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BCTF approves fireworks

The Buffalo City Tourism Foundation Executive Board approved funding requests Friday from the Frontier Village Association and for the July 4, 2014, holiday fireworks at the Jamestown Speedway.

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The Frontier Village Association had asked for $5,000 from the foundation to be used for restoring the Jamestown Parade Train. Charlie Tanata, the association’s president, said he had presented the grant request to the executive board last month after the association was approached by Shawn Syverson about taking ownership of the four-unit motorized train replica and seeking grants so the train could be restored. The executive board tabled the request until Tanata could provide documentation showing Frontier Village Association owned the train.

Tanata said he initially thought the family of Jim Carlascio owned the train, as the family had received the train back from Bonanzaville, a family-oriented amusement business in Fargo, in August.

Tanata said he later learned from people involved in building the train in the 1950s that it was built by workers with the Northern Pacific and Burlington Northern railroad. The train was owned by one of the railroad’s unions.

Tanata was able to establish a title to the motor vehicle and provided a notarized copy of the title showing Frontier Village Association as the owner to the BCTF Executive Board.

“This is what we were looking for from Frontier Village,” said board member Tanea Clocksene about the title.

Tanata said he spoke with the owner of a storage facility near the Frontier Village about storing the train there.

“We would be able to store the train there, but not do any work on it,” he said. 

Tanata said Syverson has offered to work on each unit of the train individually in his home garage.

The executive board also approved $8,000 for a July 4 holiday fireworks display to be shot off on July 5 at Jamestown Speedway.

Searle Swedlund, BCTF executive director, said Jamestown Speedway officials had asked if the July 4 fireworks display could be held on July 5 instead.

“They have another event scheduled for July 4 and would like the display held on July 5,” Swedlund said.

Had the executive board insisted on the having the display on July 4, Swedlund said Jamestown Speedway officials were going to charge $11,000. Moving it to July 5, speedway officials will charge $9,000, plus donate $1 per person who attends the races that day back to the foundation.

“We usually get about $1,000 back from the speedway for the July 4 (holiday) fireworks display,” Swedlund said.

Both funding requests were reviewed by the BCTF grant board, which has the same members as the executive board, prior to the executive board meeting on Friday morning.

Clocksene said the holiday fireworks have not always been shot off on July 4 in the past.

In other business, the executive board reviewed a questionnaire that the BCTF marketing committee will be sending out to various businesses, community groups and individuals involved in tourism in Jamestown and Stutsman County. The questionnaire will help the foundation in its rebranding effort. The questionnaire will be distributed in early December and will be picked up by BCTF members by the beginning of January.

Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at

Chris Olson

Hometown: Traverse City, MI College: Northwestern Michigan College and Michigan State University

(701) 952-8454