Tracker Pixel for Entry

​Fall Equinox at Medicine Wheel Park

Culture | September 18th, 2019

Joe Steckler - photograph by Michael Gabbard

By Kristin Gruber
perriex1@gmail.com

Amongst the many charms of autumn in Valley City, North Dakota, at the top of a huge hill, in a serene, semi-secluded area, you'll find Medicine Wheel Park.

The park offers 30 acres of scenic trails, 12 burial mounds between 500 and 2,000 years old, a 3,000 square foot flower garden, a distance-scaled solar system and more. Its centerpiece is the Medicine Wheel.

Measuring 213 ft around and built with fieldstones, the Medicine Wheel, inspired by the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, was built in 1992 by Professor Joe Stickler of Valley City State University, and his astronomy students. Wes Anderson, curator and director of the Barnes County Historical Society Museum, told High Plains Reader that the wheel is a replica of a Native American Solar Calendar, and that it "shows the season by the rising and setting of the sun at various points along the wheel's horizon, with a focus on the Equinoxes and Solstices." There are 28 spokes radiating from the center, which represent the number of days in the lunar cycle. Six spokes extending beyond the Wheel are aligned to positions of sunrises and sunsets on the first days of fall, winter, spring and summer, respectively.

Medicine Wheels are considered "sacred circles" by Native Americans, and give focus to the natural healing of the earth itself. The autumnal equinox, when the sun aligns perfectly over the equator, and day and night are the same length, is a time for honor and reflection.

The annual Fall Equinox celebration at Medicine Wheel Park, supported by funds from the Valley City Convention and Visitors Bureau and Friends of the Medicine Wheel, is free and open to the public. Performing for the event this year are the singers and drummers that make up the Buffalo River Singers and Dancers. 

"The Buffalo River Singers and Dancers come for another great performance . . . it is always an honor to have them come participate in the event," Anderson said. 

The Buffalo River Singers and Dancers represent tribes of the Dakota, Ojibwe, Hidasta, Delaware, Sac and Fox, Creek, Shawnee and Choctaw.

The celebration works around the setting sun, so Anderson says the start time will likely be around 7:15 p.m.

They will pause for sunset, and resume the event after that. He adds, "We had it once where we started the performance at 7:30 and it was DARK by 8 p.m., so it shows how fast the tilt of the earth is changing at this time of year."

In case of bad weather the event will move inside to either Froemke or Vangstead auditorium on VCSU's campus.

For more information contact Wes Anderson at (701) 845-0966, or visit the VCSU Planetarium's facebook page.

IF YOU GO:

Fall Equinox at Medicine Wheel Park

Monday, Sept. 23 7-10 p.m.

205 Winter Show Road SE.

Valley City, North Dakota 

Recently in:

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comThat old adage no longer applies: There is now such a thing as a free lunch, and it is here to stay. With help from a willing community, the founders of Lunch Aid North Dakota are continuing their…

By Michael M. Miller  michael.miller@ndsu.eduGermans from Russia Heritage Collection, NDSU Libraries, Fargo,…

Sons of Norway, Kringen Lodge #4-25, is a fraternal organization dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Norwegian culture.Sentrum på 722 2nd Ave N, FargoKringen Kafe er åpen for Kaffe og Bakverk mandag-fredag 9.00 til…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comOur opinion: Let our character and characters define usIt’s no secret that North Dakota is one of our nation’s least visited states, in fact I can think of a handful of folks I’ve chatted…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.com A Shock to the Best Congress Money Can Buy: Money Eliminates Poverty! An amazing revelation shocked conservative politicians of both political parties when COVID-19 virtually tanked the U.S.…

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…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.com“If you had talked to me five years ago or even a year ago and told me I was gonna be a chef in Fargo I probably would have looked at you pretty funny. It's wild where food is taking me in…

By Sabrina Hornung  sabrina@hpr1.comAmanda Standalone is a force, in fact one could say she’s an old soul with the Midas touch of…

By Greg Carlsongregcarlson1@gmail.comBefore she introduced us, mutual friend Morgan Davy told me that Anthony Strand had the uncanny ability to remember the exact running time of every movie he had seen. And he has seen a lot of…

By  Sabrina Hornung sabrina@hpr1.com2021 marks the 18th annual FMVA Studio Crawl, the Fargo-Moorhead Visual Artists’ largest event. This year 38…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comDrag shows, for me, feel like a celebration of artistry, esthetic, music, and camaraderie. With a dash of confetti thrown in.The local drag community is a close-knit family. Giving back to affiliated…

by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…

By Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comSpring is here (mostly), and our area is buzzing with people eager to get back out and about -- many newly vaccinated and feeling a bit safer. Partnering with Jade Events, Fargo Brewing is just…

by Laurie J Bakeremsdatter@gmail.com Part of modern yoga is participating in the world around us. We live in a time of upheaval in society and nature, and of great suffering in humans of all ages. Most of us perceive this suffering…

By Theresa L. Goodrichsubmit@hpr1.comIt was day ten of our epic southwest road trip and we’d made it to Arizona. After camping in Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and New Mexico, we were exhausted, but fortunately our night in…

by Annie Prafckesubmit@hpr1.com17 June 2021On June 19th, from 12pm to 7pm, nonprofit Faith4Hope Scholarship Fund is hosting their first ever Juneteenth Freedom Celebration at Lindenwood Park in Fargo. It is free and open to the…