The culture nearby

Friends who live in the big city tell me they live where they do because of the cultural activities available to them. I ask them when was the last time they visited the museum of art, went to the symphony or the theater. The answer is often, “The last time someone from out of town visited.”

It is probably human nature to take for granted those things which are nearby. Culture, however, is not only found in big city galleries, museums, concerts and events. Every place has it’s own culture.

I continue to be surprised at the number of writers, artists and musicians who call North Dakota home. If you are looking for a summer outing, consider taking in a little of our homegrown culture.

Communities across the state host art fairs, craft fairs and music events. The price of admission is sometimes free and often far less than a big city event.

North Dakota State Parks offer not only developed and primitive camping opportunities, but regular events with visiting artists, workshops and guided nature walks and bird watching. The Cross Ranch State Park on the Missouri north of Bismarck is the site of an annual bluegrass music festival as well as frequent outdoor concerts. The bands, both local and nationally known, are excellent. More information about what is happening at parks across the state can be found at

Frostfire Ski Resort is the home of an annual outdoor musical theater in the midst of the beautiful Pembine Gorge. The tiny town of Pekin has become renowned for the Annual Art Show. Artists from across the region exhibit and sell their work to art lovers from nearby and across the nation. Michigan, North Dakota, is the home of the Heritage Arts Gallery which feature the work of more than sixty artists and fine crafts people from Eastern North Dakota. The Bistro in Cavalier offers a unique and tastes option for lunch. Aneta features an annual turkey barbecue. Mandan has an annual Fourth of July Rodeo and Art in the Park event.

These are only a few of the cultural opportunities have experienced in recent years. There are many, many more. Check around. Go to the events listings on the North Dakota Tourism Department website at If you are hosting an event, list it so others can find it.

Get out and experience all the culture around us, right next door. Don’t wait until your city friends come to visit.

Copyright © 2014 Janet Jacobson and Sustaining the Northern Plains