West Fargo's annual West Fest to move forward, but parade is canceled

WEST FARGO — West Fargo's annual city celebration, West Fest, will still happen but not with the annual marquee West Fest parade and street dance.

The West Fargo City Commission voted unanimously Monday, Aug. 3, to go ahead with West Fest but to cancel the annual parade, street dance and family fun event in September due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The West Fest Parade is regarded as one of the largest parades in North Dakota each year with about 150 entries and thousands of people lining the streets near Sheyenne Street, where more than 10,000 generally gather for the major route.

Communications Director Melissa Richard said Monday the commission voted at its last meeting to allow the nonprofit West Fargo Events to coordinate large events such as West Fest and Cruise Nights in the future.

"We did transfer coordination of events to West Fargo Events, but the city of West Fargo still provides direction to West Fargo Events," Richard said.


She said based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which would classify those three large events as high-risk for the spread of COVID-19, she recommends the city continue West Fest without the parade, street dance and family fun.

Richard said the other smaller events such as a fun run, vendor show and softball tournaments will still take place as well as pancake feeds, park district events and a Penny and Pals Performance.

"We can also look at adding some events to that schedule," Richard said.

She said consideration of moving the Taste of West Fargo to the West Fest weekend is on the table.

"Although I don't like to see any cancellations, I am open to compromise," Commissioner Mandy George said.

Richard said the West Fest activities that will go on will be organized with social distancing and heightened protective measures moving forward.

West Fest will be Friday through Sunday, Sept. 18-20.

Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum.
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