East Grand Forks’ annual August festival, Heritage Days, wrapped up on Sunday. It began on Thursday, Aug. 8 and featured all kinds of events and activities and other fun things.

    As is typically the case, the annual East Grand Forks festival received a fair amount of ink in our friendly newspaper neighbor to the west, the Grand Forks Herald. There were preview and promotional articles, and even the legendary Marilyn Hagarty wrote a column on it. The Herald’s weekend editions featured photos as well.

    With a polite smile, the organizers of Crookston’s Ox Cart Days Festival – to borrow an admittedly overused phrase these days – said, “Hold our beer.”

    During and after the 2018 festival typically held during the third week and weekend of August in Crookston, people gushed about the sheer number of events and activities, as well as the quality and variety of those events and activities. There were the huge, traditional events that are a big part of the festival every year, and new events large and small dotting the schedule every day. It was really something to behold.

    Well, the 2019 festival, themed “Cheers to 30 Years” to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Ox Cart Days, is bigger and, we can probably safely predict, better than the 2018 version that wowed so many people.

    First off, the 2019 festival starts today. TODAY, as in Monday. That in itself is news, because the festival has never started on a Monday before. When you consider that it extends into a full schedule of activities on Sunday, Aug. 19, what you have there, folks, is an Ox Cart Days that lasts an entire week.

    An entire week. In a town with less than 8,000 people, a festival planned by a committee led by Jess Bengtson and Nell DeBoer, which held its first of many meetings shortly after the 2018 festival ended, has somehow put together a town celebration that extends a full seven days.

    There are schedules all over town that you can snatch up so you can stay on top of everything, and crookstonoxcartdays.com has all the festival information you could ever need as well. You need to get yourself a button, and have some cash in your pocket, too, because you don’t make a festival like this happen without charging some additional dollars for some of the events.

    People like to pick on Crookston, and usually it’s Crookston residents leading the nitpicking, but take a moment or two during this week to take a look around and realize that there are people in your community who care enough about this town to put in countless hours making something like this possible for everyone to enjoy.

    If there is a bigger, better annual festival in any town in this country similar in size to Crookston, we’d like to see it.

    Thanks to all who continue to make this happen.

    Now, go out and have yourself some fun, and make some memories.