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F-M’s backdrops: A look at our area’s most-photographed spots

The Fargo Theatre marquee is probably Fargo-Moorhead's most iconic location. However, there are many other spots that are favorites of local photographers and tourists alike. Forum file photo
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FARGO – For the second time, the iconic Fargo Theatre will be the backdrop for ESPN’s “College GameDay.” 

Fans will chronicle Saturday’s festivities with photographs, and undoubtedly, most will include the theater’s “Fargo” marquee.
Even when there’s not a live national broadcast, the 88-year-old theater receives plenty of attention from tourists and hometown shutterbugs alike, appearing in social media posts, art galleries and on memorabilia.
The Fargo Theatre’s executive director, Emily Beck, has a hunch about why the marquee is a photo darling for both tourists and residents.
It connects past, present and future, she says.
“Many generations have fond memories of attending movies and events at the theater, which creates a strong sense of nostalgia,” Beck says. “It has remained a fixture in the downtown community through decades of change and growth. Today, the theater also represents a modern Fargo with a vibrant arts community.”
Besides the theater, there’s something special about downtown Fargo as a whole, and that makes it especially photo-friendly, says Nicole Holden, marketing director for the FM Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.
“There is just so much activity and creativity to pull from. I love walking my dogs downtown and seeing someone taking a picture in front the Fargo Theatre marquee or senior photos in the alley or engagement photos by the train tracks,” she says. “Our downtown is one of the best backdrops that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.”
But what other locations in Fargo-Moorhead are photographed often? With help from the community and social media, we rounded up some of the most photographed locations in the area.
Even if there are hundreds of photos of the Fargo Theatre, the Hjemkomst Center or the Woodchipper, each picture tells a story. And that, Holden says, makes our cities even more dynamic.
Say cheese!

1. Concordia tree Where: Corner of 11th Street and 12th Avenue South, Moorhead
What: The willow on the eastern corner of Concordia College’s campus in Moorhead is 75 to 80 years old. Its sprawling branches and unique shape attract attention from college students, passersby and even wedding parties.
2. Downtown alleys
What: Senior and wedding photos and candid night-out snaps often feature the brick buildings in the alleyways of downtown Fargo.
3. Lindenwood Park
Where: 1905 Roger Maris Dr., Fargo
What: Another senior and engagement portrait hotspot, Lindenwood is Fargo’s most popular park, attracting up to 15,000 visitors on a summer weekend, according to the Fargo Park District.
4. Veterans Memorial Bridge
Where: Main Avenue over the Red River
What: The decade-old bridge that links Fargo and Moorhead honors veterans and offers pretty sunset views.
5. Ivers
Where: 654 4th Ave. N., Fargo
What: The ivy growing on the historic 85-year-old apartment building downtown changes color with the seasons – perfect for mood-setting photos.
6. The HoDo sign
Where: 101 Broadway, Fargo
What: The century-old hotel was renovated over the course of three years, starting in 2003. Now, the restaurant, bar and hotel has one of Fargo’s busiest nightlife scenes.
In the summer, guests can view downtown from up high at the hotel’s rooftop bar, Sky Prairie.
7. Bison statues
Where: There are numerous around the community, including one in front of Wimmer’s Diamonds (602 Main Ave., Fargo) and another out Dempsey’s front door (226 Broadway, Fargo)
What: The Lake Agassiz Arts Council and the city of Fargo debuted “Herd on the Prairie: A Virtual Stampede” in 2006. The artist-painted bison statues are sprinkled around Fargo and Moorhead, and roam into photos.
8. Hjemkomst Center
Where: 202 1st Ave. N., Moorhead
What: The eye-catching white structure in Moorhead houses exhibits, including the Hjemkomst Viking Ship that sailed from Duluth, Minn., to Norway in 1980.
Outside of the center is a replica of the Hopperstad Stave Church, a beautiful Norwegian church built using vertical posts (staves).
9. Woodchipper
Where: 2001 44th St. S., Fargo
What: Made famous (infamous?) by the Coen brothers’ 1996 movie “Fargo,” the Woodchipper at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitor’s Center is the actual prop from the film.
There’s also a replica on site, and visitors can take photos next to the Woodchipper, complete with a Midwestern winter bomber-style hat.
10. Railroad depot
Where: 701 Main Ave., Fargo
What: Constructed in 1898, the railroad depot on Main Avenue is now home to the Fargo Park District Offices.
11. Island Park gazebo
Where: 302 7th St. S., Fargo
What: Nestled in the west side of the park, the Island Park gazebo was gifted to Fargo in 1927 by businessman Newtown A. Lewis.
The white gazebo is often the site of weddings and other gatherings.
12. Newman Outdoor Field
Where: 1515 15th Ave., Fargo
What: Take me out to the ballgame and take a photo. In the summer, the outdoor stadium and baseball field hosts the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks and North Dakota State University baseball team, plus concerts.
13. Heritage Hills neighborhood
Where: junction of the Red and Wild Rice Rivers in south Fargo
What: Once the site of upscale homes, the Red River forced homeowners out of the Heritage Hills neighborhood.
Now, the abandoned site is popular with bikers and runners, as well as people taking senior and engagement photos.

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