A year after the 2011 North Dakota State Fair was washed away by the Souris River flood, the 2012 version of the event is ready to open.
The fair officially begins tomorrow, highlighted by a performance from Kid Rock in front of the grandstand. But the work to restore the State Fair has been happening every day for the past year.
Virtually the entire North Dakota State Fairgrounds suffered some sort of flood damage in 2011, with the exception of the grandstand and the State Fair Center, which were surrounded and protected by earthen dikes.
But nearly every other building on the grounds was touched by floodwater, as were locations such as the fishing pond and Nodak Speedway. Consider the monumental task faced by crews working to repair or replace electrical service to all the flood-damaged locations on the grounds. Then consider that buildings and grounds had to be cleaned and repaired.
Come Friday, Minot will again be inundated with thousands of visitors for the next 10 days, all in Minot to take part in the fair, whether it be to attend concerts, show animals, hop on the midway rides or simply to take in the entire experience that is the fair. It will be busy, as Minot is still recovering from the devastating flood of a year ago and the city is growing with the effects of the western North Dakota oil boom, but the opening of the fair will send yet another strong signal that the Magic City is on the road to recovery.
Welcome to Minot, and welcome to the 2012 North Dakota State Fair.