Fargo - North of Normal (a Short Film)
This is a great place to live - and to be a Ph.D. student. These fun facts about Fargo are just a start – we encourage you to explore, ask the ‘locals’ and see for yourself how great this community can be.
The metro has a population of over 180,000 people. The cost of living is low, the city is easy to navigate, education is first rate and people are friendly. The LA Times calls Fargo “Trendy!” and The Today Show dubbed Fargo “A Hip City!”
Fargo has a good economy. Forbes ranked Fargo the 7th best small city in the nation to start a business or career.
Fargo has exceptional dining - over 350 restaurants with many different varieties of cuisine and wonderful local eateries, coffee shops, and breweries.
Fargo is located within driving distance to Minneapolis, Duluth, and Winnipeg. Hector International Airport and Amtrak rail allow easy travel to further destinations.
Downtown Fargo is vibrant and fun with eclectic shops, art galleries and museum, and local coffee shops and restaurants.
The Fargo Public Library has over 165,000 books, 10,000 DVDs, children’s theater, meeting rooms and quiet study rooms. It’s a great place for students from all 4 of the accredited colleges and universities in the area.
The historic Fargo Theater is a downtown landmark hosting annual events including the Celebration of Women and their Music, the Fargo Film Festival, the LGBT Film Festival, a variety of concerts, cult and popular films, and special events.
Plains Art Museum has exciting exhibits, gallery walks, short films, and art classes and experiences for kids and adults.
Music, Theater and Festivals
Many local theater and music opportunities including the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre, Tin Roof Theater Company, Theater B, the Fargo Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, the Fargo Moorhead Area Youth Symphonies, the Fargo-Moorhead Opera, FM Ballet, the Arts Partnership, and Trollwood Performing Arts School. Many of these groups have reduced cost tickets for students and there are opportunities for free recitals, readings, and productions all year at NDSU, Concordia, and MSUM.
Fargo also hosts great concerts and entertainment. Some recent shows include Katie Perry, Jake Owen, Pink, Barenaked Ladies, Brandi Carlile, Justin Timberlake, Margaret Cho, Bon Jovi, Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, Billy Joel, Eric Clapton, Cirque du Soleil, and Broadway Series theater productions.
Local fairs and festivals include the Fargo Blues Festival, Downtown Street Fair, Celtic Festival, Island Park Craft Fair, Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival, Rib Fest, Native American Pow Wow, and Red River Valley Fair.
Outdoor Activities and Sports (and Fargo weather)
Fargo has plenty of parks, trails, golf courses, campgrounds, and athletic facilities for fun all year round.
Fargo has beautiful summers. Enjoy the local outdoor market Red River Market and sample local food trucks. The city is also in close proximity to Minnesota lakes for summer water sports, hiking and river tubing. With just a short drive you can take a break from the city and go waterskiing on a lake or hiking in the forest. Or stay close by and enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio of your favorite coffee shop, a round of golf, or a walk through one of our many beautiful parks.
Winter can be chilly but the sun is often shining and our winter landscape can be stunning. There are so many things to enjoy outside – just find some cozy mittens and try snow shoeing in the park, cross country skiing, sledding, ice skating downtown, and join the yearly Frostival with fun activities like cardboard sled races, snow fort making, sled rides, hot cocoa contests and even snow volleyball and yoga.
If you are an athlete (or just like to play), there are numerous clubs and teams for just about every sport and age group. The Fargo Marathon is one of the country’s most popular marathons with huge crowds and live music along the routes. A week full of events, and there is a distance for everyone.
If you’re a sports fan, Fargo is home to F/M Redhawks baseball, Fargo Force hockey, the F-M Derby Girls roller derby team, and don’t forget NDSU Division 1 Athletics (Go BISON!).
FM PRIDE has been rated one of the top 5 rural prides in the U.S. by gay.com. Each summer F-M Pride hosts several community events including a festival, parade, and rally.
The Pride Collective and Community Center first opened in October of 2000 with the purpose of creating a safe and inclusive space for LGBTs of the area with a mission “To create a sense of community and promote education and social activities aimed at furthering the social and physical well-being and development of the LGBT community in the Red River Valley.” They have programs for teens and families, FM Pride, and The Gay Men's Chorus.
Since 2009 the annual FM LGBT Film Festival celebrates Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender lived experience through the visions of innovative film and video makers.
- Fargo rated number 1 in 10 hidden gems among U.S. college towns in 2014. “Its status as a flourishing arts scene and lively community of bars and restaurants, as well as North Dakota State University’s athletic success, pushes Fargo to the top of the list. Fargo’s Plains Arts Museum is the biggest from Minneapolis to Seattle.”
- Fargo is the fourth-fastest-growing small city in the United States and the No. 1 small city in America to start a business or a career, according to Forbes 2015. “The robust local economy of Fargo continues to grow in sectors such as food processing, retail trade and higher education as well as technology and health care. Even the manufacturing sector grew more than 12 percent over the past decade compared to a 15 percent decrease throughout the U.S. during the same time period.”
- The Earth Day Network has ranked Fargo the best among 200 cities in the U.S. based on environmental, health and quality-of-life indicators.
- Self magazine ranked Fargo-Moorhead as the happiest place in the nation for women.
- Fargo Named 'America's Cleanest City' in American Lung Association's State of the Air Report.