Forum editorial: A grand time for a birthday
What a grand time to live in North Dakota. What a historic era is underway in a state that for most of its history has been the poster child for being off the beaten path. Today, as North Dakota prepares to open celebrations observing the 125th anniversary of statehood, the nation is beating a path to North Dakota.
Spurred by oil wealth, a strong agriculture sector, a diversified urban economy and mostly good political leadership, the state is now the poster child for extraordinary economic success. Growth in all sectors – population, education, revenues, job creation and business startups and expansions – leads the nation. The unemployment rate is lowest of any state. Incomes are up as both the demand for workers and the proliferation of good-paying jobs puts upward pressure on wages.
Thus, there is a lot to celebrate as the 125th anniversary of statehood birthday bash kicks off Saturday on the Capitol Mall in Bismarck. A full day of activities and entertainment is on the agenda. North Dakota talent of all sorts will be featured, including troubadour Chuck Suchy, singer/songwriter (and Forum columnist) Jesse Veeder, Robby Vee (son of Fargo’s Bobby Vee), American Indian musician Keith Bear, and Medora’s Burning Hills Singers – among many others.
It’s a big bash, but it’s only a start of a celebration 125 years in the making. Following a summer of activities, the state will observe the official birthday on Nov. 2, also on the Capital grounds and at the newly expanded Heritage Center. The birthday will coincide with the grand opening of the center, and include entertainment, special programs and the formal opening of two new museum galleries.
The big birthday comes as the state is in ascendency. Prosperity, while uneven, is at record levels. More people live in the state than ever before, and more are coming.
It’s a great time to celebrate North Dakota. Trek over to Bismarck on Saturday for what promises to be a wonderful start to a long and lively birthday party.
Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.
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