North Dakotans gather in Arizona for a piece of home away from home

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 5:00 PM CST
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MESA, A.Z. (KFYR) - Every spring for the past 50 years, hundreds and even thousands of North Dakotans gather on the other side of the country.

The North Dakota picnic in Arizona has become a large event, formed by those who have moved to Arizona for warmer weather, but still want to keep and appreciate their North Dakota roots. Although it’s not clear why it started, North Dakota Community Foundation Director of Communications Christi Stonecipher says she’s sure it started with a potluck in true North Dakota fashion.

“Some of our favorite moments from previous picnics are when you see two people find each other in the crowd and they haven’t seen each other for 50 years. It’s really special,” said Stone Stonecipher.

The main attraction of the picnic is to find old friends, family members, or classmates that maybe haven’t seen each other in decades. From Medora Musical Host Bill Sorensen to North Dakota food trucks and sponsors to a local car show, there are plenty of activities to remind North Dakotans in Arizona of home.

The 2023 picnic will be held on Sunday, March 5 from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm.

ND Picnic in Arizona
ND Picnic in Arizona(Courtesy of North Dakota Community Foundation)