Ribfest takes over main street

Estimates of 6,000-7,000 people flocked to the main street of Watford City for the annual Best of the West Ribfest. It was a warm day but it didn't stop folks from enjoying food vendors, games for young and old, live music, car show and more. Mark your calendar: Ribfest 2019 will be on August 9!
$150M gas plant expansion proposed for McKenzie County

Another natural gas processing plant is being proposed for the area. Kinder Morgan is looking to expand the Roosevelt Gas Plant located about seven miles south of Watford City. There are currently six gas plants in the Williston Basin in development (five in McKenzie County) for a combined investment of $1.3 billion. Read more in this Bismarck Tribune article.

Welcome to Watford Celebration

Moving to a new place is easier when you get plugged into your community. For those who've been in our community for a week or a hundred years, we are inviting them to join us to learn more about the community and ideas on how to get involved. This FREE event from 5-7pm on September 14 will include representatives from area service organizations, businesses, and houses of worship. It will include appetizers, bouncy houses, kids’ art activities and tips and tricks for doing life well out here!

For more information on the event, visit the Facebook event, for more information on how to have a table at the event visit here.
August economy at a glance


  • June 2018 McKenzie County unemployment rate: 2.1%

  • Online Job Openings for McKenzie County in June 2018 totaled 312.

  • Year-to-date visitors to Theodore Roosevelt National Park North Unit is at 60,149, while year-to-date 2017 was 48,518.

Skills Initiative highlighted at oil conference

Members of the McKenzie County Skills Initiative spoke about opportunities between the petroleum industry and education and training providers at the recent Bakken Conference & Expo. For more information see full Williston Herald article: Growing a home-grown workforce could take a North Dakota village
Spotlighting Farm Rescue

Since 2005, Farm Rescue has been helping area farmers and ranchers who have fallen on hard times. They have the mission of bridging crises so that the affected families have an opportunity to continue viable operations. Farm Rescue provides planting, haying, harvesting, livestock feeding assistance and commodity and hay hauling to farm and ranch families that have experienced a major injury, illness or natural disaster. The map shows places it has helped--that is over 550 families. Funding is needed to keep their help progressing into the future.
New restaurant for Watford City

Restaurant options continue to expand in Watford City with the opening of Metanoia. Metanoia is a family-style diner, open 6am-10pm seven days a week and located next door to the Roosevelt Inn & Suites at 604 2nd Avenue Southwest.
Annual celebration in Alexander

The 73rd Annual Old Settlers Day will be held in Alexander over Labor Day weekend--August 30-September 1. The celebration includes a Saturday morning parade and beef barbecue, vendors, bonfire, chili cook off, street dance and more.
High school entrepreneurship course to be offered

As students get ready to return to the classroom, thanks to funding through First International Bank & Trust, a new course will be offered at Watford City High School-- Youth Entrepreneurs®. This elective course is designed to develop an entrepreneurial spirit, and teach business principles and life skills. A video has been designed to describe the success of the program in other areas.
Another new park

More green space has come to the area with the addition of the Kent Pelton Nature Park. The park includes a fishing pond, picnic shelters, concessions stand, restrooms, and an arboretum that includes fifty species of trees. The park is named in honor of a longtime Vocational Agriculture teacher at Watford City High School and former Watford City mayor. It is located at 501 7th St. SE, Watford City. For information on this and other Watford City parks visit here.
Heritage Day 2018

Take a step back in time at the annual McKenzie County Heritage Day. Old time machinery demonstrations, lunch from the McKenzie County Community Foundation, games for the kids, live music, and old time reminiscing will all be happening from 11am-4pm on Saturday, September 15 at the McKenzie County Heritage Park located at 950 2nd Ave SW, Watford City.
Finding rest at Tobacco Gardens

Canoers paddling across the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean spent three days at Tobacco Gardens over the 4th of July holiday. According to the group's Facebook post, they said: "We were invited and took part in their July 4th parade, treated to meals, shown around town and taken to watch the Draft Horse competition at the local fair. The staff sat with us on breaks and shared stories, the other campers were full of smiles, and curiosity...We could never thank our new River Mom [Peggy Hellandsaas, Tobacco Gardens resort owner] enough for the rejuvenation she has given us!"
Multi-industry job fair

The next multi-industry Job Service North Dakota Job Fair will be on September 12 at the Raymond Family Community Center in Williston. The next multi-industry job fair in Watford City is projected to be in April 2019.
Local enterprises expand to Bismarck

Stonehome Brewing Company, operating in Watford City since 2016, is now open in a second location on the corners of State street and Divide Ave in Bismarck at 1601 N 12th St. Also in Bismarck, earlier this year local hoteliers Marty and Crystal Mulder along with their daughters opened the Roosevelt Place Hotel at 1405 Skyline Boulevard in Bismarck. It fits with their Roosevelt themed hotel in Watford City--The Roosevelt Inn & Suites.
Outdoor family movie night

Join the Watford City Chamber of Commerce, McKenzie County Tourism and the Long X Arts Foundation for the first ever Outdoor Family Movie Night featuring the movie UP!

Free art activities by the Long X Arts Foundation, door prizes, games, hop scotch, sidewalk chalk, treats and FREE popcorn and pop from Six Shooters Showhall. In the open lot between Door 204 and RE/MAX Bakken Realty
Art activities and games start at 7 pm. Movie starts at dark 8:45 (sunset).

Bring your blankets and lawn chairs or, for extra fun, have your child decorate a cardboard box as a car to sit in to pretend they're in an old drive in movie!
*All children must be accompanied by an adult or responsible caregiver*
Women in leadership expo

The fifth annual Women in Leadership Expo will be held October 4 in Williston, ND. Each year, the organizers of this event recruit women who are role models and thought leaders on issues relevant to experiences and concerns of women in the workforce. Stephanie Goetz, an award-winning news anchor, executive speaker coach, philanthropist, mental health advocate, accomplished speaker, and professional trainer will be presenting this year. The Emmy-nominated broadcaster anchored and reported at NBC, CBS and ABC affiliates for nearly 10 years. She will be speaking on Unleashing Your Inner Grit & Resilience and How Your Executive Presence Affects Your Influence.
FUSION conference

For the second year in a row, Bowman will be hostin g the FUSION Conference on October 3-4. The conference incorporates elements of personal and professional development into a day and a half event for community members, leadership, professionals, business owners and entrepreneurs. One of the keynote speakers announced is Steve Scheel, President and CEO of Scheels sporting goods stores. Visit the conference website for agenda and registration information.
Check out the upcoming events listed on our community calendar .
View past issues of the monthly update here.