Sixth Annual Chokecherry Festival | VideoChris Williams | 8/11/2012
A few years ago, North Dakota didn`t have a state fruit, until a group of kids decided they wanted one.
"The Chokecherry Kids went to Mrs. Selby and asked why North Dakota doesn`t have a state fruit," said Williston CVB Director Amy Krueger.
That question eventually led to then Governor John Hoeven signing a bill making the chokecherry the state fruit. That was six years ago, and now the Chokecherry Kids are all grown up.
"It is very weird to think that these kids are going to college, but it`s also interesting to hear what they`re planning to go in to," said Chokecherry Momma Nancy Selby.
The festival had a back to school fashion show, hosted by Ms. North Dakota, and also featured one of the original chokecherry kids.
"This event means a lot to us, and also a lot tour community. It gets everybody out and involved. It also means a part of our past, and young kids can do and make a difference in their community and other people`s lives," said Chokecherry Kid Hailey Horob.
Horob hopes what her class accomplished inspires kids.
"Kids need to go off and do what they want to. If they stick to what they want to do they can do it. It just takes a little bit of determination and hard work."
This festival is a way to celebrate the kid`s hard work.
"Every year it is a way to just honor the choke cherry kids, but really all the kids in Williston. We want them to know how much we appreciate and we value them being a part of our communities," added Selby.
It wouldn`t be a festival without kettle corn and frozen lemonade. One vendor had a crowd favorite.
"We have a little bit of everything here. Anything from chokecherry jelly to choke cherry syrup to wild plum," said vendor Carl Mattingley.
The chokecherry festival started tonight, but that is just the beginning.
"We have free swimming on Saturday, the parade in Saturday, 5k race, lots of things for the entire family to do. Tomorrow we`ll have the jump and fun inflatables," added Krueger.
It starts again tomorrow morning at 7:00 with free pancakes.