The Buffalo Days festival will begin Thursday, July 25, and run through Saturday, July 27, with live music, food and entertainment throughout the weekend to celebrate the birthday of White Cloud.
White Cloud, an albino bison who lived her whole life in Jamestown, died at the age of 19 in 2016 and is preserved as an exhibit inside the National Buffalo Museum in Jamestown.
Emily Bivens, executive director of the Jamestown Chamber of Commerce, said the festival has been reverted to the old name, moving away from "White Cloud Days," to make the event more inclusive. Searle Swedlund, executive director of Jamestown Tourism, agreed with the change.
"White Cloud will always have a special place in this communities' hearts, but it wasn’t the appropriate name anymore,” Swedlund said. "It was time to move on."
The Hansen Arts Park's weekly installment for the Downtown Arts Market will kick off the festivities Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with an open-mic night featuring the Jamestown High School Pep Band. On Friday, sidewalk sales will be available downtown along First Street from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday's activities include a pancake breakfast hosted by the Jamestown Fire Department from 7 a.m. to noon and a 5K at Two Rivers Activity Center beginning at 8 a.m, with the Buffalo Days parade beginning at 9:30 a.m. at McElroy Park. Registration for a float is free, and approximately 40 are already registered, according to Bivens.
Events throughout the day include a car show at McElroy Park, live music in Frontier Village, cowboy poetry at the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, and a Wild West shootout, also in Frontier Village. The festival will conclude with a street dance celebration at the Corner Bar starting at 8 p.m.
"“There really is something for everybody, activities for both kids and adults,” Bivens said. “There's so much going on that you’re bound to find something that you like.”
"It’s the weekend that you leave your home knowing that you’re going to run into somebody that you haven't seen in forever," Swedlund said. "It's the weekend that high school classes hold their reunions, old friends get together — you leave your house and there's almost a 100% chance you’ll see somebody that you haven’t seen in years."
Events at Frontier Village, the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, McElroy Park and Fort Seward are free. Participation in the 5K race costs $10 for youth, $25 for adults, and $50 for families. The pancake breakfast is $7 for an individual and $20 for a family, with proceeds going to the Jamestown Fire Department to use for equipment.
Sponsors include The Arts Center, the Jamestown Downtown Association, the Jamestown Fire Department, Two Rivers Activity Center, Jamestown Chamber of Commerce, Frontier Village, the 1883 Stutsman County Courthouse, Fort Seward and the Corner Bar.
The full schedule is also available online at www.jamestownchamber.com.