Fargo is the largest community in North Dakota. Moorhead borders Fargo to the east. The communities are located near the intersection of I-94, which runs east/west, and I-29, which runs north/south. Residents have easy access to several forms of transportation including the Hector International Airport, Amtrak train station and Metro Area Transit - the city's bus system.
The Fargo Public School District provides instruction through 15 elementary schools, three middle/junior high schools and three senior high schools. There are also several private schools in the community.
During the summers, students in grades 6-12 can participate in the Trollwood Performing Arts School, a unique youth development program committed to providing high quality performing arts education, community entertainment and an appreciation of the arts. The program takes place in Trollwood Cultural and Arts Park and utilizes 36 acres of wooded riverbanks, open-air stages and renovated farm buildings to conduct its program every year. A major production of a main stage musical that features the students as participants is the highlight of this program.
For those seeking higher education, there are numerous colleges and universities located within 50 miles from the city center. North Dakota State University is a four-year institution and is located right in town. Concordia College and Minnesota State University are located in nearby Moorhead. Northwestern Technical College, also located in Moorhead, is a two-year campus that offers programs for associate degrees, diplomas and certificates as well as technical training courses.
The Fargo Park District prides itself on the numerous beautiful parks located throughout the city offering everything from ball fields and basketball courts to picnic facilities and shelters. The district oversees several other facilities including the Robert D. Johnson Recreation Center, the Edgewood Chalet, the Northern Pacific Depot and three indoor ice facilities: Coliseum, Sports Arena and Metro Rec Center. In the winter, skiing, sledding and tubing are available at the Edgewood Chalet and the Dike West.
The Northern Pacific Depot has been a Fargo landmark since its construction in 1898. In 1971 Burlington Northern, successor to the Northern Pacific Railroad, deeded the depot and its grounds to the city of Fargo. Momentum to preserve the historic landmark began to gather steam. In 1975 it became the first Fargo building entered on the National Register of Historic Places, and a campaign was begun to restore its interior. Presently owned by the Fargo Park District, the depot also houses the Fargo Senior Commission and the Senior Center.
But there is more than just parks to enjoy throughout the year. There are a variety of golf courses in the area and the Red River Valley is home numerous bike and walking trails. Zoos, museums, theatres and historical sites are located throughout the area. With 300 acres of bluestem prairie woods, a swimming area, camping and river communities, Buffalo River State Park is well suited for family fun and environmental education. A variety of free programs and field trips are offered to the public, area school districts and other groups.
Fargo offers a wide array of entertainment opportunities from sophisticated drama to world famous singers to an old-fashion rodeo. The Celebrity Walk of Fame - located at the Convention and Visitors Bureau -- is a growing collection of more than 100 star signatures, handprints and footprints in cement.
Another great diversion for residents and visitors are the many shopping possibilities. The First Center South, the Northport Shopping Center and the University Square are all located in Fargo. The busiest area in Fargo is around I-29 and 13th Avenue and this is where the largest shopping mall in the region is located. West Acres Shopping Mall features retail stores, department stores and a host of restaurants. There is also an antique mall for those that are looking for that special antique.
Fargo prides itself on its rich history. The initial settlers in the area were Scandinavian and European immigrants. The city was named for William G. Fargo, a partner in the Wells-Fargo Express Company. Early Fargo was then a collection of small shops, stores and warehouses that were clustered along Broadway and Front Street. In 1893, nearly all of downtown Fargo was lost in the Great Fire of that year. After the fire, new construction favored more fire resistant buildings. Fargo continued to expand during the national economic boom that started in 1898 and ended with World War I. During the war, The Ford Motor Company built a large assembly plant downtown on Broadway and the Northern Pacific Railroad came through the area. Both of these events brought more residents to the area.
Today, Fargo is a rapidly growing cosmopolitan city. While some may believe that Fargo is a place of never ending snow and unusual accents, the city has been consistently recognized as a place where an excellent quality of life can be found.
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