It’s time to travel in North Dakota!
May 1-7 is National Travel and Tourism Week, so kick off the travel season by experiencing the comeback of rodeos, powwows, musicals and festivals. Road trips are always a fun, memorable family adventure, so hop in the vehicle and take a drive to a North Dakota destination you’ve never visited before.
Rodeos and powwows both play an important role in North Dakota's culture. From professional events to local high school competitions, rodeo isn’t just a sport in North Dakota – it’s a way of life. More than 20 rodeos take place throughout the state. Check out the Bowman County Fair and Rodeo in May in Bowman, the Towner Rodeo in July and the Medora Rodeo in August. The premier North Dakota Rodeo Finals, showcasing the best of the best, takes place in Watford City in September.
The Algonquin word, “pau wau,” was the Native American word some of the first Europeans associated with dancing. Although pau wau meant “medicine man” to the Algonquins, the term was eventually accepted by Europeans to refer to dancing and gatherings, later being spelled “powwow.” The celebrations often have religious significance, but are also a time for people to gather, sing, dance, feast, pray, renew old friendships and make new ones.
A fun and entertaining way to learn more about Native American culture is to attend a powwow. Several powwows take place this summer, including the 4 Bears Powwow in New Town in May, the Mandaree Powwow in July, and the Turtle Mountain Chief Little Shell Memorial Powwow in Dunseith in August.
Grab your family or take some friends on a road trip and step into life on America's last frontier in historic forts and sites. From authentic buildings to faithful reconstructions, the many North Dakota cavalry and infantry posts make it easy to envision life on the prairie. There are 59 historic sites in North Dakota, including Fort Totten, southwest of Devils Lake, the most complete cavalry-era fort west of the Mississippi River; Fort Mandan along the Missouri River was built to help shelter Lewis and Clark during the winter of 1804-05; Fort Seward was an active military fort from 1872-77 that now houses an interpretive center displaying artifacts excavated from the site; and Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is a partial reconstruction of the most important fur trading post on the Upper Missouri from 1829-67.
Music moves people in more ways than just tapping your toes or dancing. See how you can be moved at the many outdoor concerts and performances, including the free summer bandshell concerts in Dykshoorn Park in Mandan June through August; the Headwaters Music Festival in Wahpeton in July; N.D. Country Fest in New Salem in July; and Music & Art in the Park in Cavalier in July.