Single-family construction continues with local program

Single-family housing construction has continued through 2020 in McKenzie County, thanks, in part, to the JDA Housing Development Subsidy program. Nineteen houses from throughout the county have been completed or are in the process of being completed as a part of the program. The remaining amount of program funding is $1,075,000.
Slow Ride

A new, quaint and quirky 48-seat restaurant has opened in a newly-rehabilitated historic building on main street Watford City. Slow Ride describes themselves as a laid back, family-friendly southwestern eatery with great cocktails and food. This new concept has been developed by Six Shooters LLC who have developed other regional restaurants such as Stonehome Brew Pub, Outlaws, Meadowlark Public House and more. Find them at 361 N Main Street Watford City.
Economy at a Glance

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

  • McKenzie County's unemployment rate dropped from 10.0% in July to 7.6% in August 2020.

  • Year to date permit value ($13,542,736) for McKenzie County for 2020 is very similar to the same period in 2019 ($13,368,065).

  • Year to date permit value ($32,567,553) for Watford City for 2020 is substantially higher to the same period in 2019 ($13,949,545).
Feature film to be shot in McKenzie County

1930s McKenzie County will be the setting for a feature-length western crime film. The film will be based on a true story documented in a book by McKenzie County historian Dennis E Johnson entitled End of the Rope. Production funding has been raised locally. Filming in McKenzie County is expected in summer 2021, and a 2022 release is planned via a world premiere in Watford City.
Local woman named North Dakota Country Woman of the Year

Calli Thorne has been named the 2020 North Dakota Country Woman of the Year. The program is a part of a partnership between Bismarck Tribune and Farm and Ranch Guide that seeks to honor hardworking country women. Twenty-seven nominations were received for this year's honor.

Read more in this Bismarck Tribune article.
Los Saguaros Mexican Restaurant

Earlier this year, the family-owned and operated Los Saguaros Mexican Restaurant opened their doors at 722 Main Street North in Watford City. They pride themselves in bringing their home cooking into this restaurant setting that is made fresh each day. Visit them Monday-Saturday from 11am-9pm.
WE Work: West Meets East

Organizations from eastern North Dakota are set to visit McKenzie County to discuss career development. Learn how students are being connected to employers more deliberately, how re-skilling initiatives are helping workers quickly prepare for 21st century jobs, and more. Organizations scheduled to participate include Golden Path Solutions, NDSU Nice Center, Microsoft, Emerging Digital Academy, Be More Colorful, OmniByte Technology, ND Department of Commerce and ND Career and Tech Ed. The event will run from 1-5pm on Wednesday November 4 at the Rough Rider Center. There is no cost to attend but please register or find out more info here.
Grants awarded to local organizations

The McKenzie County Community Foundation has awarded a total of $8,400 in grants to local efforts to better our community. 2020 recipients include BIO Girls for programming, McKenzie County Heritage Park for Tater Tots' programming supplies, Long X Arts Foundation for the Missoula Children's Theater, Bakken Thrift Store for winter apparel for kids in need, Badlands Gymnastics Club for their 2021 regional meet, and the Rough Rider Center for lifeguard training equipment. Grant funds come from earnings derived from a permanent endowment funded by those interested in seeing long-term impact in McKenzie County.
Light the bridge

The historic Fairview Lift Bridge will be spotlighted at the annual Light the Bridge event. Fireworks, chili, cocoa, and visits with Santa are on the agenda. It will happen on Sunday, November 15 from 5-7pm CT. Find the bridge at 217 W 9th St, Cartwright, ND.
Voices of Dakota Prairie

The original theatrical production "Voices of Dakota Prairie" is scheduled to be shown in McKenzie County. The production is based off of true stories of North Dakota settlers. It is presented by the University of Mary Theater and History Program in collaboration with Bismarck State College. The production will be at the Rough Rider Center on Sunday, November 22.
32 miles of trees planted in 2020

The McKenzie County Soil Conservation District is consistently working to improve the health of our soils with various programs and projects. In 2020, they were involved with planting over 32 miles of trees with weed barrier, handled 4,318 hand-planted trees, and seeded 2,970.5 acres. In addition they have other programs that help to improve the quality of our community's soil.
Voting is underway

National, statewide and local offices and measures are on the ballot for McKenzie County residents this year. While there will be in-person voting on election day, many are taking advantage of the mail-in/absentee option before the election.

Click here for McKenzie County voting information.
Fall is for hunting in McKenzie County

Many have been enjoying the wide open spaces in McKenzie County this year. Hunting is one of those activities that many locals and visitors like to do. Find hunting season information at the North Dakota Game and Fish website.