How many residents of Minot do you think left Iowa to live in the Mouse River valley? Did you or any of your family members leave Iowa to live in this area? Why did they or you make the move?
The story of one fictional family's decision to leave Iowa will appear at the Arlene Theater, as presented by the Mouse River Players Community Theater in September. When you leave your homes and sit in the comfortable seats in Minot's community theater for the performance of "Leaving Iowa," you'll discover whys and wherefores of one family's leaving Iowa.
This sentimental, hilarious comedy, directed by Ryan Haider, assisted by Kelly Thom, tells of the family's wondering whether or not their mode of transportation will make it one more mile - especially with the price of what makes the wheels of their vehicle turn. If you and your family have ever packed up for a road trip you will probably empathize as you roar with laughter at the antics of this family.
Portraying this family onstage, you will see Joe Koppinger, Katie Haarsanger, Jake Flaten and Jenny Castro, along with Karen Anderson, Maddie Thompson and Chris Stroschein.
When you enter the theater you will see a huge map of Iowa and an abundance of straight pins. You will have the opportunity to pick up a pin and put on this map in the spot from which you or members of your family came - sort of a pinup of you and your family.
There will be a silent auction, of course, and a display of pioneer memorabilia for you to see.
And what would a production in this season in its 40th year of bringing quality drama to this area be minus something to eat and drink? Of course there will be eats and drinks offered, with a receptacle awaiting your contribution.
You can travel with this family Sept. 20-22 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. Reservations may be made by calling 1-866-667-1997 for a trip like no other trip you'll ever take in September.
On Sept. 8 you will have the opportunity to take yet another trip. This one will lead you and your friends or relatives up to the Dakota Air Museum for the USO Gala, which begins with a social at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
The evening's entertainment starts at 8 p.m. and includes a variety of music. Guitarist Ken Haabek will be strolling around amazing you with his talents. Terri Aldrich, Janice Veikley, Pam Hopkins and Masha Mugaas, who sing together as Sisters by Choice, and Steve Veikley, Diana Anderson, Eric Anderson, John Spitzer, Adam Estes and Dustin Johnson - who compose the Gentle Winds instrumental ensemble - will help soothe any spirits you might have in need of soothing.
Randy Burckhard is scheduled to keep on track the evening's entertainment as the Master of Ceremonies. The $40 for a single and $75 for a couple it will cost you for this special evening will find its way to the Minot Area Council of the Arts and the Dakota Air Museum. There will be a silent auction and on display for your viewing will be an assortment of military memorabilia.
Sounds like a trip worth taking!
On Sept. 20, hundreds of you will be filling downtown Minot for the sixth annual Wine Walk. You will have left your homes on this windup summer event to have fun and ultimately help make the Magic City's downtown take up a "Why Not Minot" Come on Down Allure.
Merchants are determined to make this area of Minot a vital, friendly spot to shop, eat and enjoy. At both 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., with purchased wristbands attached, you'll visit downtown Minot merchants where you'll taste wines, eat a variety of hors d'oeuvres, check out merchants' wares and simply enjoy a summer evening in downtown Minot.
Ever wonder how, come December, you enjoy the huge Christmas tree downtown, listen to beautiful Christmas music and walk under wreaths hung above the streets? Magically, all of these are brought about in part by your walking the Wine Walk. The look and aroma of the flowers and cascading of the water in one of Minot's fountains are also possible by your financial interest and monetary contributions, plus the interest and contributions of downtown merchants.
Salutes this year to chairpersons Bonny Kemper and Mary Helen Hasby, who believe that Minot's downtown will shine again with the help of all of you.
Thousands of you will be driving or flying into the "Scandinavian Mecca," Norsk Hostfest, for the 35th annual event - which draws you, whether or not you claim to have any Scandinavian ancestry. Dates for this year's events are Sept. 25-29.
The North Dakota State Fairgrounds will be filled with campers and cars for this Reiten-conceived event. The State Fair Center building boasts names that Scandinavians can turn fluently on their tongues, and is the place where vendors from myriad cultures show their wares for looking and purchasing.
There will be hundreds of bunad costumes, strolling musicians and food provided by local and outer space to tempt and try. You will renew friendships at the Hostfest and make a lot of new friends in an atmosphere that you will never forget.
There are many small free stages featuring some always-pleasing entertainers, and large stage entertainment, too.
When Chet Reiten dreamed, conceived and brought about 35 years ago the first Norsk Hostfest, it is probably safe to say that he never would have known the magnitude of his dreams. Now with Chet retired from the active role he once played, Chet and Joy's son Dave has stepped up to the Scandinavian plate, since he has been close to this annual fall event in Minot.
All of us can be sure the Norsk Hostfest is in capable hands. With a generous "Mange Tukk" to Chet and "Velkommen" to Dave, we will be traveling to another Norsk Hostfest in September in Minot.
When you travel to the Taube Museum of Art in downtown Minot all during the month of September, Nancy Walker, executive director, proposes that you will see that magic can be wrought from metal. With that trip in September to the Taube, you will be convinced that Nancy is correct. Between the hours of 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, you can see what Rich Solberg has wrought with metal - whimsically, he says.
For example, when Rich though of Jack in the Beanstalk, he created a beanstalk of metal and took an actual jack used in actual mechanical practices and put it in his beanstalk.
Seeing all that this gentleman has created might just get your creative juices flowing. Tempting your creative juices comes free whenever you decide to be tempted enough to travel to the Taube.
As you travel in September in Minot, you will be saluting the many cultures here at home. Enjoy!
(Arlene Saugstad is a freelance writer from Minot.)