BISMARCK, N.D., Aug. 14 -- Gov. Jack Dalrymple, R-N.D., issued the following news release:
Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley will kick off a day-long celebration marking North Dakota's 125th anniversary of statehood Saturday, August 16, with an opening ceremony beginning at 11 a.m. on the Capitol grounds. The celebration is the first of two signature events scheduled to commemorate the state's quasquicentennial and will showcase the best of North Dakota with home-grown entertainment, food, crafts and kids' activities. The second event will take place on Nov. 2, the state's official birthday, and will coincide with the grand opening of the new North Dakota Heritage Center.
World-class entertainers with roots in North Dakota will headline the day, with performances by The Burning Hills Singers, Tigirlily, Chuck Suchy, The Blenders, Mitch Malloy, Robby Vee, Jessie Veeder, Dakota Air, Keith Bear, Kevin Locke, Greg Hager, KittyKo, Penny and Pals, the North Dakota National Guard 188th Quintet, the Northern Lights Chorus Ensemble and Randi Perkins.
Festivities will kick off with an opening ceremony featuring remarks by Dalrymple, Wrigley, Sen. John Hoeven and South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard. South Dakota is also celebrating its 125th anniversary of statehood this year and was admitted to the Union on the same day as North Dakota in 1889, when President Benjamin Harrison signed the two Proclamations of Admission.
Daugaard is bringing with him the official pen used by President Harrison to sign the two proclamations and it will be on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for public viewing. The display will be located in the Sperry Gallery just inside the center's west entrance. Dalrymple and Daugaard will officially unveil the pen during a brief ceremony beginning at 10:30 a.m.
After signing the proclamations creating the two states on Nov. 2, 1889, President Harrison handed the pen he used to a land agent named John Martin Ruggles. When Ruggles died in 1937, his son, Darwin, gave the pen to his neighbor, Adelaide Finsland, who in turn gave it to her son, Bob. In 1989, in commemoration of South Dakota's centennial, the Finsland family donated the pen to the South Dakota State Historical Society and is currently on display at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.
Saturday's activities also include "Under the Dakota Sky: An Art Exhibit Celebrating 125 Years of Statehood," which can be viewed from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the North Dakota Heritage Center. Face painting and balloon critters will also be featured from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information about North Dakota's 125th celebration and a schedule for Saturday's event, follow on Facebook and Twitter at NorthDakota125 and visit www.history.nd.gov.
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