchasing hot chocolate at Atomic.”

Nov. 28 – Thanksgiving Day “Huffin for Stuffin”

The “Huffin for Stuffin” Thanksgiving Day 5K & 10K will kick off at 8:30 a.m. in front of the YMCA on First Ave. S. on Thanksgiving morning. The YMCA of Cass and Clay Counties, Sun Mart Foods and SoleMOTION Race Management sponsor the event. The sponsors plan to host the event annually.

Logo courtesy of

Register here

Nov. 30 – Small Business Saturday

Black Friday, considered somewhat of a “Hallmark Holiday” is the chaotic, mind-blowing shopping frenzy where corporations make bank and shoppers snag the best deals. However, the following day, Small Business Saturday, also provides many deals for customers, while boosting the small business community and society as a whole.

“I like to support small businesses in our local area,” Bernadette McKenna of Moorhead said. “I also like that you get unique options. I usually go to clothing stores and I like that you know you bought something not everyone owns.”

This year in downtown Fargo there are 37 businesses participating in Small Business Saturday, ranging from Nichole’s Fine Pastry, 13 Eighth St. S.; the Plains Art Museum, 704 First Ave. N.; and Proper & Prim, 315 Broadway N.

A full list of participating businesses can be found here.

Dec. 5 and 6 – NDSU Holiday Art Sale

North Dakota State University art students are selling their creations just in time for the holiday season at the NDSU Holiday Art Sale. The event takes place from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 5 and from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Dec. 6 at NDSU Renaissance Hall, 650 NP Ave. N.

Students throughout the art department participate in the sale, and some professors even require their students to sell a piece or two. Katie Laubenstein, an art senior at NDSU, said the types of art for sale will vary from paintings, ceramics, drawings, etc.; it’s up to the artist what they want to put in the show.

“It’s definitely a good place to go if you want to buy a unique gift for a loved one or yourself,” she said.

Dec. 7 – The Grinch stole Christmas and put it downtown

On Sat. Dec. 7, downtown Fargo will be filled with family fun for “The Grinch Stole Christmas and Put it Downtown” event. Throughout the day there will be wagon rides, holiday singing and the Grinch will even be out and about to take pictures with kids.

A photo from last year’s “The Grinch Stole Christmas and Put It Downtown.” Photo courtesy of

The wagon ride pickup is located at the U.S. Bank Plaza, 505 Second Ave. N.

Dec. 14 – Stocking stuffer shopping spree

Head to the participating downtown locations and pick up all the stocking stuffer gifts you need for this holiday season. Also take part in the Passport Game to win gift cards to downtown businesses.

A list of participating businesses can be found here.

Dec. 19 – Last minute shopping night. Only five shopping days till Christmas!

With only six days left before Christmas, get all your last minute holiday shopping done downtown at the participating businesses. All the shops will be open late with holiday specials.

A full list of participating businesses can be found here.


Logo courtesy of

Dec. 19 – The Blenders at the Fargo Theatre

The well known a capella group, The Blenders, return to the Fargo Theatre for their holiday tour at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 19. The Blenders are originally from Fargo, but they now call Minneapolis their home and have been touring for nearly 25 years.

The Blenders. Photo courtesy of

If you’re not already a fan, you will be after watching this video.


Even if you don’t head downtown for one the special events, take a walk on a nice evening or hit up one of the various restaurants. The trees are adorned with lights, many establishments have holiday decorations up and the giddy feeling the season brings has taken over. It really is the most wonderful time of the year!

(Edited by Becki DeGeest, MSUM Multimedia Journalism and Jessica Jasperson, MSUM Mass Communications and English)

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