Culturally Unique Events Draw Fans by the Thousands in North Dakota



What makes North Dakota different from anywhere else? Is the bison? The great fishing and hunting? Biking and hikings spectacular trail? The majestic scenery? Or is the people? Judge for yourself. We think the people are every bit as important to the story of North Dakota.

Summer rodeos draw fans by the thousands to arenas all across North Dakota

The largest of these are held around the Fourth of July, a time commonly referred to as “Cowboy Christmas.” Click here for more on these events and others like them in North Dakota. Or for some truly unique activities, try these:

  • United Tribes International Powwow: Sept. 11-13, 2020, in Bismarck: This is not the only powwow in the state, but it is the largest and attractions dancers, drummers and spectators for all across the country.
  • Roughrider Days, **2020 event cancelled due to COVID-19** (next year’s dates: June 23-July 4, 2021) This annual event pays homage to all the events commonly associated with an Independence Day celebration, complete with music, a pro rodeo, parade and, of course, fireworks.
  • Big Iron Farm Show, Sept. 15-17, West Fargo: The immense farm equipment show draws people and displays from around the world. More than 900 booths and 70,000 attendees will file through the Red River Valley Fairgrounds for the celebration or rural living.

Powwows and rodeos are two of the more culturally unique events in North Dakota.

Credit North Dakota Tourism

Native American powwows are celebrations of culture and you are invited to take part. Some of the larger events include United Tribes International Powwow in Bismarck, the Mandaree Powwow, Twin Buttes Powwow and FM Crossroads Powwow in Fargo.

Rodeos take fans back to the bronc-busting and calf-roping days on the ranch. The performers might be professionals or neighbors from the ranch over there. Some things never change: Eight seconds is eight seconds, horses are fast, bulls are mean and the action is nonstop. North Dakota’s largest powwows include the Mandan Rodeo, Killdeer Mountain Roundup Rodeo, the Champions Ride. Click here for a list of rodeos and powwows in North Dakota in 2020.

In the Badlands, deer and horses and bison actively herald a new season. Wildlife viewing is great at any time in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Lodging, fuel and food can be found outside the park in Medora or Watford City.

Learn more about the storied history of North Dakota at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck, the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Medora, the Plains Art Museum in Fargo and the Badlands Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson.

Places to Stay

Woodland Resort (below) is an all-inclusive resort on Devils Lake, one of the nation’s top fisheries.

  • Black Leg Ranch. High-end, full-service ranch accommodations. Honeymoon suites, cabins, etc. No glamping yet.
  • Yurting in North Dakota State Parks. Bring you own bedding, food and sense of adventure. Three state parks feature yurts as part of their lodging packages.
  • Hotel Donaldson. In downtown Fargo, boutique style property where all 17 suites are designed around the work of a different regional artist – sculptors, painters, photographers, modern artists…
  • Woodland Resort. Devils Lake full-service resort with a restaurant, cabins, motel, campground, bait shop and boat rental.
  • Coteau des Prairie. Full-service lodge in souitheast North Dakota. Perched on the northernmost ridge of the Coteau des Prairies, where the breathtaking view is second to none. Prairie farms and fields unfold from below like a patchwork quilt.
  • Lady on the Lake B&B. Located on the north shore of Lake Elsie. A truly romantic respite steeped in history and comfort. Has five acres and 463 feet of private shoreline.
  • Enchanted Castle. On the Enchanted Highway in Regent. A 19-room hotel in the old Regent School has lounge and restaurant.
  • Riverdale High Lodge. Full hotel and restaurant in the old school in Riverdale on the shore above Lake Sakakawea.

Credit North Dakota Tourism

Find more accommodations at “Places to Stay.

For more information on the Great American West state of North Dakota, visit