Resident births at all-time high

McKenzie County recorded a record 278 births in 2019 according to data from the North Dakota Department of Health. Previously the record was 253 in 2017. 2019 deaths came in at 68, similar to the 2018 death count of 66.
"It's all here" new video released

The latest Voices of Watford video is now available. The video highlights the careers and lives of local law enforcement and public works employees. Those featured in the video include Shannon Wellen from the McKenzie County Sheriff's Office, Jessie Wellen from Watford City Police Department, and Dawn Tschetter and Omar Mohammed from McKenzie County Public Works.

The Voices of Watford project website has been highlighting various aspects of our community and residents for the past five years.
August economy at a glance

The latest Economy at a Glance is now available. Some data of note include:

  • 2019 births for McKenzie County is at 278--an all-time high; in 2018 it was 237.

  • For the first time, McKenzie County's total true and full value of property is being included in this report. For 2019 it topped $2.8 billion; the year prior it was $2.4 billion.

  • Year to date sales tax distribution for Alexander is higher in 2020 than in 2019.

Labor force remains near all-time high

McKenzie County's labor force is remaining at near all-time highs despite the turbulence in economic markets throughout the globe. In January 2020 McKenzie County's labor force hit an all-time high at 10,420, and now the most recent data available is for June which came in at 10,206. Previously the county's all-time high was recorded in January 2015 at 10,148.
Nursing program starts

McKenzie County Healthcare Systems in partnership with Williston State College is beginning a new Licensed Practical Nursing program in Watford City this fall. Classes will take place at the Rough Rider Center and the healthcare center will host the clinical space. For more information visit
New publication highlights oil industry

In an attempt to help educate the public on the history of the petroleum industry in our area as well as current practices, terminology, maps and charts McKenzie County Tourism and other partners put together the "McKenzie County Oil Industry Experience" publication. The publication describes the life of an oil well, has illustrations of drilling rig and fracking sites, and talks about the economic and employment implications both historically and present day.
New mural in Alexander

Residents and visitors in Alexander have a new mural to enjoy. The mural has been added to the Lewis & Clark Trail Museum which showcases area history. This free admittance (donations welcome) museum is open 10am-5pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and 12-5pm on Sundays until it closes for the season on Labor Day.
Local grant application to open soon

Local organizations are invited to apply for the McKenzie County Community Foundation annual grant. Nearly $7000 was awarded in 2019 to local organizations including the Long X Arts Foundation, BIO Girls, Grassy Butte Quick Response Unit, Bakken Oil Rush Ministry, McKenzie County Imagination Library, Badlands Search & Rescue, Feed My Starving Children-Watford City Mobile Pack, Bismarck Public Schools for local T4 Event, and Pioneer Museum of McKenzie County. Grant applications are accepted from September 1-September 28, 2020.

For more information view their website and their 2020 annual update.
Session to address oil, state budget and infrastructure

The Chamber of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks is hosting the third in the a three part series focused on bringing western and eastern North Dakota together to discuss issues of significance to both regions. This month's session is scheduled to include remarks from Lt Governor Brent Sanford, Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger, Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms, and others. To access the Zoom session on August 25, at 3:45pm click here.
National Night Out

The McKenzie County Sheriff's Office and the Watford City Police Department will be hosting their 4th Annual National Night Out on October 6, 2020 at Kent Pelton Nature Park. If you or your organization is interested in sponsoring this event please contact Sgt Jensen at 701-444-2400
Watford Market

Watford Market is in full swing matching producers with consumers, live music, food, demonstrations and much more. It runs each Thursday through September 3, 2020 from 5:30-7:30pm at the Kent Pelton Nature Park.

Musicians scheduled for the rest of the season include:

August 20-Mick Soiseth

August 27-Amanda Johnson & Tim Ritter

September 3-Lonesome Willy/Jessie Veeder
Local student selected winner for North Dakota Google competition

Watford City Middle School student Leah Dokken has been selected as the North Dakota winner in the Doodle for Google contest. The top five in the nation will now be selected by online voting at Voting ends this Friday!
2020 Census nearing end date

2020 Census workers are out and about in the community knocking on doors of folks who have yet to respond to the 2020 Census. This work will wrap up by September 30. McKenzie County still has a lot of folks who have yet been counted. It can be done easily online at

Outdoor open mic night

Door 204 will host an outdoor, socially-distant, open mic night on Monday, August 31, 6:30 at the lot outside the building.

Enjoy your summer!!