Holiday fun starts in West Fargo

City tree lighting, Bonanzaville's Christmas on the Prairie, other events kick off this weekend

The sun sets behind an array of holiday lights on display at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds on Monday, Nov. 28, 2022, in West Fargo.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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WEST FARGO — The holiday season is kicking off this week in West Fargo starting with the city's annual tree lighting ceremony on Thursday and the annual Christmas on the Prairie event on Saturday.

West Fargo’s annual Light Up the Night event will be held 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the POW/MIA Plaza in the Downtown Yards on Sheyenne.

Mayor Bernie Dardis will light the West Fargo holiday tree as a part of the event hosted by West Fargo Events and the City of West Fargo. The event will also include local high school carolers, a holiday craft and free hot cocoa and apple cider.

The Golden Drive Homeless Kids organization will be collecting hats, mittens, and sock donations at the event.

In addition to the lighting of the tree, organizers will unveil new downtown holiday décor in the POW/MIA Plaza. The City of West Fargo will hold a Downtown Holiday Photo contest to encourage visitors to take photos with the new décor. From Dec. 1 to Dec. 15, residents can submit photos on Instagram by using #DowntownWestFargo in their caption or by visiting the link in the bio section of @DowntownWestFargo on Instagram. Voting will be open at the same link through Tuesday, Dec. 20 and the winner will receive a gift package from local businesses.


This weekend, Bonanzaville will then hold its own Christmas on the Prairie event, Saturday, Dec.  3.
Bonanzaville  will host a historic Victorian Christmas celebration for the community where the pioneer village will be  transformed to a simpler time where carolers sing the sounds of the season and cookies are baked in a wood-burning stove. 

Bonanzaville will also host a tree lighting ceremony while visitors can take a horse-drawn carriage ride, decorate and design a Christmas treat.

Kids will be able to "call" Santa’s elves at the North Pole to check on their Christmas gifts as well as take a picture with the big man himself. 

Carolers from many of the area high schools and music groups will roam the Village throughout the event. Bonanzaville will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. Admission is $5 to $12 for adults.

The Cass County North Dakota Historical Society owns and operates Bonanzaville, which includes the museum, event center, and prairie village that sits on twelve acres of land in West Fargo.

In additional to the city and Bonanzaville's events, the Red River Valley Fairgrounds is hosting the annual Holiday Lights display this year. The Holiday Lights Display opened Friday, Nov. 25, and will be open 5-10 p.m. every day until Dec. 31.

The Red River Valley Fair Association now owns and operates the Holiday Lights display that was formerly operated by the FM Sertoma Club in Lindenwood Park. The Holiday Lights will be a drive-through lights experience for all ages.

The Holiday Lights attraction, known for its Christmas lights displays, was owned and operated by the Fargo-Moorhead Sertoma Club for over 20 years.


Scene from Bonanzaville
Visitors to the Christmas on the Prairie celebration Saturday at Bonanzaville in West Fargo line up for a horse-drawn wagon ride. David Samson / The Forum

Readers can reach West Fargo editor Wendy Reuer at or 701-241-5530 . Follow her on Twitter @ForumWendy .

Related Topics: WEST FARGO
As the West Fargo editor, Wendy Reuer covers all things West Fargo for The Forum and oversees the production of the weekly Pioneer.
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