Picnic, Parade, Paddling, Prizes

Because of construction on Center Avenue, this year’s Greater Moorhead Days will march north along 20th Street South from the corner by M State to 14th Avenue. (Extra file photos/Nancy Hanson.)

Greater Moorhead Days celebrates the city with plenty to see & do

Nancy Edmonds Hanson

From a picnic tonight for kids and families to the Bridge Bash to welcome college students 10 days from now, Greater Moorhead Days celebrates the city in coming days with a packed schedule.

Perhaps the biggest draw of the annual get-together is the Greater Moorhead Days Parade. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday, the big procession starts near M State and proceeds up 20th Street South to 14th Avenue – a resumption of its former route after last year’s thronged event downtown. The change of course was dictated by ongoing construction on Center Avenue. Its theme: Rock ‘n’ Roll Through Moorhead.

The parade may draw the biggest crowds of the 10-day event, but it’s only one occasion that brings out Moorheaders looking for fun. New this year is an attempt to set a record for the World’s Largest Cake Walk, sponsored by KFGO Radio and Nothing Bundt Cakes on Saturday morning at the Bluestem Performing Arts Center.

What’s a cake walk, you ask? Similar to musical chairs, the century-old tradition begins with participants standing on numbers in a circle. As music plays, they march around … then step to the closest number when it stops. Five winning numbers will be called; the occupants of those digits wins free cakes for a year. Other prizes will be awarded, too, and everyone who takes part will receive a cake of their own. Registration begins at 10 a.m., and the cake walk starts at 11:30. You can pre-register online at https://kfgo.com/cake-walk/

The campaign to build an all-inclusive playground for kids of all abilities gets a boost in GMD’s first event tonight. Families are invited to bring their youngsters – neurotypical kids as well as those with special needs – to the All-Inclusive Picnic at Gooseberry Park for a free night of food and play. Hot dogs, chips and pop will be served by the Moorhead Lions Club from 4 to 7 p.m.

While parade-goers line 20th Street Friday, Moorheaders and guests will be combing the entire city starting Monday to hunt for the four winning GMD Medallions. Following clues laid out by Parks and Recreation’s Trevor Magnuson, they’ll be sleuthing to score four hefty prizes: $1,000 in gift cards from Hornbacher’s; $1,000 in cash from Xcel Energy; $500 in cash from Avenue Right; and another $500 worth of gifts from several other Moorhead merchants.

All medallions will be hidden on public land within the city limits. The first clue will be posted and broadcast at 8 a.m. Monday via social media, the Parks and Recreation website, and broadcast on  the Big 98.7, Bob 95 FM and 107.9 The Fox.

The Red River gets its due – and draws appreciative paddlers – on several occasions. The Urban Wilderness Paddling Expedition Sunday afternoon brings out canoeists and kayakers to explore the river and learn more about Moorhead’s Murie brothers, early naturalists and conservationists. It’s cosponsored by Parks and Recreation and River Keepers, with a presentation by the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County. For details and to register, go to https://moorheadparks.activityreg.com/.

Meanwhile, canoe and kayak rentals are just half price the day before – Saturday – from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Rent the craft of your choice under the bridge at the Hjemkomst Landing in Viking Ship Park. And if you want an even better deal, come to the Bridge Bash the following Saturday, Sept. 17, when they’ll be free.

The weekly Moorhead Farmers Market takes on an extra hour Tuesday (from 3 until 7 p.m.) in the parking lot at Viking Ship Park. Along with the chance to select the area’s most tempting fresh produce and other homemade treats, it hosts the Spuds Closet Winter Clothing Drive sponsored by Affinity Plus Credit Union. Those who contribute cold-weather gear to the program at Moorhead’s schools will receive coupons for reduced prices on their purchases and free totes.

Bridge Bash, now in its third year, is the brainchild of the Moorhead Business Association. Scheduled for that final Saturday, it draws returning college students from all the F-M campuses to Viking Ship Park for an afternoon of live music, food trucks and other activities, including those free paddling rentals.

Other highlights of the week ahead include a free concert by the FM Kicks Band at 3 p.m. this Saturday in Memorial Park; Midco Kids Fest (with inflatable games, kite-flying, music, carriage rides,

a petting zoo and more) at the Bluestem Center for the Arts from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday; the Trails at Stone Mill Park Carnival from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday; and the 48th annual edition of the area’s longest running event, the Red River Run, beginning at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at M.B. Johnson Park.

For the full schedule and details on events, go to www.cityofmoorhead.com and search “Greater Moorhead Days.”

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