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Letter to the editor: See what N.D. has to offer and create lifelong memories

As we head into the season of sunnier and warmer days, it’s hard not to get the itch to hit the road and travel. The summer traveling season has officially kicked off. It’s a time to celebrate our state’s strong tourism industry and the unique things to see and do that attract people from all around the world.

Tourism is one of North Dakota’s top industries and an important part of our economy. All North Dakota communities benefit from tourism. It supports businesses and creates jobs. One out of 12 jobs in the state is in the tourism industry.

While tourism is good for our economy, it’s also good for our family relationships. Did you know that 90 percent of kids age 8-18 see family travel as a chance to spend quality time with their parents? Or, that they rank going on a family vacation higher than all other activities in their mind? With everyone’s busy lives these days, it’s good to know that the good old-fashioned vacation is still a cherished way to reconnect and make life-long memories.

This year you can create special legendary family memories by celebrating North Dakota’s 125th anniversary of statehood. North Dakotans have been blessed in many ways, and this milestone is a great occasion to celebrate our culture and heritage. Two events will be held Aug. 16 and Nov. 2, the state’s official 125th birthday.

The August event will be held on the Capitol grounds and will showcase the North Dakota’s best with home-grown entertainment, food, crafts and games. Some of the acts confirmed to perform at the event include Tigirlily, Chuck Suchy, The Burning Hills Singers, The Blenders, Mitch Malloy, Robby Vee, Jessie Veeder, Dakota Air, Keith Bear, Kevin Locke and Greg Hager.

The commemoration of the state’s official birthday on Nov. 2 will coincide with the grand opening of the North Dakota Heritage Center. Plus, you’ll want to catch many of the regional community events across the state throughout the summer.

You also can celebrate North Dakota’s 125th anniversary in your own way. North Dakota Tourism has created a list, “125 ways to Luv ND” featuring adventures and experiences unique to North Dakota. The categories span everything from food, outdoors, sports, fun and history and can be found at

This summer, we encourage you to get out and see the spectacular state and create legendary family memories that will last a lifetime.

Every part of North Dakota has so much to offer, and no matter where you go, your travel plans can be accommodated. With the recent hotel development across the state, North Dakota now boasts more than 25,000 hotel rooms. Happy exploring and we’ll see you on the road!

(Wrigley, a Republican, is the North Dakota lieutenant governor, and Coleman is director of the North Dakota Department of Commerce’s Tourism Division.)