Woodchipper in Fargo

This guest post was written by Jeanne, the winner of the “Fly Away to Fargo” promotion that brought her from New York to see the Rockland Boulders play the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks!

As a regular reader of the NY Daily News, I noticed the “Fly Away to Fargo” contest with the Rockland Boulders.  I asked Anthony, my husband, if there was anyone (other than me) who would be excited to win.  Born and raised in ND, I am very familiar with Fargo, ND and most of my family and many friends live there.  Surprise!  The Daily News called to let me know I was the grand prize winner!  Round trip airfare to Fargo, ND, 3 nights at the Holiday Inn, batting practice with the Boulders, tickets to the games plus access to many Fargo-Moorhead (FM) local attractions!

First stop – the FM Visitor’s Bureau for pictures with the Woodchipper!  Fans of the movie Fargo will be familiar with the chipper; and yes, it is the actual chipper from the movie Fargo (even though it was filmed in Minnesota).  As I was explaining I won a trip to Fargo, another visitor at the bureau turned to us and asked quizzically, “You’re kidding, right?” (This was a fairly common comment over the weekend.)

Despite growing up in ND, I had never attended Pioneer Days at Bonanzaville – a bit like native New Yorkers never going to the Empire State building or the Statue of Liberty.  My grand prize not only provided us with a weekend pass – we were invited to ride in the Pioneer Day parade.  I opted to simply be a bystander however, and missed my opportunity to ride on an old time tractor.  I did get a chance to have my picture taken with General Custer – who told me not to get too close as Elizabeth, his wife, could be a bit jealous!  All kidding aside, we had a very nice day and truly enjoyed seeing the antique car and airplane museum and other attractions.

Next – batting practice!!  Brad, my nephew, was batter up.  He did a MUCH better job than I would have.  You don’t realize how fast and how hard that ball is moving until you see it that close!  Quite exciting!

As grand prize winner, I got to throw out the first pitch – right into the ground about three feet in front of me.   Good thing I wasn’t trying out for the team!

Great seats to watch the game and despite the Boulders’ jerseys, all of the Redhawks fans around us were very friendly — and echoed the “you’re kidding” comments when I made it back to my seat!  We were also treated to all the game treats we could possibly eat!  Get this New Yorkers – a hot dog is $1.50!  (And it was really good!!)

In keeping with the baseball theme, we visited the Roger Maris museum at West Acres.  The museum traces Maris’ career and you’ll find on display actual uniforms, baseball equipment and other interesting memorabilia.

We had the chance to visit downtown Fargo for lunch at the HoDo (the Hotel Donaldson which was originally built in 1893 and completely renovated in 2000).  Very charming, nice food and friendly staff.

All in all – a truly wonderful trip!  Thanks to the Rockland Boulders, NY Daily News and the FM Visitor’s Bureau for a weekend we’ll never forget!