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Winner: Best Wedding Venue 2017

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Newcomers to the area mingle and meet others while having appetizers during the FM Welcome Party Tuesday, May 16, 2017, at the Sanctuary Events Center in Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum2 / 2

Winner: Sanctuary Events Center

Location: 670 4th Ave. N., Fargo

What's your reaction to winning?

"It's fantastic! It reaffirms that we needed an event space in the heart of downtown," said operating partner Aaron Duma of the event center which celebrated its grand opening July 2016. "It's great that everybody enjoyed it so much the first year and we're excited to bring many more memories over many more years."

What makes your venue special?

"It's a private space for weddings so you're not sharing walls with other large parties," Duma said. "I think people appreciate the historic character we tried to maintain throughout the renovation process — from our large, wood beams to doors and stain-glass windows. One of our biggest challenges was creating a place that hosts shows Monday through Friday and then weddings every weekend. I think we found a really nice balance."

What's something people don't know about your business?

"Beyond weddings and concerts, we do corporate events, parties, celebrations of life — we've done a half dozen of those in the past year, which isn't something we ever expected," Duma said. "We've tried to create a space where all your technological needs are met. When you rent the facility, we try to have everything as far as lighting, sound and production that groups need, here in-house."

Second Place: Rustic Oaks

Third Place: Avalon Events Center

Alexandra Floersch

Alexandra Floersch has worked for Forum Communications since February 2015. She is a content producer and photographer who enjoys writing about finance, fashion and home.

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