Summer season kicks off at Fort Mandan
By Don Winter
Warm sun and a gentle breeze signifies the return of summertime. In celebration of the return of warm weather the Lewis and Clark Fort Mandan Foundation will once again be offering the wildly popular Summer Kickoff Event. According to the Foundation’s Vice President Wendy Spencer, "Last year’s Kickoff was such a success that we’ve made it an annual event." This year’s Summer Kickoff event will take place on Sunday, June 7. It will feature free admission from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at both the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan. Part of the activities to kick off the summer will include games for kids, free hotdogs, face painting by Tom’s Face Painting of Valley City, and an outdoor concert by local bluegrass sensation Cottonwood. This year the event will also feature prize packages from local businesses. Some of the local sponsors include Krause’s, Unistop, Hwy 83 Express/Java Rose, Lewis and Clark Café, and the Big Dipper. Spencer was enthused by the support the event had garnered from the local community. "One of the big things we like to use the Summer Kickoff for is to get people to come to the community from out of the area. We look at this as not just a chance to promote the interpretive center, but our local businesses, and other regional attractions such as Cross Ranch State Park, Knife River Indian Villages, Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, or Garrison Dam" Spencer said. To add to the attraction of Summer Kickoff, this year it will be held in conjunction with the Fur Traders Rendezvous.