Almost one in five North Dakotans reside in the attractive river city of Fargo, which is home to North Dakota State University and has a population of about 115,000, along with another 40,000 or so in its smaller neighbor and sister city, Moorhead, Minnesota (home to Minnesota State University Moorhead). By no significant measure could you call the Fargo-Moorhead area a major gay destination, but there is a surprisingly large community of LGBT residents here (thanks, in part, to the large population of students and faculty at area universities), and Fargo is considered one of the more progressive parts of fairly conservative North Dakota. The two cities jointly produce the increasingly well-attended Fargo-Moorhead Gay Pride celebration each August - the dates this year are August 18 through August 21, 2016.
Fargo-Moorhead Pride takes place over four days and includes several parties and gatherings - here's the official calendar. The fun begins on Thursday, August 18, with a bowling party at All-Star Bowl in Moorhead, and then karaoke at the excellent Rhombus Guys Pizza in Fargo. Then on Friday there's a party and dance at the Aquarium music venue, above Dempsey's Public House in Fargo.
During the main weekend of Fargo-Moorhead Pride, you can start the day with a 5K Pride run, then head to the Pride in the Park celebration on Saturday, August 20, from 11 am until 4 at Island Park in Fargo, and the Fargo-Moorhead Block Party outside snazzy Usher's House restaurant in Moorhead from 6 pm until 1 am.
On Sunday, August 21, there's an InterFaith service at 12:30 pm, followed by the Fargo-Moorhead Pride Parade, which takes place in downtown Fargo at 2 pm and is followed by a Pride Rally at the Fargo Civic Center (West Lawn).
Travel time to Fargo is about 3.5 hours from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, 4.5 hours from Duluth, 4 hours from Winnipeg, and 6 hours from Omaha. If you're looking for a nice place to stay during Pride, consider the excellent and historic Hotel Donaldson (101 N. Broadway, Fargo, 701-478-1000), a hip boutique property that's a sponsor of Fargo-Moorhead Pride and is the site of one of the coolest (and gay-friendliest) restaurants and lounges in the region, HoDo. The Radisson Hotel Fargo offers special rates during Pride weekend.
Fargo Gay Resources - Moorhead Gay Resources
Although there aren't many resources on the gay scene in Fargo, Minnesota's excellent Lavender Magazine has great coverage of the region, albeit with a strong focus on the Minneapolis-St. Paul region, and the local alternative newsweekly the High Plains Reader has progressive news coverage and plenty of tips on local arts, dining, nightlife, and culture on Fargo and Moorhead. Also helpful, in terms of travel tips and advice on the region, is the website of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, which has made modest but, relative to the region, significant steps in recent years aiming to welcoming GLBT visitors to this part of the country - the CVB is a major sponsor of the Fargo-Moorhead Gay Pride festival.