Founded in 1871, Fargo was one of the main stops for steamboats heading down the Red River in the 1870s and 1880s. It is known as the Gateway to the West, and was originally a classic frontier town complete with numerous saloons and small settlements. Today it’s North Dakota’s largest city, and accounts for more than 15 percent of the entire state population. Despite the numerous disasters that have hit the town over the years, Fargo continues to grow and prosper.
Fargo has a city commission type of government in which a mayor and four commissioners are elected at-large. The city commission meets every two weeks at 5 p.m. in the Fargo Civic Center, located at 207 4th St. N. There are several courthouses in Fargo: The Cass County Clerk-District Court is located at 211 9th St. S; the Fargo City Municipal Court is located at 402 Northern Pacific Ave; the West Fargo Municipal Court is located at 800 4th Ave. E and the Cass County Juvenile Court is located at 1010 2nd Ave. S. North Dakota State University calls Fargo home, and educates more than 14,000 students annually.
Aside from the natural beauty that surrounds Fargo, residents and visitors can enjoy many attractions, shopping, night life and sports. Some attractions include the Fargo Air Museum, Bonanzaville, the Red River Zoo, the Plains Art Museum and the Rourke Art Museum in nearby Moorhead. Fargo is a sister city to both Hamar, Norway and Vimmerby, Sweden. Every summer Fargo and Moorhead join together for the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival, a two-day event featuring Viking food, entertainment and fun.