Buffalo Days celebrates long-held traditions
Summer is getting long on the heat and humidity; a bit of brightness may be needed to lighten these late July days. How about some time outside before the sun gets too hot and enjoy the fun and frivolity of a parade? Jamestown will be celebrating Buffalo Days with a parade this Saturday. Gather the kiddos and enjoy the cars, floats and bands as they entertain fans along the parade route.
White Cloud, Jamestown’s albino mother bison, passed on her genetics to several calves born here in the city’s bison pasture. Her legacy of peace and good fortune came with her, as Native culture conveys. In the early 1990s, a group of bison ranchers and entrepreneurs obtained the first five bison from Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota and pastured them near the World’s Biggest Buffalo between the two interstate entrances to the city. In 1996 the North Dakota Buffalo Foundation obtained White Cloud, an albino bison from the Shirek Buffalo Ranch, located near Michigan, North Dakota.
By that time tourists were already stopping to visit the National Buffalo Museum, the World’s Biggest Buffalo and to see a living herd of bison. White Cloud Days turned into Buffalo Days when she passed away in 2016. Her body was preserved and is now in the Buffalo Museum. The month of July still brings in visitors from all around, and Jamestown has added to its parade and turned all the city’s parks into family-event destinations following the parade.
One of the most popular is on the west hill overlooking Jamestown, where Fort Seward’s historic site hosts military and frontier life events during the weekend. Another, located downtown, is the Classic Car display. McElroy Park is where the parade gathers at 8 a.m. on Saturday. The parade begins its trek through town at 9:30 a.m. Vendors and displays will be set up at the park during the day for visitors to shop eat and meet.
The Jamestown Classic Car Club members will be on hand to discuss their rides and give some of the history for those wanting to learn a little more. They organize vehicles in the parade and put on the car show in the park.
You can kick off the celebration this evening by joining the fun and adventure all around town, with the American Association of University Women’s 32nd Jamestown Garden Tour from 4 to 8 p.m. Featured gardens include Laurie Pahl, 1506 4th Ave. NW; Kent Legler, 923 3rd Ave. NW; Mary and Jeff Oster, 810 3rd Ave. SE; and Cindy and Ron Schauer, 1306 9th Ave. SE. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased at The Arts Center or the AAUW Used Bookstore. During tour hours, they may also be purchased at the tour locations. Refreshments will be served at The Arts Center, 115 2nd St. NW, from 5:30 to 8 p.m., and tour tickets turned in with all the sites checked will be eligible for door prizes. Proceeds from the Garden Tour support the AAUW Educational Foundation and AAUW Endowment Fund at the University of Jamestown.
If anyone has an item for this column, please send it to Sharon Cox, PO Box 1559, Jamestown, ND 58402-1559.