The Roundup -

Watford City, North Dakota Celebrates its 100 Years in June – Bring on the Entertainment

A year long celebration of life in Watford City & McKenzie County...


32 Below

This year, the city of Watford City will turn 100 years old and everyone near and far is invited to come and celebrate. In 1914 the city of Watford City was founded and on the weekend of June 26-29, 2014, it will host a variety of events for the occasion, including entertainment from Tigiriliy and 32 Below to Merrill Piepkorn's Radio Stars, along with magicians, an art show, children's activities and a film festival that will feature the premier showing of Cody Shimek's film Cowboys and Crude.

"There is so much going on that it is hard to highlight one thing as our main attraction," states Jessie Veeder Scofield, local singer and songwriter and a member of the Watford City Centennial Committee. She feels that people will definitely be excited about the Centennial Celebration's Main Stage events, but will also appreciate the fact that the Centennial Committee has made a conscious effort to celebrate and highlight home grown talent.

"We are really excited to have Tom Brusseau in our line-up. He is a local guy, but he has gone and done some work nationally as well," states Scofield. "He has a lot of miles and connections and we are thrilled to have him on our celebration schedule."

Another unique, yet timeless addition to the Watford City Centennial entertainment line up is Merrill Peipkorn. Peipkorn is a well-known radio personality and host of the Prairie Public show Hear it Now. He also recently recorded a live radio show in Watford City called Dakota Air. He is someone, according to Scofield, that people of all ages will like. Peipkorn will perform solo at various times throughout the city's Centennial Celebration, including a performance at the Good Shepherd Nursing Home and Heritage Park. He will also be performing with his group Radio Stars, which tours western North Dakota each summer and is a regular at the Norsk Hostfest.

The Watford City Centennial Celebration line-up will include:


The Tigirlily sisters, Kendra and Krista, have been singing together since they started talking. They first started sharing in church, but in an astonishingly short time they gathered a rapidly growing fanbase via YouTube. They are diversely influenced, hard to box in and appeal to pop, folk and country audiences alike.

32 Below

32 Below is a band that does not stop performing from the moment they take the stage. They have combined their inspired original music with songs by artists they love, which has placed them in venues across the country. Their hardworking roots and respect for the crowd combine to create over three hours of unparalleled energy in their relentless show. They have sold over 25,000 albums and have been ever-changing for the better part of a decade, 32 Below has always made music that can only be described as all their own, 'Where County and Rock Collide.'

Six Appeal

Six Appeal began as a collegiate hobby in 2006, but by their senior year of college they had a good thing going and decided to stick with it. They began touring the country, delivering electrifying performances and teaching a new generation about a cappella with their curriculum-based Educational Experience. Their latest success was found at the 2012 National Harmony Sweepstakes where they took home the awards for Audience Favorite, Best Original Song and received the title of National Champions of a cappella music.

Quintana Biffert

Quintana Biffert cut her first CD at the age of 12. Now 22 years old, she has traveled extensively, performing for various fairs and events. At the age of 12, she won second place in a Colgate Country Showdown, and in 2004 and 2006 she won first place. Biffert has released numerous CDs and received many awards, including Teenage Performer of the Year by the Country Gospel Music Association (CGMA) and International Teenage Performer of the Year. In 2013, Biffert was named the CGMA Female Vocalist of the Year. She travels all over North Dakota and many other places singing and performing.

Tom Brosseau

Tom Brosseau is a North Dakota-born singer-songwriter, whose latest album of original music, Grass Punks, was recorded by Sean Watkins in Hollywood, Calif., and released in the U.S. on Crossbill Records, 2014 and in the UK and Europe on Tin Angel Records. Tom Moon of NPR All Songs Considered First Listen says that," It's in the shadows where the sly Brosseau does his best work, transferring earthbound images into intimations of wonder, giving unremarkable everyday memories a mysterious, almost haunting poignancy." Danny Eccleston of MOJO Magazine says, "North Daota troubadour brings stark, trembling beauty to folky acoustic pop. The world is better for it."

Jessie Veeder

Jessie Veeder has been a symbol of folk music in the badlands of Western North Dakota since she released her first original album when she was only 16. It was an effort that took her from performing at fairs and festivals around her home state to managing a national college and coffeehouse tour with a booking agency out of Nashville. After two more albums and six years of road time, Veeder moved home to her family's ranch to live and write about life there and to make music with the people who have influenced her from the beginning. Her latest release Nothing's Forever is a 13- song anthem featuring the single, "Boomtown," an homage to the people working to make a living in oil country. "Boomtown" has put Veeder in the spotlight as a feature in various news programs and national and international documentaries. In addition to her work as a performer, Veeder also chronicles life on the land as a weekly columnist for Forum Communication's state newspapers.

Radio Stars

Radio Stars is a group that has been described as a combination of a whole lot of energy with a distinctive take on modern and traditional Western-style tunes. The group is made of "Magic" Merrill Piepkorn – harmonica, guitars; Gregg "Smokey" Temple – electric, acoustic and pedal steel guitars; R.P. Sell – bass guitar; and Loy Larson – champion fiddler and mandolin. Each band member also sings. Along with the western and cowboy music, The Radio Stars can keep a dance floor packed with a variety of two-steps, waltzes, a polka or two and an occasional truck drivin' song. The band has recorded three CDs.

In addition to these headline performers, Watford City will welcome Native American Dancers, Blake Krabbseth Magician, Magic Keith, North Dakota band Whisky Rebellion, Washington state based band Mr. Feelgood and the Firm Believers, and Medora's Burning Hill Cloggers.

The Centennial Celebration will kick off on Thursday, June 25 with a Main Street Free Feed, Film Festival and the Dedication of Centennial Park, which will include performances from the Native American Dancers and Jessie Veeder and Lonesome Willy.

Friday's festivities will include the Centennial Parade & Festival, Heritage Days with Merrill Peipkorn and friends performing old time music at Heritage Park, All School Reunions, and the annual Trish Gravos Golf Scramble. During the day, the Tourist Park Main Stage will feature a Community High School Band, Badlands Gymnastics, the Native American Dancers and Magic Keith. The evening will end with Music, Food and Fun that will include performances by Tom Brosseau, Mr. Feelgood and the Firm Believers and Whiskey Rebellion.

Saturday will be jam-packed with events from the Centennial Homefest Run, Centennial Art Show, All School Reunions and Art in the Park. During the day, the Tourist Park Main Stage will feature Quintana Biffert, Medora's Burning Hills Cloggers, Meadowlark Dance Studio Dancers, Jessie Veeder, Magician Blake Krabbseth and Merrill Piepkorn & the Radio Stars. The evening will end with a Free Dinner Feed at the McKenzie County Fairgrounds and Centennial Gun Auction, as well as performances by Six Appeal, Tigirlily and 32 Below.

Six Appeal

Sunday will close the weekend of celebration with a morning of Merrill Piepkorn & the Radio Stars performing Gospel music and a non-denominational worship service to follow. A complimentary bus service will run between Main Street, South Park, Heritage Park, Watford City High School, Tourist Park and the Fairgrounds. More information regarding the Watford City Centennial Celebration, including a full schedule of events, can be found at

The Watford City Centennial Steering Committee is comprised of Patsy Levang, Chairperson,, 701-570-2493; Jan Dodge, Exhibits & Film Festival,, 701-570-2493; Doug Bolken, Marketing,, 701-444-5804; Sandi Sanford, Centennial Book,, 701-570-4588; Kristin Bolken, Special Events,, 701-842-4606; Lindsay Wingerter, Homefest & Art in the Park,, 701-580-0587.


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