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Governor kicks off North Dakota’s 125th celebration

BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple predicted “one great birthday party” for North Dakota as officials kicked off the 125th anniversary of statehood Tuesday and unveiled the official logo for the yearlong celebration.

The logo, which features a bison head and sheaves of wheat, was designed by Eric Falde of West Fargo. He received a $500 prize from the North Dakota Humanities Council for having his logo selected over nearly 50 others in a statewide contest, said Janean Rambough, the 125th anniversary coordinator.

Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley, who led the celebration’s planning committee, announced two signature events.

An Aug. 16 party on the Capitol grounds will feature homegrown food, crafts, games and entertainment, including musical acts Tigirlily and Chuck Suchy, who both performed for the crowd of about 100 people gathered in the Capitol’s Memorial Hall for Tuesday’s kickoff.

On Nov. 2, the state will commemorate its official birthday with the grand opening of the expanded North Dakota Heritage Center in Bismarck.  

The state Legislature approved $150,000 for the celebration, Rambough said.

South Dakota also celebrates its quasquicentennial this year. The state was admitted to the union the same day as North Dakota in 1889 through a proclamation signed by President Benjamin Harrison.

A nine-person commission appointed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to generate ideas for celebrating South Dakota’s 125th anniversary approved its final report of recommendations  Friday.