Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Center of Attention

by Ryan Janke | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Music | August 7th, 2019

Lost Horses at Center Fest - photograph by Sabrina Hornung

Center Fest 3 kicks off in Robinson, North Dakota this Friday and will run through Saturday night. What started as a discussion about the center of North America has taken on a life of its own and become an annual celebration.

Several years ago, Bill Bender, who owns Hanson’s Bar in Robinson, discovered that the trademark for the Geographical Center of North America – previously held by Rugby – had run out, so he was able to get it and decided to label Robinson as such.

“We declared Robinson and the bar, actually, [the Geographical Center of North America],” Bender said. “On our end, it was a fun-hearted thing. We didn’t mean any harm by it, but they didn’t take it that way.”

After some back-and-forth with Rugby, it was returned, but not before Center Fest was born.

“About a year and a half ago, we established the International Center for Determining Centers (ICDC) and that’s based in Robinson,” Bender said. “So, that’s what Center Fest has become – a celebration of the ICDC, and its annual gathering.”

This past June, the ICDC held a preliminary meeting to prepare for Center Fest and on Friday, they will hold an official meeting to establish board members and positions for the organization.

“Clay Jenkinson, a historian who does the Thomas Jefferson Hour every week and lives in Bismarck, wants to be on the board and is getting involved heavily,” Bender said. “John Clemens from the USGS also wants to be on the board. It’s coming together. It’s taking shape slowly. It’s kind of a side project for all of us. It’s going to be fun. I think it’s got a lot of potential.”

That meeting will be held at 2 p.m. and will be the official kickoff to the two-day event which will be chock-full of music and fun.

“We have seven bands this year and all these bands play full sets,” Bender said. “They do full shows, so it’s unique that way. Most of the bands are from Minneapolis. We have a functioning trebuchet now, so we’re going to be doing launches all weekend.”

A trebuchet is a type of catapult with a swinging arm.

“The Miss Center Fest contest is going to happen during the weekend, probably on Saturday,” Bender said. “Last year, it was its own event. We did it in June, but most of the girls that were in it were in college at the time. Now, they’ve all graduated and they’re functioning adults and they can’t take a whole weekend off just to be in a pageant. So, we’re going to do it during Center Fest this year.”

The bands will fire up in the late afternoon on Friday.

“The first band on Friday will be at about 5 o’clock,” Bender said. “The second band, Ardo, a band out of St. Paul, at 7 p.m. At 9 p.m., Keegan Konsor. He’s a singer-songwriter from Iowa. Then, at 11 p.m., it’s Shocktrigger from Minneapolis. We also have a comedian named Tim Lechtenberg. He’s going to do a set both nights.”

The music cranks up at 4 p.m. on Saturday. The first band will be Lost Horses. They are an old-school country band out of Mandan who bring a little something extra to the show.

“They’re going to do Chicken Sh*t Bingo,” Bender said. “Dale Watson is a honkytonk legend out of Austin, Texas. He originated Chicken Sh*t Bingo down in Austin. Essentially, you have a big 4x8 sheet and it’s got 54 numbered squares on it. People line up and buy a ticket with a number on it and that’s your square. Then, we put the cage over the numbers, and we put a chicken in there. It walks around and wherever it takes a sh*t first, that number wins.”

The event is special for Bender and the gang because it is a sanctioned event that was blessed by the inventor himself.

“I talked to Dale Watson last year and asked him if we could become the official North Dakota home of Dale Watson’s Chicken Sh*t Bingo and he’s like, “hell yeah, man, do it,’” Bender said. “So, we’re doing that as an officially sanctioned Dale Watson’s Chicken Sh*t Bingo event.”

After Lost Horses wraps up, the music continues with Teenage Lobotomy and works its way into the night.

“Teenage Lobotomy was a punk band that was pretty big in the 80s and early 90s at NDSU,” Bender said. “They played at Kirby’s and Ralph’s quite a bit. Last year, they did a reunion show and everybody loved it so much they’re going to play again this year. That’s at 7 p.m. Tim Lechtenberg will go on at 9 p.m. Right after him, a band out of Minneapolis that’s getting quite a bit of airtime on The Current (KCMP) and is doing a lot of shows in Minneapolis-St. Paul, J Eastman and the Drunk Uncles. They’ll play at about 10 p.m. I think Channing Minnema from The Knotties is going to be closing down Saturday night.”

Besides music, comedy, and the lively game of bingo, there will also be a food truck, free camping and, of course, Hanson’s bar. Bender said it will be a fun time and since everything happens in the center of town, it will be a safe time as well.

“It’s a cool little town,” Bender said. “Everything is going to happen right around the bar at the main intersection of town. There’s no driving involved. You can just walk.”

IF YOU GO:

Center Fest 3

Friday & Saturday, August 9 & 10

Hanson’s Bar, Robinson, ND

Recently in:

FARGO — Climate change has been known and ignored for half a century, but Fargo residents made their voices known Wednesday during a city organized Town Hall event, demanding an end to fossil fuels and for the city to declare a…

Culture

​Handmade Holiday

by Alicia Underlee Nelson

What do you buy the person who has everything? Nothing – you make something. From cocktail bitters to chainmaille, succulent gardens to personalized poetry, local experts can help you create something totally unique for everybody…

Wednesday, December 11, 7-8 p.m.Fargo Theatre, 314 N Broadway, FargoTwo short documentary films by the Fargo History Project tell a story of the long road to women’s suffrage in North Dakota and another of the significance of the…

For a number of years, Fargo and Grand Forks have ranked within the top tiers of “Drunkest city in America.” According to worldpopulationreview.com we came in fifth this year, and the other four cities were all in Wisconsin…

88,633 Reasons Not To Build A WallOur Great Leader (a title used by North Koreans for Kim) is demanding that Congress include $5 billion in the 2020 federal budget for the border wall which he promised his rabid constituents Mexico…

To say that this year’s Bartenders Battle was the best display of talent in the six years since its creation would be an understatement and a disservice to not only the bartenders who made it into the competition, but also the…

I am a voracious reader of anything culinary and a subscriber to several culinary periodicals. I like to hang onto them as I find it hard to throw away these culinary nuggets of information with their adventures to distant lands. …

By Shannon Raeloudmouthrockreviews@gmail.comDropping tomorrow via Listenable Records, On The Rise, is a bluesy rock collection by the Spanish quintet Imperial Rise. With praises across Europe, we would like to add in a bit of…

Cinema

​Love on the Run

by Greg Carlson

The politics of race in contemporary America inform the text and subtext of “Queen & Slim,” a vivid feature debut from music video director Melina Matsoukas. Described so often in “The Player”-style shorthand as “Bonnie…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comFounded in 1991, Springboard for the Arts’ mission is “to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life.”…

By Michael Str!kemichaelstrike.solo@gmail.comComedy, dance, live music, and that classic wordplay and wit only Mel Brooks can deliver. This Friday, November 14th, Concordia College Theater premieres their production of Mel…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

Perched along the banks of the Allegheny, Ohio and Monongahela Rivers and tucked up into the surrounding hills, Pittsburgh’s 90 distinct neighborhoods are connected by more bridges than Venice. Commuters and travelers enjoy…

Wellness

Yoga on the Farm

by Ryan Janke

Every Thursday evening during the month of June, Mara Solberg is inviting people to come out and try Yoga on the Farm. It is a unique yoga experience that was born from an idea that was proposed to Solberg.“I’ve been with Red…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

Last Word

Routine fatigue

by HPR Contributor

By Zach Nerpelzachnerpel@gmail.comWhat fugue was this which ferried me from Fall into our now and immediately miserable Winter? Where had I been this entire season? How much time had passed and what had I experienced? What had I…